Do you ever watch “Regis and Kelly”? When I return from taking my 7-year old to school, I crawl right back into bed, ignoring the shame of my slothfulness, and watch the first fifteen minutes of the show. I like to hear them talk about their lives.
Right before their trivia contest, sometimes they have an audience member dance.
That, my friends, is my Worst Nightmare.
I don’t dance.
I have a long history of not dancing. I remember being a very small child, hanging out in the lower level of a neighborhood friend’s split level (I think her name was Cindy). The televisi0n was tuned to The Jackson Five (a cartoon? I can’t remember) and Cindy directed me and the others to stand on the couch’s armrests and dance.
I don’t dance. I didn’t then and I don’t now.
The only dancing I’ve ever successfully managed was square-dancing during that mortifying unit in Junior High gym class. The last thing in the world I wanted to do as a tall teenager was clasp the sweaty hands of boys. But I did and I skipped around and doe-see-doed (phonetic spelling, you’re welcome) and generally moved as stiffly as possible while dancing. My grade depended on following the directions, so I did. But I did not enjoy it.
Fortunately, I grew up in a religious tradition that forbade dancing. Some of the girls even skipped that square dancing unit in gym class, claiming a religious exemption. I think dancing was forbidden because it might tempt us to throw off our clothes and have illicit relations with the opposite sex, thus resulting in an unplanned pregnancy, but I don’t know.
All I know is that I don’t dance.
I can clap my hands.
I can play a passable sonata on the piano, counting carefully (“one and two and three and four and”).
But I don’t dance and I never will. I can sway. I can tap. I can nod my head.
But do not ask me to shake my booty or moon-walk or accept an invitation to appear on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Other things I do not do:
Raise my hand in group settings.
Sit in the front row.