Dance lessons for shy men - by Grrrbear

Over the weekend the GF and I attended the wedding of my stepbrother and his lovely fiance (now wife, obviously). It was a *fab* wedding. Really beautiful space, short and sweet ceremony, really fun and interesting people in attendance, and dancing.

The last one in particular was of note for two reasons. First, the GF *lurves* dancing. So much so that she will travel with me hundreds of miles and put up with being delayed in the airport twice* in order to participate. And for some reason she likes dancing with me too. I've never really understood this strange obsession with dancing with me...until this weekend.

You see, apparently I don't suck at dancing. Now I've always done well for myself in my various dance classes, but those were mostly ballroom and swing classes I took way back in undergrad. But at this wedding I had numerous dudes come up to me asking whether I was a) some sort of professional dancer or b) a regular in the club scene. Obviously, I am neither. But apparently I look like both so in the interest of sharing with the world I will now present:

  1. Move your feet - This sounds simple enough, but appearing like you can dance is actually somewhat related to learning how to be a decent drummer - you have to learn how to operate all your apppendages at the same time. No matter how good your moves are, the ladies will notice if your feet are bolted to the ground like the mighty oak. And while women like oak** as a building material, they generally avoid it as a dance partner so pick up one foot and then put it down somewhere else. And then repeat with the other foot. Bonus points for doing it in time with the music, but one step at a time friend...
  2. Move your hips - The second most important part of dancing, but one that many dudes are leery about for little else than the irrational "I don't want to look like I'm gay" fear But here's the thing - the ladies on the dance floor know exactly what gay looks like and you, dude, are not it. They have been to the Manhole on multiple occasions with their girlfriends because it's where they can dance without getting hit on. Of course, that it also the reason the gays don't go there anymore either but that's a whole other post. The important thing is that if you don't move your hips when you dance, then your ass doesn't move while you dance. And your ass moving is what they want to see, remember? Nothing draws women in like a moth to a flame like man who knows how to move his ass. It doesn't have to fly all over the place like you're hip-checking an opposing defenseman into the boards, but just enough to be noticed.
  3. Never repeat the same move more than 4 times in a row - This is a more subtle point. Many dudes at a dance have one move which they repeat over and over again. Think the meathead with the pooka shell necklace who you saw doing "The Spinkler" over a nd over again at the last wedding you went to - remember how all the ladies at your table were laughing about him to themselves? It's because they know that if a dude is that uncreative on the dance floor, he's likely to be that uncreative in get the picture. Giving yourself a 4X limit on a particular step not only forces you to mix things up, but it also give you enough time to invent some new stuff. Go ahead and try something, even if it's just spinning around once or twice a la Michael Jackson*** - it will be duly noted and appreciated by the ladies.
  4. Finally, you have to keep in mind the shoulder rule. It's not really a "rule" though, more of a guideline. Remember the unwritten rule about how men don't raise their arms above their shoulders while they are dancing? Ever wondered why that doesn't apply to women? The answer is simple - women can dance all night with their arms above their heads because it draws attention to their boobs which is the reason they do it. But men don't have boobs, so us raising our arms above the shoulder line doesn't accomplish as much as it does for the ladies****. But it *can* be a useful weapon of surprise! Just when you get a lady's attention with your foot-movin', butt-shakin' repertoire of more than four moves, throwing in a move or two with your arms raised high accomplishes two things: it makes you appear confident***** and it lets you take advantage of their being distracted by the sudden movement to take advantage of that low-cut top they are wearing to (subtly) check out their decollatage.
Of course, you might get caught in the fourth point. But it's not a big issue because they already know you're going to look anyway - heck it's why they wore the top in the first place. As long as you can dance (or appear to), they'll probably let it slide. So get out there any enjoy yourselves! As Mr Rourke said on Fantasy Island - "Smiles everybody, smiles!"

*True story - on both the flight out (mechanical issues) and the return trip last night (apparently, there were clouds...IN THE AIR!). This was naturally on the day after my trip to Detroit where the flight back was also 3-4 hours late. I'm cursed.
** Particularly furniture, I hear
*** Sans crotch-grabbing - that'll just turn you into a bad impressionist wannabe
**** Unless you're a gay man, in which case you can dance as long as you want with your arms over your head because for gay men - there are no rules when it comes to dancing.
***** "Wow, he just raised his arms, he is either incredibly confident or a professional dancer!" - either way you win.


Eve said…
Oh god, Adam is the WORST dancer. He has this shoulder twitching thing that's just really, REALLY bad!!
KC said…
I was once asked to dance by an older gentleman who looked as if he could use a good grooming class. I didn't know how to say "no" so I danced with him and boy am I glad I did! He was the smoothest, most superb dancer in the room. When we finished dancing, all the women in the room gathered around him asking to be next. It was fun!