Dancing “like everyone is watching” gives me a sense that I’ve turned the tables. It makes me feel as though I already command the room.
Shut Up And Dance With Me
I wrote an article a while back about how music brought me Joy on an otherwise bummer of a morning. On that particular day, I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to go to work and face a mountain of crazy. I wanted to curl up, sleep, and completely escape the day. But, on an unexpected whim, I decided to turn on some tunes, and that changed everything. It pulled back the dark cloud that was hanging over my head and reversed the tone and outlook of the day.
Moments like that remind me the morning is full of promises it can’t keep.
I love singing along with music, even if some of those tunes are a little difficult for me to sing. I learned how to play guitar by playing along with U2 and The Smashing Pumpkins. Being able to do those things has brought me considerable Joy – on bad days and good ones.
But long before singing and playing instruments, there was another kind of Joy that music visited upon me.
The Joy of dancing!
I Love To Dance!
I don’t particularly know where it originated, but I have vague memories of roller disco in 1985 (the place went nuts for “Ghostbusters”), my cousin Sarah teaching me her own pop song dances in 1987, a school talent show in 1991, and very vivid recollections of high school dances throughout much of the 90s. In fact, I distinctly remember a time when no one went out on the dance floor until I did – whether they thought I looked ridiculous or not.
I’d like to think that’s because, one way or another, I diffused their own self-consciousness by saying “meh, Hell with it!”
That’s what I love most about dancing. It’s not just how amazing it makes me feel, it’s the power that it has to make others feel amazing too! My daughter has been dancing since she was 1 – and I hope she never stops. In fact, she and I have been gradually developing our own pantomime dance routines, starting with Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place On Earth“. Heading into Spice Girls territory next, I think.
When I’m down, dancing brings me immense Joy. I don’t care how I look or whether or not I’m any good. The only thing I care about is how it changes my day, or brightens someone else’s.
So turn up your favorite tune and let the beat hit you.
What Are Some Tips To Getting My Dance On?
You’re worrying too much. It takes absolutely nothing to get up and dance. Except maybe a little courage.
Why? Because I believe dancing is one of the most basic expressions of who any given human being is. It challenges me to be myself, and it prepares me for the challenge of letting others see it. It’s my way of saying “I’m me. Deal with it!”
And, rather than feel as though I’m trying to gain acceptance, dancing like everyone is watching gives me a sense that I’ve turned the tables. It makes me feel as though I already command the room.
Let loose. Be you. Enjoy you. I guarantee everyone else in the room will too!
What songs do you like to dance to? Have you developed any of your own dance routines? Bonus if it’s ridiculous! Do you have any vivid dancing memories from when you were a kid? What things has dancing helped you get through? When has dancing brought yourself or someone else Joy? Share your experience below!
Portions of this article were published in Operation: Joy – 10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Inspire Joy In Yourself & Others. Available free!