When I was growing up, one of the stereotypes for Filipino kids was that we were all supposed be able to dance. In this video, it looks like this stereotype, probably encouraged by the success of Asian American Dance Crews like the Jabbawockeez and Poreotics, has spread to Asians in general. A white kid, Alex “Kid Ice” repeatedly tries and fails to do certain break dance moves. Looking at his injured leg, his Mom unplugs his music and declares, “you’ll destroy your body before you’ll get to those little Asians’ level.”
Okay, funny enough, he got some views, and you think that would have been the end of it. But the Comedy Central show Tosh.0 got a hold of the video, and that wasn’t the end of it. Was that dancing stereotype true? Could the white Kid Ice be really as good as those little Asians?
Kid Ice was invited to be part of the shows “web redemption” series, where viral video stars get a chance to redeem themselves. In this segment (shown below), host Daniel Tosh makes fun of Asian stereotypes and gives him a chance to prove that this new stereotype if false, that a white break dancer can keep up with those little Asians. He sets up a dance battle between Alex and some of those little Asians, who conveniently labeled with shirts that say “Those Little Asians.” The actual battle at starts at 5:10, for those who want to skip to the dancing.
So does the Tosh.0 show succeed in blowing up those stereotypes? I don’t think it really does. While Alex is a lot better than I thought he would be, I don’t think he is as good as “those little Asians.” I don’t think that Tosh’s ironic hipster attitude toward the stereotypes helps, as it’s hard to tell whether he is enjoying the stereotypes or making fun of them.