Awkward Rock Stars
Posted April 17, 2012on:
Have you ever noticed how the best dancers never ask each other to dance?
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. She happens to be, if not a genuine rock star, at least a highly-respected dancer. Very skilled, major dance nerd, always out, always working on her game. You know, that type.
We were commiserating with each other. Why is it that those of us who take our dancing seriously are always too scared to ask good dancers to dance?
There’ll be somebody visiting from out of town, and we’re just dying to snag a dance with him. But we tell ourselves these stories. ”Oh, he’s too busy. He doesn’t want to dance with lowly me, and besides, my dancing sucks.” Then we sit there and watch while the greenest newbie just moseys right up and grabs him. And then we’re all mad. “That was MY dance! I should be dancing right now! Dammit!!”
I think the main reason we don’t ask is that they don’t ask us first. We think, “If he really enjoyed dancing with me, he’d ask me.” Our pride gets involved. “He thinks he’s too cool to dance with me. Well, I’ll show him. I’m not gonna ask him unless he asks me first.” And then we sit there.
How crazy is that? When will someone make the first move and break this cycle of dysfunction??
So my friend has this theory. “Think about the character traits of a swing dancer,” she says.” The people most likely to get carried away with swing dancing are… kind of strange.”
It’s true. We’re all brainiacs, for one thing. Most of us seem to be medical practitioners, or teachers, or engineers. And face it, many of us are a bit socially awkward, apart from dancing. We’re outcasts in one way or another.
And after all, it is kind of a weird, nerdy hobby. As my friend says, “It’s something that people who are dead used to do.”
It doesn’t help that as we get better at dancing, the worse we think we dance. Our standards for ourselves get higher. Then we get more and more paranoid about inflicting ourselves on each other. We’re all so nerdy and insecure, it’s no wonder we don’t ask each other to dance. Half the time we can’t even carry on a normal conversation.
Well, those may be reasons, but they’re no excuse. Someone needs to break this crazy cycle. If there’s someone you want to dance with, just barge up and ask. Maybe they’ll say no. Maybe they really do hate your dancing. Whatever. We need to just suck it up and embrace the awkwardness or we’ll never get anywhere.
And as someone else said to me recently, “Awkward is the new, uh, you know… ‘not-awkward.’” Let’s make that our mantra.