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Vocabulary

Vocabulary in Context: Dance Like You’re Wednesday Addams

Test your vocabulary and reading comprehension with this quiz based on the Times article “Dance Like You’re Wednesday Addams.”

From left, the clubgoers Leah Heath, Petra Hyde and Jeffrey Pelayo take part in a “Wednesday” dance-off.
Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Choose the word or phrase that BEST completes each blank in the following paragraphs, taken from a 2023 Times Style article.

On a Brooklyn street dotted with auto repair garages, a line of young women wearing black ruffled dresses, black chokers, little black backpacks and Doc Martens waited in the cold outside a club called Quantum on Friday night. They were united in their fandom for the Netflix series “Wednesday” and their adoration for the show’s protagonist, Wednesday Addams.

A cardboard cutout of the night’s role model has a moment in the spotlight.
Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

The club, which is beside the Gowanus Expressway, was hosting an Addams Family-themed party dedicated to the dance that Wednesday performs in the show’s fourth episode at a prom-like event at Nevermore Academy, a boarding school for outcasts, vampires and werewolves. The angular dance is characterized by unpredictable arm and head jerks, and executed to the 1981 psychobilly classic “Goo Goo Muck,” by the Cramps. It has inspired endless fans to post bedroom tributes on TikTok.

Jenna Ortega, the 20-year-old former Disney star who plays Wednesday, the moves herself by studying footage of goths dancing at clubs in the 1980s and borrowing ideas from performers like Bob Fosse, Siouxsie Sioux, Lene Lovich and Denis Lavant.

The crowd at Quantum Brooklyn watches the Addams Family-themed dance competition.
Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

She has also cited the gyrations of Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday in the 1960s TV series “The Addams Family.” The New York Times dance critic Gia Kourlas has written of Ortega’s performance: “It’s the dance of a nonconformist. It’s a celebration of weird.”

As the club filled up with Wednesdays, there was a sense of anticipation in the crowd: At midnight, on an elevated runway, there would be a contest to determine which Wednesday had mastered the dance best.

A big screen behind the D.J. booth showed clips of the old black-and-white TV series, the Addams Family movies from the 1990s and the Netflix show. The event’s organizer (an outfit called Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Presents) had promoted the party with a program that a playlist of “sad girl bops,” which ended up meaning songs by Lana Del Rey and My Chemical Romance. On the stage, the hip-hop artist Sl!ck performed a Wednesday-inspired rap.

The Quantum dance floor became a fashion runway for all manner of Wednesday Addams costume : outfits featured black-and-white socks, polka dot shirts, leather coats, metal skull earrings, thick-soled boots with silver spider buckles and brothel creepers. But there were a few spots of color in the crowd, in the form of fans dressed as Enid Sinclair, Wednesday’s jovial roommate, who wears floral skirts, pink sweaters and berets.

Reading Comprehension

Now that you've read the first several paragraphs of this article, let's see how well you understood it.

In homage to a pivotal “Wednesday” scene, a clubgoer squirted fake blood at dance-off competitors.
Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Which short summary below would you say BEST captures what you have read so far?