It’s no secret that I am helplessly inclined to be awkward. If it is a secret, it doesn’t stay that way for long, as my persistent awkwardness insists on revealing itself almost immediately upon coming in contact with another human being. Its evolution is unpredictable and mercurial, especially when it comes to dancing.
Unfortunately, while I have done a lot on the dance floor (slipped, stood and lost a small fortune worth of cell phones and loose dollar bills), I can’t think of a time that when I’ve ever actually danced with serious intentions. I usually just “joke dance”, which involves me doing “the sprinkler” and other 80’s-era dance moves. Sadly, it’s really not a joke because I still put a lot of mental and physical effort into these moves.
It’s not that I haven’t tried to dance normally, because I have. It’s just that for some reason, when I dance I look like a delirious penguin on LSD. No matter how hard I fight it, my body moves at awkward intervals that are completely independent from the rhythm of the music. What’s worse is that my perception of how I look when I dance is vaguely disconnected with the painful reality of what my body is actually doing. In my mind, I’m seducing the crowd with a sexy hip swivel but in reality, I look like a rusty Tin Man trying to unsubtly dislodge a wedgie without his hands.
A couple of my close friends here at SCAD hail from Puerto Rico. Said friends are more evolved when it comes to the art of dance and when they dance, they do it for reals and they look good. So, I was understandably apprehensive a couple of weeks ago when they suggested that we go to a local club to dance. I didn’t want to them to be embarrassed by me, but I knew my dancing limits so I figured I would just default to my joke dancing. However, after walking in and witnessing the seriousness with which the beautiful and scantily clad people there were getting their groove on, I soon realized this method wasn’t going to fly.
If ever there was a time to abuse alcohol, this was it. I went with my gut and started investing in several cups of rum, hoping that the calming effects of these spirits would simultaneously reduce my anxieties and help me find some sort of rhythm. Unfortunately, after five minutes of awkwardly swaying back and forth and running my massive hands through my tangled hair in what I imagine was not a sexy manner, I had effectively scared off everyone within a three-foot radius of me. At that point, I unintentionally became living proof that alcohol has no apparent positive effect on ones ability to look cool while dancing in a club with other people who are actually good dancers. I tried to do a real dance and I failed. I never felt nerdier, for lack of a better word. In my rum-fueled haze, I vowed that I would never try to dance seriously again and if the people around me didn’t like it then they were just going to have to deal with it. I marched right back onto the dance floor and did what I’ve always done on such a floor: I lost five dollars.