How To: Pretend You Can Dance

Dancing For Dummies

You go to your corporate party, and the DJ breaks into the latest dance tunes. Your date is pulling you onto the dance floor, but you’re still traumatized from the incident at your prom, after the spotlight was on you because you had just won “The Biggest Spaz on the Dance Floor” Award.

Well, not this time. You refuse to be mocked for your dancing again, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be the bore of the party and be reduced to talking to the hors d’oeuvres waiters all night long, while your colleague moves in on your hot date.

You don’t have to be the life of the party, but you at least want to join in on the festivities. So learn how to at least pretend that you can dance, and look normal on the dance floor — without having to depend on alcohol to let loose.

Faking It

Move with the music
Let the music be your guide, and just move your body along with the rhythm and beats. You don’t have to do impressive steps — just let the music take you away.

Snap your fingers or clap your hands
If you’re really at a loss on how to move, then just look like you’re having fun by snapping your fingers while swaying your body from side to side. Just don’t clap too much — you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself.

Go to the YMCA
In order to start small on the dance floor, join in during a dance that has traditional steps and gestures, such as “YMCA” by the Village People, “Staying Alive”, by the Bee Gees, “The Time Warp”, or a line dance such as Kool & the Gang’s “Celebrate” or even “Macarena” (that is, if that song is still played). This way, not only will you know the moves required, but these are also songs that allow you to go crazy and look foolish — that’s part of the fun.

Grab a partner
If you’re at a party with someone you feel close to or comfortable with, then let them guide you on the dance floor, by imitating their steps to a degree. It’ll also be easier for you to let loose and get accustomed to the moves if you hold your partner’s hands while dancing.

You don’t need to be doing fancy dances like salsa or swing, just take your partner’s hands and move with her. Remember, there’s a reason why it takes two to tango.

Talk to your partner
You don’t need to actually hold your partner’s hands, but talking to her while you’re moving your body will at least distract you from the task at hand, so you’ll be able to move minimally while randomly talking to your partner.

Obviously, this is not the time for deep conversation, just random chitchat.

Sing along
By the same token, if the music is too loud or you find it difficult to actually talk to your partner while dancing, at least sing along to the music, which will help you move to the rhythm, and distract you from trying to dance perfectly.

Do less than more
If you feel very awkward or uncomfortable on the dance floor, try to do less rather than trying to show off. Just avoid drawing attention to yourself, and stick to basic moves such as swaying, moving from side to side, and moving your body more than your feet.

Avoid these things at all costs, unless you want to be the joke of the party.

Losing It

Flailing your arms
Again, if you don’t feel comfortable on the dance floor, then don’t make motions that practically beg the crowd to look in your direction — unless you have moves that would make Michael Jackson turn white (okay, wrong choice of words).

Jumping up and down
This is something you would do if you were at a frat party or rock concert; leave it for those occasions.

Staring down at the floor
Avoid keeping your eyes glued to the floor, or you’ll look too intense and as if you’re concentrating too much on your moves. Instead, try to focus on the band, DJ, or the people around you — but don’t stare at the woman in the skimpy dress or your boss’ wife for too long, for obvious reasons.

Getting drunk
It’s perfectly okay to drink a little bit to loosen up on the dance floor, in fact, it’s recommended if you feel that alcohol will help you open up, but you may want to refrain from getting on the dance floor if you feel the urge to get up on the speaker, do the funky chicken while doing the limbo, or worse yet — dance like Seinfeld ‘s Elaine Benes.

Screaming “Woooo!” while moving
This is probably what will happen if you dance when you’re extremely drunk. Don’t draw attention to yourself, unless of course, you want to.

Dancing with clenched fists
If your body’s stiff and your fists are in the punching position while you dance, you’ll look stressed and extremely tense, which will make you look insecure.

Remember, the whole point of dancing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Nobody expects you to break into the moonwalk, start leading the conga line, or pull a Fred Astaire. Don’t think about it too much, and just let your body move to the rhythm.

After a while, you’ll be more accustomed to letting yourself open up, and you’ll see that you can move your body in more ways than you thought possible. And if this isn’t reason enough to at least try to dance, it is believed that a person’s dance moves are similar to his bedroom moves. So if this means anything, then practice your moves wherever you like


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