What is the Dancery that Mary J. Blige Was Talmbout?

You know Mary J. Blige’s hit song “Family Affair” and I bet you’ve jammed to it many a times at parties or in your house. I’ve definitely hit my Mary bop on countless occasions because that song goes so hard in the paint.

But I’ve always wondered things about the song. The lyrics pique my interest and my eyebrows go up all chola-like. ^__^

Sister Mary No Clarence Blige said “Don’t need no hateration, holleration in this dancery.” So I’m always thinking what is a dancery? I have my theories. Let me share them with you.

I really think dancery is a bakery, but instead of cupcakes, dance moves are made. Especially those that require nothing more than a two-step. At danceries, they’ll teach you the exact formula of the “Mary Bop.”

And there’ll be a sign that says “Do not Haterate” in every room. There’ll also be a “Holleration not allowed” sign when you walk into the dancery. So folks know the rules straight out. I’m not quite sure what a holleration is but I’m sure there’ll be customer service reps there to clarify.

This is what I imagine the sign will look like:

Dancery chart

But don’t get it twisted. Instructors at the dancery will be letting folks know that perculating is encouraged. And perculate they will.

I won’t lie, though. I’d love to visit a dancery. I imagine it to have dancers in aprons, doing pliés and coming up with new moves. Plus, there is no drama in the dancery. Only joy. And tutus. And onesies. And people who are passionate about spreading the message and the jig of the Mary bop. It seems like such a positive place to go. Mary J Blige is a visionary.

I’ma write a book called “So I visited a dancery…” It’ll be drawn Dr. Seuss style and It’ll be awesome. Don’t steal my idea. I got friends in law school. (-__-)

Yes. I’d really like to visit a dancery. They prolly got good snacks and endless rice.

So whatchu think a dancery is?

And let me leave you with this gif of emoting Mary.

Mary J blige gif

Edit (5/16/15): It has come to my attention that Mary might have been saying “Dance Soiree.” It has also come to my attention that I refuse to believe things I don’t want to believe. BECAUSE: NAWL! DANCE SOIREE NEVER. DANCERY FOREVER!

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  1. Sticky-n-Sweet
    October 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Can we talk about that “Yonkers shake” she did at the end of that video, though? Or the zebra bi-level weave? So many gems in that video…

  2. doneinthedark
    October 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve always imagined it was spelled “dancerie” and that everything was all brightly colored and that fried fish was in abundance.

    • October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      I wrestled w/ the spelling for a bit and then settled w/ “dancery.” “Danceries” is its plural form. Yes.

      • Lex
        May 18, 2015 at 11:41 pm

        Where is my can????!!! LOL

  3. Karima
    October 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Oh, Luvvie–how I *do* love you for this! I’ve been perplexed and flummoxed by these particular lyrics for years now. Just what *is* a dancery? Is it like a hatchery? A cannery? Even an infirmary??? Now, at least you’ve ventured a guess, a theory that I can ponder. Thank you, ma’amselle. Thank you!

    • October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Girl you and everyone else. Mary needs to do an exposé to tell us about the time she went to the dancery.

      • October 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

        Perhaps this mystery will be revealed in her VH1 “Behind The Music” or “E! True Hollywood Story” special or something. We must pray.

  4. October 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I have been asking what the HECK a dancery is since that song came out and no one could explain! I’m SO glad you cleared this up Ms. Luvvie! LOL

  5. Shikki
    October 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I have always wondered what that was.I figured I was singing the wrong lyrics.

    • October 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      A lot of folks thought they were singing the wrong lyrics. But nawl. It seems Mary meant it like we heard it.

  6. Natasha
    October 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Luvvie…I got nothing. All of y’all go satcho asses down in the VIPery!

  7. Manda
    October 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Dancery = dance soiree in tweet speak or just plain mispronounced.. That was always my theory..

    • October 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      But the song came out before Twitter.

      • Manda
        October 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        Good point.. But for analogies sake “I’m a need a new alphet for the #dancery”

    • LuvvNationDisciple
      May 18, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Manda — you were clearly ahead of your time. we should have listened.

      • KK
        May 19, 2015 at 12:20 am

        RIGHT?!! She must’ve had a time machine or is severely a Mary interpreter.

