Category Archives: Dance Improvisation

Dancing with Myself: Nothing to Prove and Nothing to Lose

Dancing with Myself: Nothing to Prove and Nothing to Lose
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Enter at your own risk!
Source: Wikimedia Commons

At Night I Lock The Doors…

I’m going to go ahead and confess that I like to dance. I like to watch people dance and I like to break it down. However, unlike many people with Boogie Fever, I don’t go out clubbing nor do I take a class. The dancefloor is my room.

While I took dance for three years, it all started when I was a kid and I was watching a commercial for something and the song from Flashdance Maniac and starting to go crazy alongside it. I would drive everyone crazy singing that song and acting like Jennifer Beals. But I couldn’t help it, the music moved me!

Before you collapse into a pile of laughs, I am actually serious. I like to dance but usually by myself. Part of being a nerd means you do not always follow social conventions and part of having swagger means you know who you are. Well, for me that comes easier done than said.

I realized in middle school that part of growing up means actually dancing with someone else, regularly. I learned how to do that

Tryin’ Not to Start Somethin’

Like I said, those pesky middle school boys did not relent in how they wanted to dance. They did not gingerly take my hand, they pushed it down towards my waist, for slow dances. However, I was smart enough not to dance with them to uptempo songs. Why? Because it’s not so much dancing as it is a visualized interpretation of what I learned in my Stepping Stones class.

To put it bluntly, a guy faces frontward while you are backward and well…if you ask me that’s not dancing. If anything it resembles a mating ritual from the dark ages.

That and the fact that someone could be that close to me without really getting to know me put me off. However, since I was in the minority I was forced to keep rhythm by myself or in a crowd. And while I was not quite Elaine, I was not exactly the best dancer.

Yet at the end of the day, I realized it did not matter. I was being myself as well as developing something that would come to help me just hang back and let loose.

One Nerd Under the Groove

Since I did not dance the “way” most of my classmates did, I ended up dancing alone. Which was okay until people decidedly stared at me like I was crazy. I was and am not. I believe dancing is not only one’s privilege but one’s right in expressing themselves. That being said, there is no one right or wrong way to approach it.

At my Junior and Senior Proms I frankly remember dancing and everyone being shocked. Mostly because I did not have the party resumes of some of my classmates nor openly talked about rhythmic involvement either.

So when I started to bust a move, everyone thought they had saw a ghost. But I did not care. I was dancing like I have been doing since I was able to walk.

When I got to college, I flat out did not care about dancing around others. I mean, it was not like I was offending anyone by being publicly happy. Unlike yawning and colds, dancing is contagious in a good way.

I remember going to my first football game with my suitemates at the time freshman year and was about to collapse from boredom. However, I brought my pop culture CPR, my iPod. And after a very long first half, I decided to endure the second half by getting down.

I figured at the time, “If people can come here and get drunk for two hours before the game even starts and spend four more acting a dang-on fool, why can’t I get busy with my J-Tims, Hall and Oates, and Kanye?”

So I proceeded to spend the next hour or so nodding to the beat to survive the beating the team took. And when I got back, the party continued.

I did not have a roommate but I had plenty of energy, so I had a dance party with myself and I must say, it was EPIC!

Clorox on the Dancefloor

My habit of dancing randomly comes from childhood. I took dance classes for three years and even though I did not continue formal training, I continued to dance.

I had parents who were crazy enough to give me a television in my room, so sometimes when MTV played videos I would dance along as I was straightening my room or getting ready for school. Summers were even better because I could watch as many crazy videos as I wanted and get jiggy with it.

As I have said before, the only way I would help my mom cleaning is to music. If it had not been for James Brown and Rick James, I would have become a hoarder.

And when I got to college the habit continued. It was even better because I could control the tunes. Cutting loose was a great way to release the tensions of studying.

Honestly though, I do not know how people do not dance at some point during the everyday craziness that is our lives. It does not have to be pretty or perfect but it has to be you.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Off the Wall

I think Michael Jackson said it best when he said “Leave that 9 to 5 on the shelf and enjoy yourself.” 9 to 5 or not, that is quite easy and I will show you how.

Devote at least 5 minutes a day to a random dance break- If you work, do it on break or at lunch if you have to. Or if you’re shy, do it at home.
Close your eyes- It sounds weird, but I do that alot when I jam (well except in the car) but everywhere else is cool. You can pretend you are on stage
Pick your favorite jams and organize them into a playlist. Depending on your mood, you might want to break it into different genres or artists who make you move the most.
Dance crazily like know one’s watching!

While I know some people prefer to follow the trends or seem “normal,” I believe the time we have should be spent doing what is not only right for others but for ourselves. Am I saying start a flash mob in the middle of Jackson Hewitt? Well, that’s up to you but whatever happens, there’s never a wrong time to bust a move!