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viewpoint

I am a bad dancer

| Monday, April 15, 2019

Some people say that dancing is an art form. They say that a dancer can express emotion and passion through their movement. They say dancing can be elegant. These people have not seen me dance. Many things are elegant in this world. My dancing — which might be described as a cross between slalom skiing and an attempt to rebound a basketball — is not one of these things. Good dancing is elegant. My dancing is bad.

This has been pointed out to me many times. If you see me and I am dancing, your first reaction will probably be, “Wow, that guy is a bad dancer.” I have accepted this. I am at peace with my bad dancing. You don’t need to tell me I’m a bad dancer.

If you feel as though my dancing is disrupting your enjoyment of an event, I would first suggest you go somewhere where you cannot see my dancing. If my dancing is in your line of vision no matter where you go — for instance, in a hall of mirrors — then I would suggest you give me some advice on how to improve my dancing. I am an avid learner. It is important to be constructive in your advice — build me up so I can break it down.

If none of this works, if even your instruction cannot cure my bad dancing, you can ask me to stop. Telling me I should stop dancing because I am a bad dancer is a great way to get me to stop dancing. I would feel too self-conscious to keep dancing.

Before you do this, however, you must ask yourself this very important question: Would you rather watch me dance or watch me awkwardly stand around watching other people dance? This is a tough question, and it requires further consideration.

If I am not dancing, I will probably stand with one hand in my pocket and one hand holding a glass of water. If I have no water, I might put both hands in my pockets. Every once in a while, I’ll probably cross my arms. The root of this problem is me not knowing what to do with my hands. No matter what I do, it will be as ungraceful as my dancing. The choice is yours.

You might ask, “How could you possibly be that bad at dancing?” Great question. I don’t know the answer. There was a time when I was a pretty good dancer. That time has come and gone. I don’t have a very good sense of rhythm. My body is rather lanky and angular. Neither of these physical attributes are particularly helpful when trying to dance. Regardless of the reason, I am a bad dancer.

Now, I don’t particularly enjoy dancing all the time. Sometimes I only choose to dance to avoid the aforementioned awkwardness of just standing. But sometimes I do enjoy dancing. It can be fun. Regardless of whether or not I am enjoying my dancing, it is bad. That is OK with me. I hope it is OK with you.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Thomas Murphy

Thomas is a sophomore in the Program of Liberal Studies, where he double minors in Business & Economics and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He is ideologically in favor of the Oxford Comma, and encourages readers to contact their local representatives regarding the codification of its usage.

Contact Thomas