    • KK
      May 19, 2015 at 12:18 am

      3 years later and you were 100% correct, girl!!!

  8. Brenda
    October 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Omigosh!!! My friends told me that I was “overthinking” it when I asked some of these very same questions! Thanks for clearing that ish up. Lol!!!!!

  9. KayMac
    October 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I understand the “dancery” and the “hateration” part but I reeeeeally need to know what holleration is…is that where no one can try to holler, bcuz we’re all just here to do the Harlem and/or Yonkers Shake?? #QuestionsThatNeedAnswers

  10. MimiLuvs
    October 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I had totally forgotten that Mary had sung the word “dancer”.
    As you can see, Mary J. Blige had graduated from the “Sean “Diddy” Combs Institute of Making up Words Just So The Words Can Rhyme University”.
    Sean Combs is guilty of giving words the DJ Screw treatment.

  11. October 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I think a “dancery”…is like..not quite an upscale club…but not quite the rachet hood spot w/ that one door in…one door it might have USED To be a strip club….Fat Mike Mike..on the door..w/ a gratuitous “pat down” by Big Pat the butch doorwoman. Perhaps it is a skating rink that turns into the club afterwards…and there is an abundance of like…chicken wings and Malt Liquor and the “fancy” drink is some Hypnotiq or Nuvo…and folks sweat their perms and quick weaves out real hard…..and you smoke weed on the floor…

    • KayMac
      October 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      I imagine, in this dancery, females take their shoes off when their feet start hurting bcuz of the shoes they got from Rainbow…(O___O) lol…so lots of females dancing w/o any shoes…

    • LuvvNationDisciple
      May 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      i hope someone put theMochaPeach in timeout for these shenanigans. that description sounds like she just came from the dancery her damb self. LMAO. i cannot and will not with you today!

  12. larenee10
    October 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I haven’t even read the poll yet, and I already decided that the dancery is where Wyclef was going when he oiled up 1/2 of his body and hopped on that bike.

    Therefore, I ain’t going.

    Whew….now, I shall read the post. 🙂

    • larenee10
      October 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      post…watching the debate has me all distracted and whatnot

  13. Usually In Poor Taste
    October 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm


    An establishment flushed with libations and jovial music yet devoid of holleration and hateration.

    Before any of you google that, I totally made it up!

  14. October 23, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Well, if you can’t graduate from high school in Yonkers, you just gotta work with the words you invent #intelligents

  15. legitimate_soul
    October 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    “Endless rice” did it for me. I’m going!…because I think it is a place where dance can be done and enjoyed by all.

  16. LB
    October 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    It’s what happens before the “nursery”. An’ I don’t mean the plant type.

  17. Miss Jay
    October 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Good Ole’ Urban Dictionary helped me out with some of the words in the song:

    Hateration – The act or process of hating on someone/something.

    Holleration – An excessive amount of yelling or loud-talking, which is usually the result of (or resulting in) a fight, stabbing, killing, or some other physical altercation.

    And last, but not least:

    Dancery – A ludicous word that Mary J. Blige invented to poorly fit the rhyme-scheme of a mediocre song. Means: dance club, night club, or ghetto bar.

    I think perculating means the same thing as brewing, but I could be wrong, tho. With Ms. Blige, words could mean anything (-_-).

  18. […] stark, but I’m a Dresden hater so that may be coloring my comparison. My hateration aside (looks like I won’t be getting into the dancerie) I am a fan of worldbuilding, and I am always excited to get into a piece that uses […]

  19. […] Turns out I’m not the only one thinking about this… […]

  20. May 18, 2015 at 7:15 am

    This just in, She meant dance soiree
    We aren’t buying it though

  21. Honey_Dipt
    May 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I think she saw this commentary and tried to fix “dancery”…… I’m not gonna flex on her too hard because I and my family are from Yonkers,buuuuuut….. How you gonna come back later and try and say that you used an unfamiliar word and fluffed on the enunciation? Have a seat, ya shoulda just left it alone.

    P.S. Just wanted you to know that we are shade family in my head… Luvs you Luvvie

  22. T
    January 24, 2016 at 8:34 am

    this thing right here made me cry. too funny.

  23. […] a dancery, anyway? In my world, the dancery is where God has enough blessing flowing for everyone. It’s […]