Colombian soccer team’s hip-notizing happy dance

We knew soccer players had some of the fastest feet in sports. But the fastest hips? Oh yes. Look no further than the pair owned by Colombian left back Pablo Armero, whose furious hip-shake has brought a little Beyonce into the World Cup.

After scoring a goal in Saturday’s win over Greece, did an ebullient Armero simply pick up the ball and hand it to the referee? (Does anyone do that?) Armero’s vigorous moneymaker and curling, swooping spine telegraphed his joy more than words ever could. Watching him is enough to get your own caboose bumping along in sympathy.

Hips don’t lie. When words fail, hips fill in the blanks, whether you’re a pop star or an athlete. (See Mercer University basketball player Kevin Canevari’s Nae Nae victory dance.)

Today, Armero’s teammates got into the action when they triumphed over Ivory Coast. After all the driving forward motion that the game of soccer demands, it’s clearly a delight, a release and a communal thrill for the players to set their hips bouncing side to side. And in a sport where backflips, cartwheels and other happy dances have become part of most goal celebrations, the Colombians scored an artistic high point. The gracefulness of their dance, with its swaying, full-body harmony and fluid motion, was an extension of their flowing game. They make it look easy, and we get carried away inside on their rush.

Hips don’t lie. Where have I heard that before? Of course: from fellow Colombian Shakira, no slouch in the hip-shaking department. In her hit song by that name, the agile pop star is joined by Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, who makes this request: “Let me see you move like you come from Colombia…”

Armero and his teammates gave a resounding answer today. Something tells me they’ll show up in Shakira’s next music video–unless she’s afraid of the competition…

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Soccer fans around the world displayed their World Cup team pride with flags, funny hats and lots of chanting and cheering. (Divya Jeswani Verma/The Washington Post)
Sarah Kaufman received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and has been The Washington Post's dance critic since 1996. But after logging serious sit-time in opera houses, black boxes, folding chairs and dive bars, what moves her most is seeing grace happen where she least expects it.
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