I don’t dance. There was a time in my life, many years ago, that I did. I danced with my wife at a formal dinner we went to shortly after we started dating and then I pretty much hung up the old dancing shoes. That would have been in 1995. If you had ever stood at a prom in a white tuxedo, white socks, and white shoes with a big red spot on the inside of your right ankle where your best buddy had kicked you with one of his white shoes while doing that Russian dance where you sort of sit on an invisible chair and kick your legs out alternately, then you would probably dance as little as possible too! (Yes, I’m aware of what a run-on sentence is.)
I had a conversation with a friend recently in which we discussed dancing. One of my issues with dancing is I never know what to do with my hands. I feel like my hands should be having fun and celebrating with the rest of my body but when I let them join in it makes me feel…well…less masculine than I care to feel. I told my friend that dancing for me now consists mostly of throwing someone the wave and leaving them with it. Always leave the crowd wanting more I always say.
Since we are talking about dancing, am I the only person in the world who is 40 or older who doesn’t know how to do the electric slide? Is it some rite of passage that I have missed out on? I ask this because every time I see a large group of people dancing and the electric slide breaks out, as it inevitably will, I’m certain that at least 80% of them are over 40 and a good percentage of them are probably several years older than that. Oh, and I am never one of them. Not knowing how to do the electric slide is only one reason why I don’t do it, but that’s another topic altogether.
Speaking of people “older than that” dancing, what is about age that makes a man so uninhibited about showing off his moves, or lack thereof, on the dance floor with his wife/lady-friend? I had occasion a few weeks ago to go and watch a band in which a friend of mine plays drums. At this restaurant that night, sitting right next to the dance floor, was a couple who appeared to be no less than 60 years old. When the band played Play That Funky Music, they danced. When the band played Red House, they danced. When the band played Gravity by John Mayer, they danced. They might have sat out one song but I honestly don’t remember it.
There are only a few moves that most dancing white people have, especially the men. You can probably count them on one hand and most of them involve clapping awkwardly(as I said before, none of us ever know what to do with our hands). This older gentleman had the same move for every song. We’ll call it the “geriatric hammer-fist.” His left foot would generally be his pivot foot and he would do a little semi-circle back and forth with his right foot. While doing this, he would move his right arm, elbow at his side bent at a 90-degree angle, up and down as if he were some sort of retired Little Bunny Foo Foo bopping field mice on the head. He did all this while looking around the room at anyone who cared to make eye contact with him. I’m not sure if he was doing this menacingly as a sort of threat to those who would scoff at him or if he was looking for pity. I made sure to avert his gaze every time he turned in my direction. I’m not sure why. It just made me feel kind of funny.
I’d like to say he had a bit of rhythm but I’d be lying. His move had little, if anything, to do with the music. If I had to hazard a guess, it had everything to do with the fact that he was with a woman who wanted to dance and no matter how silly he might have felt or looked, he didn’t care as long as it kept him in her good graces. Not unlike a husband holding a wife’s purse while she is in the dressing room at New York and Company trying on 371 separate articles of clothing. This I’ve done many times. At least I know what to do with my hands in that situation, though.