Three weeks after Theresa May’s curtsy to Prince William saw her compared to Golum from Lord of the Rings, the British prime minister has again made headlines with her brand of physical expression.
This time, it’s her unusual dance style.
Mrs May’s moves in the final days of her tour of Africa have led to calls for her to compete on TV dance shows and seen media outlets publish instructions on how to do what has been dubbed the ‘Maybot’ and the ‘Cabinet Shuffle.’
British online newspaper Metro called it a “phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation”.
The May dance craze gained fresh impetus on Thursday, when Mrs May nearly made it out of the UN campus in Nairobi, Kenya, without being called on to use any dance floor diplomacy.
But a group of scouts, feeling the jaunty music that was playing, roped in Mrs May to join them in throwing some shapes.
According to reports, the prime minister realised there was no way out and got her groove on.
Mrs May – whose claim she’ll never be asked to appear on a TV dance competition may be premature – was nothing if not enthusiastic.
Combining arm and leg swings with a maniacal expression, she moved to her own internal rhythm.
Her attempts culminated “in a cross between a standing-up front crawl and a desperate attempt to hail a cab”, according to the UK Guardian.
Theresa May filmed dancing again on her African trip pic.twitter.com/Zq4vXTpV07
— The Independent (@Independent) August 30, 2018
While her bemused hosts looked like they had never seen anything like it before, for Mrs May it was actually a case of history repeating itself.
Two days earlier, she had gamely performed a medley of moves including a side-to-side sway at a South African school.
It was pointed out that to be obliged as PM to execute dance moves once during a foreign trip could be seen as unfortunate.
“To go through it twice could be seen as the hosts having a laugh at your expense,” said the Guardian.
Theresa May dances like she’s had her freedom of movement surgically removedpic.twitter.com/PaiSEtcRE9
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) August 28, 2018
Business Insider South Africa took the May freestyling seriously enough to ask local experts to weigh in.
“Even her expression is good,” Jack Mawasha, CEO of Limpompo dance company Jama Studios said.
Salome Sechele, a judge on South Africa’s Strictly Come Dancing TV show, said she was “on time with the beat, making for great synchronization.”
According to Metro, dancing like Mrs May is deceptively hard and a “tough one to master for anyone with any sort of natural rhythm.”
It published a step-by-step guide to copying her moves, with steps including “Start walking forward in a slow, mechanical fashion out of time to the music and with arms still positioned like the large dinosaur.”
Next, while keeping both feet planted and swinging arms in a jerky motion “as if trying to prove to your parents you are sober”, add “a creepy smile” while gazing into the middle distance.
Finally, repeat steps one and two while “putting your hands on your thighs and laughing maniacally like you’ve stumbled across a cracking cookbook sale.”
Social media was just as keen to get on board the May train, with the PM’s moves widely compared to another infamous dancer, Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Seinfeld character Elaine Benes.
I see that Theresa May has been getting dancing lessons from Elaine Benes. pic.twitter.com/eZ3i2yLj1c
— Adair (@rpxadair) August 28, 2018