After mom carried me in her womb for nine good months, I was ungrateful enough to come out with two left feet. I can hardly dance.
Worse still, I have never been bothered much to learn even though when am tipsy I become the best dancer in the world, in my mind. It’s one of those things I suddenly become capable of after a glass of wine. When drunk (whether with alcohol, with love or with power), you tend to think you are the best in all things.
It’s not always that I have been a bad dancer. I think there was a time back in college when I could actually dance. I wasn’t the best in class but certainly I was better than those old men I’d see in clubs trying hard to keep up with new dance styles. There is nothing sadder than a potbellied middle aged man rubbing his crotch on the twerking buttocks of a young college student. Some dancing moves are best left to younger folk. As you get older, try to learn how to dance with grace.
The best dancers in my view are high school kids. They know all the perfect dance crazes because, well, they invent them. Never ever try to outdo a high school kid in a new dance craze. You simply can’t. If you want to shine, stick to the old dance moves that you learnt during your high school days because those are the dance moves you will ever pull best.
‘If you want to be a good dancer, you must follow the beat. Never lead the beat. Be a step just behind the tune and never ahead. When you dance ahead of the beat, you dance out of tune. You become quirky and disjointed. You must let the beat lead you and grace will follow you’.
This is advice I once heard from a dance master. Arigato sensei, arigato.
Before then I used to be one of those people who would throw an arm to the left, another to the right, jump up and down, and dance with wild excitement even when the song was nothing more than a slow rhumba jig.
I am still not a good dancer but dancing gives me joy. The Swahili say ‘pesa ni sabuni ya roho’ (money is soap to the heart) but for me music is soap to the heart. Music washes pain. Music brings joy. When you dance you feel free, you feel good as you become one with the tune.
So really, does it matter whether people think you are a good dancer or not? What really is good dancing other than conformation to meaningless expectations set by fellow human beings who like you are not perfect? What is the point of dancing, is it to please your soul or to please those watching? Who really is a good dancer?
In my view, the man who enjoys the music most is not the one who dances with grace to please those watching, it is the one who dances wildly to his heart’s satisfaction. If it makes you feel good, just follow your heart and dance and dance away, never mind those watching. True grace flows from the heart, as it is with many other things in life. Soon enough the song comes to an end. Dance before the music is over.