Life and Times of a Chronic Wallflower: Why I Don’t Dance


Here, once and for all I’ll admit it; I don’t dance. Well, let me rephrase. I don’t grind, twerk, two-step, hand dance or anything else that involves partnering with the opposite sex for 3 to 4 minutes.

Before you label me a complete wall mount, I do kind of dance. In the right social setting — drinks flowing, circle of close girlfriends and I’ve completely entered ‘I don’t a…mood,’ I’m good for a tap and sway, hands in the air like I don’t care or the always fun old school dance. Oh, and of course I never turn down an invitation to “Wobble.” Yup, when it comes to me and dancing, it really doesn’t get any better than this.

But in a conversation with a few friends I learned allegedly it does get better, and from middle school to young adulthood that ‘better’ has eclipsed me. You see, apparently backing up your anaconda, or lack thereof, against a sweaty, semi turned on guy at a club, school dance or house party is a mandatory experience every girl must have a few times in her life. Well, I have not.

As a shy, slightly overweight adolescent, prone to wearing yellow bedazzled bandanas, bifocal glasses, excessive amounts of hair gel and whose late night hangout was her room with a book, I was never a first (or second) round pick for school dances. By no means was I scared of the opposite sex (in fact, I actually quite liked them) but after years of awkward years and a self-imposed belief that guys just weren’t that into me, I figured dancing, and socializing for that matter, with the opposite sex was just something I wasn’t meant to do.

You see, in my mind it was reserved for the ‘other’ girls. The forever cool, confident, round the way, Nia Long circa Love Jones, type chicks whose hips seemed to be designed to meticulously sway in the hands of a man, and in a simple flick of their freshly permed hair could beckon just about any guy. Those were the girls guys wanted to groove with. Not the head of the student newspaper who spent her free time having her braces tightened and strategizing to become first chair clarinet in the school band (if you’re not familiar with high school band hierarchy, this is a pretty big deal).

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve also never been a platinum card member of the rhythm nation. A silver cardholder at best, I am fully aware of when its time to remain in my lane and leave the hardcore moves to the pros. Yes dancing is all about throwing caution to the windows and the walls, but when feeling the beat of the rhythm of the night involves me potentially looking like a plum fool in a crowded room, I have to draw the line. Heaven forbid I step on my partner’s foot or live for the upbeat while he’s stuck on the down. There’s also the very real possibility of a guy’s hand wandering from my waist to the brim of my Spanx or love handle that just isn’t doesn’t sit well with me.

But after some thought I’ve resolved that I can’t “Cha Cha Slide” through my entire adult social life. Not with weddings, happy hours and dirty thirty birthday parties springing up from every corner. Years and better fashion choices later, I like to think I’ve transformed from a shy 15-year old into a somewhat cool, hip and fun twenty-something.

As a young professional who is increasingly opting for bed over bars, I only have a few good turn up days left in me and I must use them wisely. I would hate to pass up the chance of meeting my one true love in a bump and grind session on the dance floor, or being that one friend left out of the #DancingTheNightAway, mid-move selfie. Or worse, have a Kim K. moment while onstage with his Purple Highness.

Times they are a changing and my 2015 vision board has declared that I ‘live out loud,’ so darnit I guess I better start trying. After years of being the official clique purse holder it may be time to pass the baton. I can only ignore my body’s natural urge to rock steady to “Murder She Wrote” and “Drunk in Love” for so long. Besides, a girl can only watch so many drinks and spread her belongs amid five barstools for so long.

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