Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer

J Michael Winward

The Great Hummus Caper

While dancing the Cupid Shuffle in the middle of the mall last weekend, I found myself caught in an all-too-familiar state of panic: exposed, all eyes and iPhones on me (and all the other Cupid Shufflers too, although I wasn't panicked for them), all the lights on (this was not a dance party and it was not a night club. It was a mall on the Saturday afternoon before Christmas. Presumably no one had been drinking, although, being the Saturday before Christmas, how can one really be sure?) Had it been Saturday night and had we been dancing at a club, had there been soft lighting and alcohol to blur the lines, I'm sure I would have been able to dance that Cupid Shuffle with fervor--the way one expects it to be danced. It would have been a celebration of the freedom of a Saturday night. But this was not that. I was wiggling my hips, but unsure what to do with my hands. A group of teenage girls came over to join in, watching my feet, which was good, because they didn't notice whatever awkward thing my hands were doing. At this point, I started to feel better because my purpose was clear. But the Cupid Shuffle is not rocket science, and they quickly figured out what to do with their feet, which put me back where I started. I looked out and could instantly perceive how this was all coming across. I've seen it before: the spectrum of engagement, from admiration to utter disinterest, some dancing along where they stood, some trying to work out the best way to get around us. I've done this sort of thing for a long time and I know what to expect. But I still don't know what to do with my hands when I dance the Cupid Shuffle and I still break out into a cold sweat and avert my eyes from people's phones. I look at the floor. I dance on autopilot. I turn in, and recall that back in my kitchen is a can of chick peas. When I was five, I would have killed for the chance to get up and dance in front of everybody at the mall. Now I find myself wondering if we're all out of tahini. I ponder the contents of my refrigerator. Yo, Cupid--how do you like your hummus?  

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Chick peas

Olive oil



Lemon juice




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Sauté the garlic to make your hummus less garlicky. Don't sauté if you like that sort of thing.


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Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, and combine all ingredients together.


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Blend and adjust the seasoning.

RecipesJ Michael Winward