Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Social Phenomena: Dance Parties

Most people are horrible dancers. Once the music starts, a bunch of horrible horrible dancers go up to the dance floor and make fools of themselves. Almost all of them look like complete idiots and have no idea what they're doing.

It was when I realized this that I started enjoying dancing.

The first dance I ever went to was Homecoming when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. After that, I only went to dances that I was forced to go to (prom junior and senior year). It was a horrible experience. I was afraid to dance, so I just walked around, looking for people I knew who weren't dancing and talked to them. I may have tried dancing once during the night, but it only amounted to bobbing my head since I thought I would look dumb if I actually tried to dance. From then on, I hated dancing.

Junior year I went to prom with Bethany and Justin. Bethany was so proud to have two dates and Justin and I awkwardly shared her as our date. We had trouble deciding who was opening the door for her and stuff like that. I didn't want to go to prom because of my traumatic experience at the last dance I went to. But Bethany convinced me to go because she was moving to Texas that summer and wouldn't be able to go senior year. Well we went and had fun. I only danced when people dragged me out to the dance floor and bugged me to dance and I did one or two slow dances with Bethany, I think. I figured slow dances would be pretty easy and it would be almost impossible to look like a fool. The slow dances were good, but I didn't enjoy the rest of the dancing, but the whole night was a lot of fun anyways. We went to Barnes and Noble all dressed up, went to Outback for dinner, then went bowling after the dance. Still hated dancing, though.

Well, Bethany tricked me. She ended up coming back up to Alaska for prom senior year, even though she had moved to Texas. But this year the table turned. This time there were 3 guys and 6 girls. Justin, Andy, and I felt pretty cool to have 2 dates each. This one was pretty fun too. Glacier Brewhouse for dinner, the dance, then we hung out watching movies afterward. I danced with almost all the girls we went with that year and did a very small amount of dancing, if you can call what I did, dancing. But I started realizing something that night, everyone around me looked really stupid. Nobody I was with actually knew how to dance. In our little circle of eight, we were all dancing (some with more passion than others), and we all looked kind of dumb. I finally realized that dancing would actually be fun if I could get over myself. I didn't get over myself yet.

I ran away to Colorado and avoided social events with dancing for the first year. The second year I actually danced some. I was finally getting over myself. I probably went to two dances that year. The first time it was line dancing, so that was right up my alley (plus I got to hold a pretty girl's hands). Tell me what to do and I can do it. But the second time was the kind of dance where you have to make up stuff. With my new realization that everybody at a dance looks stupid, I started dancing, all the while looking stupid. Still feeling a bit awkward about it, I took lots of water breaks and made sure I spent some time not dancing.

Well through the next years I found myself at one or two dances every year. I started dancing more and more at them. I got to the point where I would pretty much dance to every song I could, assuming it was a good song to dance to. I started noticing the different dancing styles for different kinds of music, rock, hip-hop, swing, etc. I was finally enjoying dancing, all because I realized that we're all up there making fools of ourselves.

Most of us all-out have no idea how to dance. But even people who do organized dance find themselves feeling like they have no idea what they are doing at a dance party. Even people who run dance clubs in Poland feel clueless on the dance floor.

No matter how clueless you may be or how foolish you may look, dancing is still fun because it takes your focus off yourself and lets your body do what it was made to do-Dance to the Music. So, if you don't dance because you're afraid of looking like a fool, just remember that everyone else looks like a fool, and start dancing...especially if you're older than 40. All the young people will be overjoyed that you joined them.


  1. Haha, its so true! I feel like a total idiot on the dance floor! Thanks for the shout out Jon!

  2. Cute story - thank you for sharing what the rest of us are usually feeling.