The Wrangler

So You Think You Can’t Dance


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I bet when you saw this title and my name as the by-line, you got confused. How would I, someone who’s basically never been to a dance let alone allow myself to dance in public, hint that I’m going to teach incompetent people how to dance? Well, aren’t YOU judgmental. My gawky arms may not give an impression of “Dance God”, but I can totally dance–pssh.(Or so I tell myself between my quiet sobs at night.)

Whether you’ve figured it out yourself (unlikely) or EVERYONE has told you so (most likely), you’ve figured out that you can’t dance either. I know, it hurts. All those times of believing you’d be next in line of awesome dancers behind your childhood idol Britney Spears are all lies from your parents. Sadly, no amount of Youtube tutorials will help you. But I might be able to.*

As a gangly anti-social teenager, I think I’m quite qualified to teach people how to dance–er, fake dancing at least. From my extensive knowledge, thanks to numerous books and very vivid dreams, I know the key to looking like you can dance. Rather, I know what NOT to do.

1. First, you have to seek the perfect opportunity. You want enough witnesses to prove your abilities, clear your family’s name, and not remember your dancing specifically. Believe me, you publically try to show off your shimmy-ing skills to a small group and THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LIVE IT DOWN. Please, for the sake of everyone’s health, keep your dancing on the DL. School dances are perfectly suitable; people only go there to talk and pretend they know popular songs (I’m assuming).

2. Find yourself a nice dark corner on the outskirts of the sweating mob to showcase your stuff. Stick to the edges of the mob so the people sitting down can see that you’re “in” with the dancing, but not far in enough to actually dance well. Like you’re a background dancing extra in a movie.

3. MAKE SURE YOU BRING SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS. This is essential to faking a social life! (If you don’t have friends, try to weasel yourself into a friendly-looking clique on the dance floor. Or just stick to watching. Or pretend you’re me; hog the snack table and make small talk about the punch. (I’m not sure if people actually drink punch at dances; I’m going off cliches here.)

4. Start your dancing. You have a couple options that work in every experience.

a. The Classic Fist-Pump.  Raise your dominant hand above your head and act as if you have left your science project at home AND the bus will come in any minute AND you have to urgently knock on the door to your house before your mom leaves for work. If you’re a wild-child, try the OTHER HAND. Whoa! How crazy!

b. The “Twist”. If you want to further develop your image as a great dancer, you can move straight onto the Twist. Now the Twist is a well-known dance. It’s the dance half the characters do at the end of every prom/homecoming/dance-in-general movie when the credits roll. You put your arms in the air and twist up and down. The best way to describe it is to picture yourself as a spinning tree in a wild tornado. Your arms are the branches and the trunk is twisting up and down sporadically. It seems you have to head-bob downwards at your feet as well. Somehow the whole combination is supposed to look attractive and alluring in some sort of way. I’ve been trying to master this move; however, dancing whilst looking natural isn’t easy for me.

c. The Side Step. This is theoretically simple. Theoretically. Side stepping involves more coordination. I know; it already seems awful. With side stepping you have to step left with your left foot, and follow with your right. Then step back right and follow with your left. HOWEVER, you have to think of your own combination with your hands. The tough part. You can swing your arms correspondingly to the shuffle or clap, etc. Whichever looks fine to you. The whole effect is supposed to look like a casual sway. Just PLEASE don’t side step with your hands stiff at you sides. I’ve tried it. It looks awful.

d. The Longitudinal Wave. Now this exclusive move was a result of a collaboration between me and my friend, Drew Wesley. This dance move just screams cool and “I’m a good dancer”. To do the “Longitudinal Wave” you angle your forearms in a strict vertical position perpendicular to your ‘ceps and periodically beat a “barcode-like” rhythm in the air. Try it alternating from left to right arm or do both at the same time or move each arm away from each other or towards. Heck, go crazy! Turn your arms horizontally and do it! Everyone’ll be impressed with your skills and knowledge of physics. You’ll be the total package! If you do the Longitudinal Wave, your crush will be MESMORIZED, you WILL become popular, and your life will be BURSTING WITH RAINBOWS OF JOY. Just kidding. Boy, do I love propaganda.

5. After you got your signature move, enjoy being social and dance the night away! Even though I personally won’t think it’ll be as much fun as dance movie marathons in the comfort of your domestic dwelling but whatever floats your boat.

Why not thank me in person! Monetary value recommended. I mean, I practically gave you a life. You’re welc’.

If none of this works for you, save yourself the embarrassment and fulfill the rest of life away from all social situations. It worked for me, and I’m totally normal. Totally.

 

[*Social life is not guaranteed. Friends not included.]

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So You Think You Can’t Dance