A 14-year-old was arrested for dancing in a Saudi Arabian street. He stopped in the middle of a crosswalk to perform some moves from the hit ’90s song “Macarena.”
A clip of the teen dancing spread widely on social media. A tweet of the video shared by Saudi Arabian journalist Ahmed Al Omran already has 2,497 Retweets, 3,571 Likes, and 492 comments. According to the journalist, the boy has already been released from police custody.
The viral dance video shows the playful teen walking out into waiting traffic and put on a show. With headphones and a colorful, wacky outfit, he dances with abandon in the coastal city of Jeddah, as Al Jazeera reported.
Local media reports said the boy was arrested for disrupting traffic and improper behavior. Police said the video is more than a year old. Once the video started getting attention the authorities took notice. Both the boy and his father were brought before the police. The father was made to sign a pledge not to let his son violate “public morals.” The boy was then released, according to the Guardian.
The “Macarena” dance could be seen everywhere when the song was popular two decades ago, and can still sometimes be spotted at weddings and social gatherings in America. The song and video most people know about were released in August 1995, although earlier versions existed. Further remixes of the song flooded the market after it grew in popularity.
A website entirely dedicated to the “Macarena” song gives a rundown of the song’s impact, also discussing the legacy of the musicians that created it.
“As a duo, Romero and Ruiz were a consistent act since the early 1960s but, in the summer of 1996, they enjoyed the success of their multiplatinum smash summer hit, “Macarena,” which sold over 4 million copies in the United States and spent a record 14 weeks at No. 1. The “Macarena” became the longest running No. 1 and best selling debut single of all time in American music history. It was ranked the “#1 Greatest One-Hit Wonder of all Time” by VH1 in 2002. The song ranks at No. 5 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100 and ranks at No. 1 on Billboard’s All Time Latin Songs.”
Western dancing is taboo in Saudi Arabia. There have been other incidents of Saudi citizens getting into trouble with authorities after homemade dance videos or those showing other aspects of Western culture went viral.
A singer was arrested at a music festival for performing the viral dance move “the dab.” The Saudi government claims the dance, made popular by American football players, encourages drug use, according to Al Jazeera.
The Saudi kingdom caused an uproar after a woman was arrested for a viral video of walking in public wearing a miniskirt and crop-top blouse. She was released on grounds that the video was spread on social media without her knowledge.
The highly conservative Islamic government announced only last month that girls would be allowed to play school sports and attend physical education classes.