Y Me?: Say 'I do' to the question of dancing

Posted 9:18pm on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

A few days ago, I went to a wedding reception and was confronted with an issue that I think a lot of guys have: I have no idea how to dance.

In fact, the prospect of dancing had loomed large ever since the girl I've been seeing asked me to go with her to the wedding. I knew it was coming, and I didn't do anything about it (like intentionally break my legs). I thought maybe she'd be so enthralled by my witty repartee, she'd forget about dancing altogether.

No such luck.

For the first time in the history of Catholic weddings, the hourlong ceremony blew by. As we made our way to the reception, I made an offhand remark to my date about being a terrible dancer. To my horror, her reply was, "I can't wait to see that."

We got to the reception and took our assigned seats. I was first struck by the amount of very attractive unescorted women in attendance. Then I remembered they'd be watching me dance, and I became scared.

We ate and watched the happy couple have their first dance. I stalled a little by lingering in the men's room, but as soon as I got back to the table she grabbed my hand (without a word) and led to me to the dance floor.

The floor was relatively empty and I was sober as a church mouse. In other words, conditions were not ideal for dancing. To make matters worse, the song that was playing was up-tempo. I can handle slow dancing, but I was way out of my depth.

Why is it that most women can dance? Even the relatively bad dancers don't embarrass themselves. I digress...My date was a really good dancer, which was intimidating.

I deployed my first dance aversion tactic, which was bobbing in place and intermittently saying funny things, so I'd have to lean in to yell over the music, and stop dancing in the process. My date was having none of it. She was way too into whatever lame girl-pop song was playing to pause long enough to allow me to yell into her ear.

My next tactic was "the funny dance." I started swinging my arms wildly and making exaggerated facial expressions. She didn't respond to that at all, unless you count continuing to dance really well as a response.

Eventually, I decided to just suck it up and try my best. I saw another guy out on the floor who wasn't embarrassing himself, so I tried to mimic his style. He just held his balled fists into his chest and kind of swayed. I added my own touches, just so he wouldn't think I was copying him.

We danced the night away. There were only a few songs we missed. After the reception was over, my date thanked me for dancing with her all night, and told me it was her favorite thing to do. She added that a lot of guys are afraid to dance, and she admired the fact that I didn't hesitate to join her out on the floor.

I guess that's the lesson in this whole ordeal: It doesn't matter whether you dance well, as long as you're willing to make an ass of yourself to make a woman happy. All they want is a partner who will do things they want to do, even if the thought of doing it makes you want to hide behind the wedding cake.

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