By Clint Confehr
COLUMBIA, TN — The rap lyrics “You can’t touch this” filled the air from a disc jockey’s truck during a rolling street dance party that provided relief from the coronavirus quarantine.
Social distancing was the order of the day when the DJ’s entourage could have rewritten the title of MC Hammer’s 1990 album, “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em” as an appeal to Covid-19; Pandemic, Don’t Hurt ’Em.
“We’re just trying to make it though the quarantine in a positive way,” street dancer Kaliente Glenn said. “We’re doing social distancing in the streets. We’re going to keep moving and smiling and we’re going to get through this.”
The idea for a rolling street party during the coronavirus quarantine was described by Tammy Bray Quinn of Columbia after Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland announced deputies would counsel people against violating the quarantine. A second warning could precede a citation, Rowland said.
Quinn said it’s “just an idea we got off the [Facebook Group] page.” Its name: “Got Quarantined?”
She first asked Keith Throneberry, proprietor of Variety Records on Columbia’s Public Square, but he’s been streaming concerts from his store. Eric McCandless, proprietor of AMPED Sound and Lighting, was asked, so he led the mobile dance party in his pickup truck with girlfriend Amanda Walls and DJs Chase Blanchard and Tyler Steigelman. “He was referred to me by the group page and he volunteered his services,” Quinn said.
Another dancer said, “We just thought this would be a good idea to get together today to spread love and joy in our community.”
The April 17 street dance preceded Gov. Bill Lee’s April 24 announcement of phased-in business re-openings. Precautions were taken during the street dance. Quinn received a forwarded email with state guidance and the Tennessee Pledge on safe behavior.
“I totally support our local and state leaders,” Quinn said. “We try to encourage that on our [Facebook] page.”
Nobody wore Hammer-styled parachute pants during the street parties, but one resident participating in the event wore an inflatable Blue Man Group suit. Another wore a big brown bear costume. And nobody cared whether Hammer’s song is based on “Super Freak” by Rick James. One woman came out in her house coat while her husband sipped wine.