Everybody Dance Now

Last night I was watching one of the new shows on my extensive prime time line-up, “The New Girl”.  If you aren’t watching it (which you should be), it’s the story of a quirky girl, Jess, in her late 20s who moves in with three guys she met on the internet and their life adventures together.  On last night’s episode, the guys took Jess to their college friend’s wedding.  Because she is a little kooky, the roommates ask her to tone it down (especially when it comes to dancing) as to not embarrass them- “Suppress the Jess

Jess, her fake fangs, and her roommate at the wedding

If you are in the “Radius of 30” (that is plus or minus 4 years) it is safe to assume that you have a couple of weddings on your social calendar.  For some it could be four over the year and for others it could be four in four weeks!  This last year I went to four weddings; next year I have three more on the horizon and I’m SURE there will be more. I couldn’t be more excited. I LOVE WEDDINGS!!   I love getting dressed up, I love the endless champagne and pigs in blanket (more on that later), I love the love in the air, but most of all I love the dancing.

The minute the cocktail hour ends and we are let into the main event, I am making a B-line to my table to throw my bag down and hit that dance floor!  From the first note the band plays I am getting my boogie on.  I dance so much I even come with back up dancing shoes–I can’t risk dancing barefoot amongst all of those stilettos.  Now, I know that you are thinking “everyone likes to dance at weddings”, but I’m not talking about the usual white girl lower-lip biting, shoulder swaying, toe tapping dancing.  What I am talking about is what my friends and I like to call “Aggressive Dancing”.

My Dancing Shoes

Aggressive Dancing involves a lot of foot stomping, box stepping, grape vining, serious eye contacting, and floor sliding usually around a dedicated spot of the floor called “The Hot Spot”. This is not all at once, don’t worry!  I’m not sure who came up with this type of dancing, but when I was growing up at camp it was what ALL of the counselors were doing.  It was weird and cool all at the same time.  You didn’t have to have rhythm or gracefulness or even much talent.  It was just about having fun with your friends!

Now, this is clearly unconventional dancing.  I know that.  I am usually VERY aware of my surroundings and what people think of me.  But when the music starts, all of my inhibitions are thrown to the wayside  and I hit the floor.  Yes, I literally smack the floor.  It’s an Aggressive Dance move I learned along the way.  It’s almost like summoning the other Aggressive Dancers to the alter of the dance floor.  Let the games begin!

The thing is–most people think we are out of our minds.  “Look at those wack-a-doos over there box-stepping around each other as if they are about to start some sort of fight a la West Side Story”.  But we are having fun.  We are are saying to the world (or at least the other wedding guests) “We are who we are.  We don’t care what you think”.

Please note the woman presumably judging to the left

If there is one thing I took out of the half hour sitcom, it’s that I am doing JUST what I should be doing-being myself.  I don’t let anyone “Suppress my Jess” (or Rebecca as this case may be).  I’m sure most of my non-Aggressive Dancing friends are embarrassed by my moves sometimes.  Though I think I’m a great dancer, they probably think I’m on some sort of  hallucinogenic.  But no matter what anyone thinks, at the end of every wedding I always come out having the best night!

Elaine Benes lets it all out on the dance floor

There are many things that I want to do before I turn 30, but this is one thing that I hope you all put on your bucket list. Be who you are.  Let your freak flag fly.  Dance the way you want and be who you want to be.  Don’t Suppress your Jess.

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2 responses to “Everybody Dance Now

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