YMCA - the dance

I have a theory regarding the well-known “spell out the letter” gestures people do during the Village People song YMCA.

Basically, men commonly make the "C "by placing their right hand over their head, i.e. so the “C” is the right way to someone looking at them. Women, on the other hand (ha!) make the “C” with the left hand on the top, i.e. as if they were looking at the “C” themselves.

My wife and I have gotten into serious arguments over which way was correct (we attend a lot of Cubs games, and until recently there wasn’t much on the field to talk about). At first I thought that she made the “C” the way she did because she was left-handed, but after talking with others and watching people in the park it seems to me that it’s correlated instead to gender, not handedness.

On the scale of trivia, this definitely ranks at an extreme (I won’t say which one…), but what say you dopers?

I’m a woman and I would do right hand on top, if I were to do this, which I wouldn’t.

So there.

I’m a woman, and I make the C with my right hand on top.

But I make the A with my hands pointing down and out so that my head is the top of the A. What do you make of that?

That you don’t actually know how to do the “YMCA” dance?

There used to a (British ?) TV show called “Don’t Ask Me” that had a panel of kooky science types asnwering odd questions. It was sort of like Bill Nigh + Cecil. I was a kid, so one of the only ones I really remember is that someone who worked at a jar-making factory wanted to know why jars usually bounced once before shattering when you dropped them.

Anyway, studio audience participation was common. For one question, they handed out black magic markers to everyone and asked the to write the year on their foreheads. Most people wrote the date backwards on their heads - that is if you were facing them and reading the number on their foreheads, it was backwards.

They did explain the reason behind this (it had to do with them outlining the sahpes as they would expect on a paper that was in front of them) but I don’t remember it because that was, like, 25 years ago and I didn’t exactly pay attention when I was 9.

I wonder if it has anything to do with cheer leading. IANAC, so this is a complete WAG but don’t CLs get ‘taught’ cheers? Could there be a common, undefined culture that normalizes hand movements? Even (many, mainstream) non-cheerleading chicas are still tangentially involved. Guys, not so much. I’d also think that most guys who don’t want to be cheerleaders are not out there singing and dancing to YMCA, so there isn’t the same cultural norm. Then the right/left hand thing takes over…

(It’s OK to talk citelessly talk out your butt in CS, no?)

According to the Village People themselves, the proper method is to move your right hand overhead

Until fairly recently, I was apparently unique within the western world in being unaware that there existed any such thing as “YMCA — the dance”.

Not only is there the dance - there’s this.

Genius. Pure friggn genius.