Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dances Over #Dancegate – Rolling Stone
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dances Over #Dancegate

The freshman congresswoman responded to an old video of her dancing as a college student with a new video of her dancing as an elected official

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during the opening session of the 116th Congress in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 03 January 2019. Pelosi and the House of Representatives are expected to vote later today on a bill to re-open the government, which is in its 11th day of a partial shutdown.Nancy Pelosi becomes the next Speaker of the House, Washington, USA - 03 Jan 2019

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during the opening session of the 116th Congress.

SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterst

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the youngest woman elected to the House of Representatives, has been the target of several conservative smear campaigns — including attacks on her pro-working-class agenda (she dared to grow up in a single-story house!) to “Sandy,” her suspiciously Anglophone teenage nickname. (To think a Puerto Rican from the Bronx not only was allowed into a Westchester County high school, but may have fraternized with other English-speaking students! ¡Qué horror!)

The latest public smear arrived less than 24 hours before she was sworn into Congress — issued by the now-deleted Twitter account @AnonymousQ1776, presumably a follower of QAnon, a pervasive right-wing conspiracy theory. The user unearthed something no more dastardly than a video of the freshman congresswoman… dancing on a rooftop with her friends. “Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like a clueless nitwit she is,” the user wrote erroneously citing the date of the video. “High School video of ‘Sandy’ Ocasio-Cortez.”

Filmed in 2010 at Boston University, where Ocasio-Cortez graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors in Economics and International Relations, the 29-year-old and her friends imitated dance scenes from John Hughes’ 1984 film The Breakfast Club, set to Phoenix’s “Lisztomania.” (This was known on YouTube as the Brat Pack Mash Up.) It comes as no surprise that, like many college students in the late 2000s, Ocasio-Cortez might have participated in a viral video challenge, much less danced to a Phoenix song, and even then, had a wholesome time with her college friends.
Her supporters were not only thrilled, but the viral tweet seemed to present a gift to the young congresswoman. Later that night emerged a Twitter account titled “AOC Dances To Every Song,” publishing remixes of the original video with pop songs from Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” to Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” Even Breakfast Club star Molly Ringwald tweeted her approval: “That’s it, Alexandria you’re in the club!” she wrote on Thursday night.

On Friday afternoon, shortly after the New York representative and her fellow Dems ushered in the “H.R. 1: The For the People Act” — which would restore major tenets of the Voting Rights Act, plus curb gerrymandering and corporate influence on elections — Ocasio-Cortez took a quick dance break in front of her new office in D.C., where she twirled and mouthed along the words to Edwin Starr’s 1970 protest hit, “War.”

“I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous,” she wrote on Twitter. “Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!”

“It is unsurprising to me that Republicans would think having fun should be disqualifying or illegal,” said Ocasio-Cortez to Hill reporter Olivia Beavers. “But I think it is really part of the larger question about who should run and how we should run and I think it is great. You can be young and run for office. You can have joy in life and run for office.”

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