I am not a dancer.
I was in tap and ballet when I was younger, but I was always placed in the back. I could handle the positions, but plies put me over the edge. My parents build an at-home tap square out of tile to help me improve. They quickly realized that was a mistake, because the only thing I learned was how to make my tapping louder.
I’ve always admired people that can actually bust a move without nearly breaking something. This past summer, I coached 5-9 year old girls in Cheerleading. I had to pretend I could actually A.) Choreograph something longer than two seconds and B.) Actually accomplish a toe touch without ending in the emergency room. I think the fact that I like smiling is the only thing that saved me from being discovered as a complete sham.
However, my short stint as a cheerleading coach did show me something: Grandmas may be able to perform the splits better than me, but, when it comes to dancing, I am able to judge what’s right from wrong.
Unfortunately, in my daily life, I see far more wrong than right.
Whenever I go out, I am reminded of the fact that A.) Most people who dance in public think that they break it down better than Beyonce and B.) Will do absolutely whatever it takes to create their own concert.
Last night, I witness a dance disaster. Take note: This occurred at a casual bar. There is not a single space devoted to a dance floor.
The girl didn’t look the part. She had a ponytail, a brown turtle neck sweater and matching belt and was probably in her late 30s. However, her age certainly didn’t deter her from showing off her skills. She had clearly practiced the “Single Ladies [Put a Ring on It]” dance but had missed many, map steps along the way. She would swivel her hips quickly (not quite as quickly as the hipster on Halloween), then stop for a few seconds, then swivel even faster. In the meantime, she did the robot. The best part? She had a smug smile on the entire time, and gave “cheer faces” that were even more exaggerated than these.
Finally, some of my friends decided to show her up. She backed it down a bit, but she was too confident in her skills to not perform an encore. I’m certain she went home thinking that it was time to audition for “So You Think You Can Dance?” while myself and others realized that we had just experienced a real, live dancing disaster.
Have you ever witnessed a public performance that should have been kept private?