How to Dance


Lean in, my friends; I am about to divulge a great secret.

Great secrets, as you (and Wes Anderson) know, cannot exist without context.  Here’s context:

No one in my immediate family can dance.  We just can’t.  My sister and I took tap dance lessons for a few months when we were little, but quit after I declared that if I had to go heel-toe to “The Monster Mash” one more time, I would lose it.  That is, I said something of the sort in nine-year-old language.

(Here it might be tangentially noted that no one in my immediate family can sing, either.  “Happy Birthday” at my house makes the dogs whine.)

On Saturday night, knowing my family history, and knowing even better my sorry coordination, I was dreading what was to be a night of dancing on H Street.

But to my surprise and delight, it was there, on the crowded dance floor at Little Miss Whiskey’s, that I discovered the secret to being a successful — or at least socially acceptable — dancer:

Imitate the people around you.

If their arms are up, your arms are up.  If their hips move, your hips move.  There is a delicacy to this aping, of course.  Any move that can be described with the words “drop it” should not be copied.  The other key is that you must not get caught.  I find it helps to start dancing five seconds after your friends start dancing.  Then you can imitate their moves from five seconds ago, lessening the chance that they’ll discover what you’re doing.  Moonwalking over to the darkest corner of the room and remaining there — watching, imitating — is another effective evasive manuever.

So there it is.  The dread of Wedding Season Dancing has lessened before your very eyes, I hope. The world has cracked open a little more, I hope.  Surely climbing Everest and finally finishing that novel in your top left desk drawer are next.

Have a great week, everyone.


[Photo source: Still from Silver Linings Playbook]

One response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *