The Casting Dock

I may be lacking talent, but desire’s gotta count for somethin’…

An unlikely, and very out of character, confession: I wish I was good at dancing.

I am quite surprised that sentence came tumbling out of my mouth and through my fingertips onto this screen. If you know me at all, you know that dancing is NOT my thing. Never has been, nor have I ever really wanted it to be. I am much more into the sports scene, and really always have been.  Not to say that sports and dancing are necessarily mutually exclusive, but they certainly were for me. To be quite candid, I watched other people “free styling” at dances and whatnot and I just thought it looked silly.  But it seemed from their body language and whatnot, that they thought they were just nailing it, big time.  We’re talking major stud factor painted on their faces.  It was a confusing incongruence for me; I couldn’t reconcile how our preceptions were so vastly different. Nevertheless, sometimes I would get dragged along by incessant peer pressure to join in the “fun.” I felt like an idiot out there. Total idiot. I had no idea what I was doing and contrary to my studly dancing buddies, I knew full well that I looked like an idiot too.

Fast forward a few years. By this time, some of my really good friends are actually quite talented dancers, a novel concept to me. I start going to weddings. I start dancing a little more here and there (mostly at the open bar weddings, if we’re being honest). I still look like a complete idiot, but I actually start having a little of this “fun” that I had heard about years before. And with age and more perspective, I don’t care as much that I look like an idiot. So, I’ve got a little taste of the fun factor, but what I am lacking is the talent component.  I have no rhythm. I am pretty musically disinclined across the board, actually. I have no ear for music or natural knack with instruments. They call my kind “tone deaf.” It’s sad. Jerry, on the other hand, actually has a natural rhythm and a great sense of musicality.  He could pick up dancing quite easily, I think, but he is wholly opposed.  He hates it, mostly because he lets his inhibitions get the best of him (been there). Plus, he doesn’t take advantage of the open bar situation…

Anyway, now I actually have the desire to be a competent dancer.  I am working on Jerry to take some lessons so he’ll feel a little more comfortable out there. I actually think he would like it with a little confidence under his belt, because, like I said, he actually is quite musical and he has rhythm. I feel like dancing has really sprung up in the last 5-10 years as a cool activity, whereas when I was growing up, I felt like it had more of a nerdy connotation, particularly for guys.  But maybe that’s just my perception because I was hanging out with the sporty folk. Now, there are all kinds of sweet dancing shows and people like Derek Hough who have made it sexy…

The first 30 seconds or so of this video is Joss Stone singing, but then it shows the dancers…so impressive…


1 bryan { 12.01.10 at 11:31 pm }

I can’t believe nobody has commented on this yet.

I am somewhat surprised to hear of this secret desire of yours. I don’t dance — let’s exclude the time that you “caught” me — for one reason. I stink at it. For many reasons, reasons that have been proved by science, dancing is not something a man should do if he is bad at it. And I am very bad at it.

Like anything else, I could certainly improve with time and effort… but that brings up the second problem. Dancing is just embarrassing. It’s an embarrassment all around. I feel about as embarrassed watching others “dance” as I do for myself when forced on the dance floor. I think you nailed the reason why… People in the grove have a look of satisfaction on their faces, that they are in fact nailing it, that they look great. This is really the difficult part. Watching someone make a fool of themselves is tough. Watching someone make a fool of themselves while believing that they are making a hero of themselves is simply too much to endure if you care at all about humanity.

Have you ever been (stone sober) in a dance club on a second story ledge and looked down on the (sloppy drunk)dancing masses? I have and I feel embarrassed for them. Even the best dancers in the “club” look bad. They almost don’t even look like people, they look they might not have the function of speech and grunt and gyrate only. The mass of the clubbers take on the look of some lower form of life involved in a mass mating ritual. I would rather watch a man get turned down making a marriage proposal at a baseball stadium in front of 50,000 onlookers than watch my loved ones “bumping and grinding”. Gosh… it’s so … just please… no.

I’ll admit that some dancing, the sort that requires lessons, can elude my broader allegation and take on a measure of elegance. Maybe that’s the sort of dancing that intrigues you. But, seriously, who wants to take up ballroom dancing or the tango? Who under 40 anyway?

Finally, I end with this quoted exchange on the subject from a notable Seinfeld:

“I can’t believe we’re going dancing.”
“You don’t go that often?”
“No, because it’s so stupid.”
– Jerry and Keri, in “The Reverse Peephole”

Kudos to Jerry (Logan not Seinfeld) for maintaining his dignity when his company falls under the spell of libations.

Sorry to rain on your dance party. Maybe some danceminded revelers will comment to dispute my analysis.

BTW, I want to talk to you about what you want for christmas. I really want to get you something you will like. So call me. 512-777-7777.[img][/img]

2 Rhonda { 12.04.10 at 9:46 am }

Moving to music (AKA…dancing) is intrinsic to human beings. If you ever watched babies or little kids, you see them busting out moves when music plays. Too young to be inhibited, they let loose and have fun. Fun…the reason behind dancing. Who cares what you look like. There are very few people who look as amazing as the people from Dancing With the Stars so why compare your ability to such a high standard. Why do we always concern ourselves with how we look and what people will think when we do things. Good hard fun where you laugh and enjoy people’s company and the feel of swaying to the various beats is a part of life you should not be deprived from. No grades, no fines, no critiques, no right or wrong techniques to worry about…just simple pleasure. I seem to remember a tango performed in the aisle of Chili’s…ring any bells Lisa?? So…grab Jerry and go bust a move!

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