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It’s been almost 26 years since Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in Kickboxer, about a man who must learn the ancient art to avenge his brother, and Kurt Sloane still has the moves. While guesting on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show, the action movie star recreated his classic dance scene for the audience, and it was as spectacular as it sounds.
Dancing goes hand in hand with many sports. Footballers have been known to study areas, like ballet, in order to maintain balance and poise on the field. In Kickboxer, Sloane’s teacher needs to see his protege’s balance in making him dance to American disco music. While shaking his derrière with two babes, he’s approached by grouchy bar patrons, and what ensues is some classic disco dance fighting. It’s not the same thing as breakdance fighting, which we hope we’ll see more of in Zoolander 2, but it’s still pretty impressive.
All of this action is replicated on Conan, including two leery-eyed thugs who surround Van Damme as he’s dancing for the audience. The late-night host showed us a little snippet of the original scene, but you need to watch the whole thing to get the full experience.
You might notice that another crucial aspect of this scene is JCVD's splits skills. After watching this, all our efforts in the clubs to drop it like it's hot and pop, lock and drop it seem all for nothing. I mean, this man's legs go from a kick spin and pivot to fully horizontal on the floor. Since the man himself was on the Conan stage, O'Brien took advantage of this opportunity to get a masterclass in executing a proper split. Van Damme gave it his best shot, but it looks like Conan needs to master some basic stretches and yoga poses first.
If we’re lucky, Van Damme will reprise more of these dance moves with a Kickboxer sequel. He told Conan that the sequel is in the works with Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista, MMA fighter (and Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Batroc the Leaper) George St. Pierre, and professional stuntman Alain Moussi, the latter of which is starring in the lead role. This development was announced last year, but it's something that bears repeating.