As displayed so nicely above in the subject line, this is about dancing. Upon the commencement of reading this blog post, you will click on the Contact page, find my email address, and send me an email expressing your gratitude. Or, you’ll X out this screen, and send me an email with the subject line “Idiocy and Blogging: An Essay.”
This is for people at both ends of the dancing spectrum: the napkin folder sitting at the table mentally judging the wedding favors and the exuberant pelvic thruster who kicks her shoes off at the first note of “Dancing Queen.”
The first. I was recently at a local school fundraiser. It was held at a hall with dinner, dancing, and a live band – it was a great time. People were a little shy about getting out onto the dance floor. For the first forty-five minutes or so, it was virtually empty – except for one woman. She moved in circles up and down the dance floor. She bobbed her head. She thrusted her pelvis. She sang – loudly. She did that sexy undulating hip movement all the way down to the floor – and then fell over. She pulled a chair out onto the dance floor and made suggestive movements. She pulled a random guy out onto the dance floor and made suggestive movements. Obviously, this has turned into an after-school special on why the excessive consumption of alcohol ruins lives and causes eyeballs to spontaneously combust.
Turns out, this woman is a sixth grade English teacher. The principal was there. Her coworkers were there. Parents of her students were there. I have no idea what the Monday after was like for her, but I imagine curious looks were involved.
Second story: You’ve lived it, probably. You’re at a wedding. People are awkwardly bopping to an 80s song. You know you should celebrate with the happy couple and dance a little, but you’re feeling self conscious and can only manage a toe tap and a chair groove at the moment. Maybe you’ll get up there at the next song. Or the next song. Or the next song. But then you kind of resign yourself to the fact that it’s just not happening and you silently beg the caterers to bring out the friggin wedding cake already.
Gentle reader, it doesn’t have to be this way. To the exuberant, embarrassing over-dancer, feel free to do whatever you please. Everyone loves a fun wedding guest, and I personally raise my sparkling punch glass to you. But, if you find yourself in a delicate social situation (say, your boss or local clergy have arrived), you may want to read the following. It’s dance-lite for the timid. It’s basically… Getting By on the Dance Floor with the Least Possible Effort.
Start by counting. Note: I tried discussing this with my musician husband, and he was like… Oh, count like this. 1, 2, 3, 4 – 2, 2, 3, 4 – 3, 2, 3, 4. And I was like… WAT. No. Can’t we just count to 8? And he’s like, why 8? And I was like, the measures. And he was like, you don’t actually know what you’re talking about, do you? And I was like, right, buuuut…
Whatever… time signature, measures, blah blah. :)
When you listen to a song, mentally count to eight. There are generally four beats in a measure, so this would be two measures. Here, a Justin Bieber song:
I was like ba-by, ba-by, ohhhhh.
……………1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Like ba-by, ba-by, ba-by, noooooo.
……..1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
And some Proud Mary for you:
Left a good job in the city
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
working for the man every night and day
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Slide your feet from side to side in time with the beat.
1 (step left) 2 (bring right foot to left) 3 (step right) 4 (bring left foot to right). Repeat through 8. Start over again at 1.
Look at you! You’re dancing. Keep it at that level (i.e., no squats or thrusts) and call it good. It’s almost fool-proof. And you can’t really go wrong with your upper torso, unless you’re being obnoxious on purpose, but if you’re feeling extremely self conscious, bring your drink on to the dance floor with you, so you only have to figure out what to do with one arm.
Oh, and smile a lot. It’s fun, right? :D
Dang. DANG. I just found myself in the middle of that awkward group-circle where people take turns dancing in the middle.
Ugh. I hate that. Try to stay two-people-deep on the perimeter of that circle to avoid getting sucked in. That thing is like a black hole. But, if you end up in the circle, do something quick and fun – utilize the sprinkler, the shopping cart, or my personal favorite, the shovel – then get the heck out of there. Three seconds, then go. It’s always strange when people dance in the middle for a full two minutes. The group of on-lookers never knows what to do.
My feet hurt. Can I take my shoes off?
I hate to dance, but I don’t want people at my office to think I’m a shmoe or a stick-in-the-mud.
Talk to people a lot, and then get on the dance floor for the big group dances. Everyone will be out on the dance floor, and if you’re not with them, you’ll stick out like a non-dancing sore thumb at Table #7. Head out for the cha-cha slide, the electric slide, the YMCA, but not the macarena. Are you kidding me? Were you considering it? NEVER the macarena. And head out to the dance floor for the slow songs. Slow dances are virtually impervious to destruction and embarrassment.
I like doing that thing where I put my left hand behind my head, and I grab my ankle with my right hand and jerk back and forth ridiculously. Can I do that?
I mean, I guess. If you’re a frat boy. And it’s a frat party. And you have no shame. No, it’s cool. I mean, it’s not COOL, buuut.. it’s cool. If you like it.
I love this. I’m a new person, and I want to dance unabashedly and unashamedly.
Yeahhhh! Ooo-ooh, ooo-oot! Just kidding. It’s not the early nineties, and that was a little strange then, anyway.