looking like a dope and liking it


We danced at the wedding. I don’t even remember, any more, what music was playing. Even when it was something I was not familiar with, I had the usually unstoppable urge to fling myself out onto the floor and flail around happily, because I love to dance. I love the theatricality of it, and I love that it is a friendly, communal kind of act–everyone on the floor and they’re all smiling at each other. As you move around the dance floor, you catch someone’s eye, you grin, you stop and do a couple of hip bumps, a quick shake and shimmy like you’re saying “Hey! How are you!” And it is the most sincere hi oh my god, I am happy to see you I’ve ever encountered. There’s a joy in that shared experience of throwing yourself around the floor like you’re having a seizure.

I had to take a break, at some point, because my shoes were very tall. I wobbled away, stopped to talk to another guest. “You were dancing out there!” he said, because that’s the kind of thing you say at weddings. “I’m sure I looked ridiculous,” I said, because I am sure I did. “No!” he exclaimed,”You looked like someone who likes to have fun!” Which is code for: you looked ridiculous. The important caveat: but like you don’t mind looking ridiculous. And that is absolutely true. There is something about dancing that lets me be absolutely fearless. I don’t care if I trip over my shoes or if I am not exactly on the beat when I do the Shopping Cart or if my Running Man looks more like Lurching Drunken Zombie.

The freedom to look like a dope is part of what is so wonderful about
dancing. It’s the kind of energy and happiness and go-getterism I need
to inject into the rest of my life. I want to run as joyfully, and do
yoga as exuberantly, and water aerobics, and body pump, and running down
the block as excitedly, with as little fear that I look ridiculous–and
as willing to make as many mistakes as necessary in the process. The
easy solution: knock back a couple of cocktails before Bikram! The
harder solution: I’ve got it in here, somewhere.

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