By midlife we non-dancing men have anguished away many hours in attempts to pleasingly rotate, bob, lurch, and squirm--all to the moderate disgust of our partners.
Finding yourself suddenly on the dance floor, you must sort through the motions which can be employed with as little humiliation as possible.
A benign writhing may initially suffice. But after observing those carefree people around you, the compulsion to be more daring emerges and soon enough, you are tentatively gyrating. Your partner, meanwhile, is very much doing her own thing. Her eyes are closed. But eventually she will look at you.
This brings up the “dancing smile,” attempts at which inevitably result in a panicky grin. It induces discomfort in the partner.
The dance ends with a “Thank God” under your breath--but no! Another has begun, even faster. You determine to get it right this time. Imagine you’re made of rubber. Wiggle those hips! Roll those shoulders! Can pectoral muscles be rotated? Try it!
Your partner is now looking at you and is not smiling. Standing corrected, you study the floor and indulge in some innocuous hip wobbling.
For the victim who may be invited to dance at least once more during his life, the following lessons should bestow confidence. They are easy as pie.
The Frankenstein Shuffle
Stand erect with hands at sides, forming fists. Stare blankly ahead, “through” your partner. Our objective here is utter inconspicuousness. Slowly rock the arms while sliding one foot forward. Slide back to center. Repeat with opposite foot.
Modified for slow dancing, one palm is placed against the partner’s shoulder blade, the other supporting her own hand or (if deemed brazen), her elbow. The danger of crushing toes is eliminated since your shoes never leave terra firma.
The Bad Boy Grind
Lean forward, rotating both fists as if stirring cake batter. Pucker the lips into an “oo” while squinting one eye. Relax the eye and squint the opposite. A disco flair may be added with a flapping of the elbows, but not so much that you suggest “The Baby Duck Strut” which is beyond the scope of these instructions. Yet another “bad” effect can be gotten by biting the lower lip. You may even alternate lip biting with squinting and puckered lips. Practice is advised or you may find yourself simultaneously forming the “oo” lips, biting the lower lip, and squinting. This will create the unpleasant “buck-tooth” face and will nullify the intended effect.
The Zulu Warrior Hop ‘n Twist
Execute a slight hop on the strong beats of the music. Gradually increase height to approximately one foot. Keep hands at sides as this is helpful in gaining altitude.
While airborne execute half-twists, snapping back to front. Work your way up to full 360 degree spins, landing in your original place--or not, as physics may dictate.
Increase velocity until you become a whirling blur. You will never be asked to dance again. And isn’t this our objective?