I dance. Yes, I do, and I don’t say it like this is a support group. I enjoy it, I am good at it and women enjoy dancing with me. I think we should talk about your lack of dancing, specifically with your wife. Sure she says she doesn’t mind when you two are at a wedding and some swanky Sinatra is spun as she is sitting next to you, just looking out at the dance floor.I would bet she is fibbing a little but it doesn’t matter. She does want you to surprise her. She wants to go out there and hold on to you even if you two are just swaying close to the rhythm.
What the hell is manly and can dancing be it? Older guys will tell me that John Wayne never danced, I call horseshit on that one. While there are certainly some men that I would consider delicate that dance and that seems to be the standard image of men who dance, I am far from that. I am about as husky as they get and yet, I am still light on my feet. When I go out to a dance, I have other buddies that go to the bar and watch a game. I spend my Friday meeting active, attractive, charming girls, flirting and dancing close with them, getting sweaty with them… my friends are at a bar with other guys, watching even more men get sweaty on a giant TV (we won’t talk about the ones that play WoW which is a great debt reduction plan BTW). Tell me who is more of the man: the one charming women, or the one geeking out about sports stats with other guys. Personally, I like impressing women, it’s more of a challenge and better rewards. To put some more color on this, I started swing dancing while I was bouncing at a club. I was working the door, on their Wednesday nights. I still hold the record as the only bouncer at that club that never had a fight break out under his watch. I was the dancing bouncer.
I have a theory. With the advent of easy to use fire arms, the definition of what is masculine changed. A warrior before WW1 was expected at some point to face their opponent up close and possibly hand to hand if not with a knife or a bayonet. This meant men had to be able to move. Agility, stamina, strength and the ability to move someone else around you and manipulate them into a position you wanted to incapacitate them was key. My Ju-Jutsu classmates and I once attended a wedding. While the bride and groom (fellow student) danced, the people at my table started to point out that he was at some points in perfect positions to execute certain throws. My dancing improved when I started taking martial arts, my martial arts improved when I started dancing more. How does one back in the day practice fighting or showcase that they are a fighter to others without actually killing someone? You dance. Don’t believe me? Reference Capoeira.
Dancing has been part of our rituals for mating and war since both were invented. I grew up with men dancing. My uncle (think Clark Gable’s son raised by Enrest Hemingway) used to teach ballroom dancing as a hobby, and was an MP in the Army as well. My father and mother used to win dance competitions in church basements all around the south side of Chicago. Heck, my mom could tell what church or school a person came from based on how they danced. Dancing is the vertical representation of the horizontal recreation. What easier way to show you can toss her around in the bedroom than by tossing her around on the dance floor with some grace and style?
So why should you dance with your wife? Take it from a single guy who has had to dance with his friends’ wives because they were too much of a wimp to do it them selves. As much as I wouldn’t mind it, myself and other dancing guys can’t subsidize the kinetic shortcomings of all the non-dancing husbands. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t want to dance. They might not want to dance right now, they might not want to dance like that but trust me, every woman I know enjoys dancing. So instead of dancing with me, listening to your wife lament that she doesn’t get to dance enough. Save yourself buying me a drink and take her out for a spin. As the old saying goes, it doesn’t matter if you are good, what matters is that you danced.
Music is so key to our lives. Music is universal to this world and if you believe Speilberg, it will likely be the way we communicate to aliens. There are two ways to participate in music. You can either make it, or dance to it. I am guessing most of you aren’t producers and if you can play more than Stairway to Heaven on your guitar, then congrats, you can keep on not dancing and just play guitar and sing to your lady. The rest of us schmucks will have to be footloose.
About the Author: Tom is a director of IT for a financial start-up. He spends his days designing infrastructure and supporting high net worth advisers and their clients. Traveling much for work affords him a great perspective on life and what is important. The high travel has ensured that he goes on a lot of first and second dates. Mel Brooks honed his humor. Johnny Carson, Cee-lo, and Groucho Marx are some of his inspirations.