Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Newest Dance is Bittersweet

Dancing as a Congresswoman is not as fun as when you’re in college

This week’s attempt to troll Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by posting a video of her dancing as a college student backfired spectacularly.

As it should have.

In that video, a clearly ecstatic Ocasio-Cortez — along with fellow Boston University students — is having a fabulous time dancing in homage to The Breakfast Club. It’s light, playful, carefree, and fun — exactly what a college dance should be. The attempt to tarnish her now just looks pathetic.

In reply Ocasio-Cortez posted a new video of her dancing, now as a Congresswoman. It’s a brief few seconds, to the old Edwin Starr song “War (What is it Good For)?” The Congresswoman dances for just a very short while, and then suddenly bursts out laughing and rushes into her office. The link above shows the new dance, as well as the college student version.

Back in college there were no cares in the world (or at least fewer), and Ocasio-Cortez danced freely and with joy. Now she’s a Congresswoman, one of the youngest representatives ever elected, with literally the whole world watching her every move. And so this new dance was shorter and more self-conscious.

My respect and admiration for Ocasio-Cortez grew while watching the new video. Anyone who’s ever traveled the path from youthful idealism to actually having to implement ideas knows that it’s a hard one. Many people are groomed for their new ideas and fresh energy, only to find themselves in institutions that actually prefer that they do nothing noteworthy at all. That is how it goes, and what I suspect Ocasio-Cortez will often find in the 116th Congress. I’m glad that she’s still dancing, and hope she always does.