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Web Video / Dances Moving!

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Welcome friends, I'm BDG, and I'll teach you how to trope properly!

"Here's that new thing that you're choosing, get up with Dances Moving!"

Dances Moving! is a seven-part musical webseries made by Brian David Gilbert (or "BDG") and his sister Laura Kathryn Gilbert. Brian plays himself as a dance instructor who showcases a particular dance step to his students every episode. Originally presented as a lighthearted pastiche of instructional dance videos from The '80s, the series develops a more serious narrative when Brian falls for a girl in his dance class, but then has to move away, and his life spirals out of his control.



  • 420, Blaze It: In "High Knees," Brian says to lift your knees "high like a stoner, 420." Then the computerized voice adds, "Don't do drugs."
  • Alone Among the Couples: In "Partner Dancing," due to the odd number of people in class, Brian has to teach partner dancing while being the only one in the room without a dance partner. This weighs on him extra heavily, as he's currently struggling with his girlfriend.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • "Crab" establishes that Brian identifies very strongly with crabs due to his Baltimore heritage, hence why he loves to do the crab dance.
    • "Slow Worm" serves as a counterpoint for "Crab," as Brian's fallen so far that he now identifies with worms, unable to move his appendages due to his depression and just lying around in the dark, and he wants to be like a worm so he can move without the need for limbs or motivation or the risk of existential crises.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: By the finale, Brian has moved from his beloved hometown, lost his girlfriend, and seemingly lost all the members of his dance troupe. However, he rediscovers his passion for dance through a freestyle routine and uses it to inspire himself to keep moving forward.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Due to Brian's depression, Declan is the one who says, "See you all next week for Dances Moving!" at the end of "Slow Worm."
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Nearly everybody quits the team by the end of "Slow Worm" due to Brian projecting his depression onto them. By the final episode, Brian is completely alone in the theater.
  • Butt-Monkey: Brian picks on Declan more than any other member of the class. Any time Declan gets on his nerves, some text will come onscreen picking on them, calling them a "miscreant" or "very difficult."
  • Catchphrase: Brian begins every episode with "Welcome friends, I'm BDG, and I'll teach you how to dance properly!" and ends every episode with, "Make sure you tune in next week for more Dances Moving!"
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The third episode, "Crab," reveals that Brian has to move out of his beloved Baltimore hometown, and is the first episode to end on an unhappy note. The series then shifts into Brian's depression after uprooting his life and losing the ones he loves. By "Partner Dancing," he can barely maintain his enthusiasm anymore, and most of the comedy has left in favor of a story about depression.
  • Cursed With Awesome: In his youth, a witch cursed Brian to have easily breakable arms. This actually helped him a lot in his dance career, as his joints are extra flexible.
  • The Ditz: Declan tends to misunderstand Brian's instruction or get mixed up doing the dance moves, such as getting their head randomly caught in their shirt.
  • Excited Show Title!: It's Dances Moving! with an exclamation point.
  • Grand Finale: "Freestyle" is a mix of all of the dances Brian taught during the series, as well as Brian's personal reflection of the strife he has undergone during the series.
  • Heroic BSoD: "Slow Worm." Having left his hometown and lost the love of his life, Brian has given up on even dancing out his problems and instead just lies on the ground and in his bed, despondent.
  • Insistent Terminology: Brian does not like that Declan calls wiggle arms "flailing," and insists that wiggling is its own dance move.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: After moving to New York, Brian tries to keep in contact with Meghan, his girlfriend from Baltimore. It doesn't really work out for them.
  • Match Cut: "Slow Worm" cuts from a close-up of Brian doing the "Slow Worm" lying on the ground to a similar close-up of him lying in bed depressed.
  • Meet Cute: Lampshaded in "Step Touch," when Brian says it's a good dance for a meet cute. This is illustrated with him jokingly step-touching with a girl in the class, who eventually becomes his girlfriend.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Brian asks Meghan out in song, and when she says yes, it catches him so off guard that he stops singing.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The credits include a message that the Dances Moving Company and Brian David Gilbert are not responsible for injuries that occur as a result of Dances Moving.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Everybody but Declan gets up and leaves the class in "Slow Worm" because the dance isn't fun for them anymore.
  • Serious Business: Brian takes dancing very seriously, seeing it as not just a form of entertainment, but a way to get through everyday life. He gets angry at students like Declan who don't seem to take his dance moves seriously. Indeed, his dance moves do help him cope as he moves away, and by the end, it seems to be the only thing left that can snap him out of his funk.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Brian's students are often a source of Funny Background Events and physical comedy in early episodes. In "Slow Worm," during Brian's Heroic BSoD, they all leave class. The final episode has Brian entirely alone to ponder his life situation more seriously.
  • Something Completely Different: The finale, "Freestyle," departs greatly from the series' formula. Brian is completely alone in teaching dancing, and after his introduction, rather than going into the dance, he stops the recording and music and sits in silence for a good thirty seconds before launching into a musical number and freestyle dance.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite spending previous episodes ragging on Declan's incompetence, Brian is nice to them at the end of "Slow Worm" and compliments them for dancing well.

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