“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb
Another week brought another opportunity to defy perceived limitations. This week’s challenge: self-imposed embarrassment. Success was almost alluded yet again, by a procrastination fueled by the natural tendency to retreat to realms more comfortable. However, thanks to the right amount of chance, caffeine-induced disregard for the opinions of others, and the coalition of the willing, another step was taken down the road of reckless abandon as I found myself subjecting the world to my less than impressive dancing prowess. To the untrained eye, such a feat once again seems like a trivial act, hardly worthy of the fanfare surrounding “The Grand Risk Experiment.” However, to embark upon this act a great many barriers had to be overcome.
Acknowledging one’s lack of rhythm and continuing forward anyway. Picture the most stereotypical portrayal of poor dancing. Now think of the most socially awkward individual you know. Combine the two and you have a pretty good idea of what I look like on the dance floor. Whether it’s the lifelong lack of interest in dancing, or an innate genetic flaw that prevents any body movement remotely akin to rhythm, the simple fact remains, an expert dancer I am not. The only type of serving I want to be a part of involves delicious food. In light of this fact, it took a great feat of courage to continue forward with this challenge knowing full well that a train wreck was about to occur.
Engaging in a social activity with zero personal space. As an introvert, large crowds of people do not equal comfort. Dancing at a club takes this experience to an entirely different level. Every time I’m on a dance floor I can’t help but think of the scene from Matrix Reloaded where everyone is getting far too close for comfort as they try to forget their impending doom. While it probably does not appear that way to the “average” onlooker, in my head all I can think about is the chilling hand of public shame. Though, I suppose not having to worry about an impending attack by squid machines, is a fair consolation.
A very real possibility for awkward encounters. Take the inability to dance, the very up close and personal nature of the dance floor, and the never-ending flow of slightly intoxicated individuals looking for a hook-up and things can get out of hand pretty fast. Exhibit A. A slightly intoxicated man does not take the hint a group of women are not buying what he’s throwing down. Eventually, someone will have to tell this individual to hit the showers. Best case scenario, after a brief moment of awkwardness, he takes the hint and moves on to greener pastures. Worst case scenario, an alcohol fueled brawl breaks out causing mass chaos and leading to the Downfall of the Republic. Thus, once again, the potential for personal chaos adds to the level of anxiety.
While this was not quite the public display, that say, reciting Shakespearean Sonnets to every woman in the bar would have been, it was still a risky proposition. Pushing through the terrible dancing, distaste for large crowd social situations, and almost inevitable awkwardness made the “Great Dancing Incident of 2012” a worthy entry in the ongoing quest to expand my horizons. Despite the discomfort, the night turned out to be almost as epic and enjoyable as my sweet Cowbell Parkour skills. Almost…but not quite.