Dancing doubles: Petto, dito, mano

Even though the US Open ended last Monday, I continued to enjoy it all week, as I watched matches I had recorded but didn’t have time to see when they were first played. My favorite was the women’s doubles final, where Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (seed #2) played Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka (seed #3). Errani/Vinci won 6-4, 6-2, with a classic style of doubles tennis that included serve and volley, lobs to back their opponents off the net, and excellent shot selection against a younger, harder-hitting Czech team.


Sara Errani Roberta Vinci US Open 2012 Champions


What garnered the most attention in the press, however, was a little dance the Italians did in their elation after they won the match. It’s hard to find a clear video of it, but this will give you an idea:

The post-match interviewer asked Vinci about the dance, and she laughed. A little embarrassed, she demonstrated: you touch your chest, then snap your fingers, then touch the other hand.  Then repeat. In Italian, “Petto, dito, mano.”



Apparently this is a dance or game that goes on in Italy, especially among kids. Kind of like the Chicken Dance? Here’s one of my favorite Petto, dito, mano dances from Youtube:



I think the US Open winners, who are good friends and unfortunately had to play each other in the singles quarterfinal, were just having a little fun after the match. It was probably an inside joke with family and friends in their box.

But it reminds me of the famous three lines purportedly uttered by Caesar Augustus: “Vini, vidi, vinci.” “I came, I saw, I conquered.” He was another Italian, centuries earlier, who had a plan and carried it through to success. In the same way, you could see the the women’s victory dance as their expression of a goal or desire in their hearts (petto), combined with hard work and a little magic (“snap,” or dito), accomplished with the racquets in their hands (mano).

Okay, that’s probably too deep for a silly song. But congrats to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci on achieving their goal of winning the US Open, and let the dancing begin!

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