The Non-Dancer’s Lament
June 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
There are two types of people in this world: those that sing out loud at concerts, and those that scoff at those who sing out loud at concerts. I would call the former ‘exhibitionists,’ but maybe it’s because I fall in the latter. I always wondered if this was why dancing seemed pretty dumb to me, but now I think not. I had a dancing epiphany this weekend that I’d like to share.
I was out with my sister-in-law at a small Oklahoma bar. Everyone was two-stepping and I was undergoing some type of culture shock, because the place I grew up in harbored these weird cowboys that I had somehow managed to avoid. Did everyone else know of this? I did not.
My friends were trying to encourage me to two-step, and even though it appeared as though matching the steps to the beat of the song was negotiable, I didn’t opt to undergo this extreme form of torture.
However, after my brother’s band was finished, the bar put on dance music. Some sort of hip-hop in which I was to understand there were predetermined “steps.” My sis-in-law and friend knew these steps and were quite excited to demonstrate this knowledge with a swarm of other females.
Luckily, I was tipsy. This is always a better situation to be in if one is being enticed to move one’s body absurdly to monotonous music one does not enjoy. The problem, which is a great dancing paradox of mine, is that by the time I can be induced to dance, I’m in no condition to “learn” even a few dance steps- might as well throw in some quantum physics while you’re at it. It’s a bad deal.
But I watched for a minute (and drained the contents of my adult beverage) and felt a little more confident. But I wasn’t drunk enough for “Ironic Dancing” which is really my forte (and happens to be a family trait.)
And as I stood in the line of females, my sister-in-law moving elegantly in a very sprite-like manner and my best friend bopping around like a carefree dancing queen, I felt like an impostor.
You see, my heart’s not in The Dance. Never has been. Maybe this is similar to how the Grinch’s heart reacts to Christmas, my heart shrinking with each repetitive movement. And it’s not like I couldn’t fake it, or put a little more enthusiasm in it. I could. I just don’t have a Dancer’s Heart. I truly want to stand by and make sarcastic asides and admire the technique and mock the sprite-like manner of the others. That’s where my heart is.
A week later, we went to a different country western bar (admittedly this is not my scene) to hear my brother’s band again. I truly enjoyed some spastic cowboy’s drunken two-stepping, and when the in-between part came again, I was amazed to see a semi-dorky wallflower in a red vest who I’d seen sitting to the side earlier (I think with her parents) tear out of her seat and burn up the dance floor. She set fire to it, in fact. (I almost called 911)
This Red Vest Girl seemed to embody everything that was opposite to myself in regards to The Dance. She was mesmerizing. My dad thought she was over-the-top and was truly afraid she was going to throw something out of joint, but I thought she’d plugged into some other dimension of existence. It was like she occupied some rip in the fabric of time and inhabited a space known solely as THE DANCE.
Which got me thinking, were all these people born this way? Is the Dancer’s Heart something that has to be coaxed and nurtured, or is it something that just IS? My 1 year-old does this kind of crazed River Dance thing whenever she hears music, and that was never fostered. It’s something that derived from pure instinct. My son, husband and I are not dancers. My 3 year-old will perform his dance entitled “Weenie” only if you promise to laugh. And that’s exactly where I derive pleasure. If I can get a laugh from the ridiculous movements of my person, then I will do that (and alcohol always helps.)
So, in conclusion, I will not apologize for my lack of a Dancer’s Heart. It’s not my fault! Maybe there will come a day when it will awaken or something. But until then, I will watch from the side, admiring the Red Vest Girls of this world and critiquing their form.