© Ella Ling

Wimbledon - Serena

Did Serena really "crack an X-rated joke in a church"?


Five things about Serena’s dance on Wimbledon’s Centre Court:

1. Following her astonishing demolition of Maria Sharapova in just over an hour, Serena Williams performed her usual array of pogo-sticking about Centre Court, bouncing up and down on the weary turf as she came to terms with the fact that she had become the first tennis player to complete a golden grand slam in both singles and doubles. But then she did something else. Much to Venus’s amusement, who was watching from the player box, Serena did some sort of quick-step waggle, her happiness overflowing. “It was just me. I love to dance,” Williams said. “I didn’t know what else to do. I was so happy, and next thing I know I started dancing and moving. I didn’t plan it. It just happened.”

2. But, to the educated eye, it turns out that it was the Serena Williams version of a C-Walk, or Crip-Walk, which is defined as ‘a dance move that originated in the early 1970s by Crip gang members from the Compton suburb of Los Angeles, California’.  When she was asked to describe it later, Serena said, “Actually, there is a name, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate. It’s just a dance we do in California.”

3. There has since followed quite a bit of hullabaloo and conspiracy theory. FoxSports’ Jason Whitlock called it “akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church”, and “immature and classless,” saying that it was Serena’s way at getting back at being put on No.2 Court, dancing rebelliously on the hallowed turf.

4. Some people didn’t find it immature and tasteless at all. “They dance it for fun and consider it a badge of honor to master its complicated moves like the rap stars who popularized it,” said the LATimes, a view that was backed up by Snoop Dogg tweeting “Shout out to Serena williams. C walking at the Olympics Cpt style hahahahah! Go girl.”

5. Or there are those, like the Rev. P. Kimberleigh Jordan, writing in the Huffington Post blog, who disagreed completely, and thinks that Serena’s moves “reflected, as well, the Holy Dance, or Shout, that black folks across the Pentecostal church world do regularly to praise God in Sunday morning services, midweek worship and prayer meetings… what so many black Christians do when they “cut a step” in a sanctified church.” So, whether it was something she just did without thinking, or something to make her sister laugh, to remind her where they had come from, whatever it was, yet again, Serena has all sorts of tongues wagging.

  • Vrask

    It’s all in the context. This white Brit saw nothing but a joyous celebration by an athlete after winning a well-deserved gold medal. I’m astonished at all this blowback – Serena is one of the all-time greats of her sport.

  • http://inferiorpotassium.blogspot.co.uk/ random cloud

    same as vrask – all i saw was a girl goofing about after winning something and her sister laughing along.  too much can be read into things.