Many men, when invited to or planning a wedding, come up against the fact that they will be expected or at the very least strongly urged to dance. I once worked with a curmudgeonly old man who gruffly advised me that real men never danced. He was proud to say he had danced only once in his life, at his own wedding. Most of us, however, lack this kind of internal fortitude. We will, someday, have to dance in order to please our partners.
Some men, of course, enjoy dancing, and are even good at it. More power to them. They remain, as far as I can tell, a minority in the world, perhaps the next step in evolution. For the rest of us, we must arm ourselves with a clearheaded strategy for events such as weddings. Here then, are some guidelines for groomsmen and wedding guests as the event approaches.
First off, resign yourself to the fact that you will, indeed, have to dance. Trust me, you will find your manhood and/or maturity challenged if you refuse, so be prepared. This means, wear comfortable shoes. This means, drink heavily as soon as it is socially acceptable to do so. This means, above all, choose your moment.
The worst thing you can do is be cajoled onto the dance floor when everyone, including you, is still sober. Don’t be the sad soul who is forced to shuffle awkwardly and bite his lower lip, sweating freely, aware of all the judgmental male eyes on your back. Wait, friend, until everyone is sufficiently lubricated to regard just about anything as a good idea. You will know the moment: The band or DJ plays the Chicken Dance and/or The Electric Slide, and more than half the guests rush to the floor. This is your moment: From this point on no one will remark on anything you do. Or, possibly, remember it.
Finally, be aware of the Three Types of Dancing Men you will encounter at weddings, and avoid them at all costs:
1. The Lesson Takers: There’s one couple at every wedding who have spent years of their lives taking Dance Lessons – Ballroom, Swing or, god help you, Disco. Identify these folks quickly and stay off the dance floor when they’re out there, burning the place down with their sexiness. You will never look good dancing next to them.
2. The Box Steppers: Usually an older couple, these folks cannot actually dance in a technical sense, but they can walk each other around in a stiff-armed box forever, circling the floor in grim, robotic motion. Although they will make you look good in comparison, the chances of whacking them in the head with your flailing limbs is high.
3. Children: At some point at every wedding reception the kids figure out that they can do anything on the dance floor and it is regarded with amusement and tolerance. It quickly becomes Lord of the Flies out there. Stay seated and don’t make eye contact.
There you go. Follow these simple guidelines and dancing need never be a worry to you again. And for heaven’s sake resist the temptation to do The Robot.