7 Reasons not to Dance
1. Marital Disharmony. In the Edwardian era, dancing was a gentle affair and the worst thing that could happen while dancing with your wife was that you might tread on her foot. This may have led to some resentment, but nothing that would distract a man from guzzling brandy and smoking cigars in his library or waxing his moustache in the bathroom. Modern dancing, however, is less well structured and far more vigorous. These days, when dancing after a sherry or two, it’s all too easy to inadvertently stumble and face-plant your partner onto the dance-floor. This can lead to months of tutting, silences and chores that urgently need doing on a Saturday afternoon.
2. Deviance. George Bernard Shaw said that dancing is the “…vertical expression of a horizontal desire.” This is a fair statement. Salsa dancing and the Tango, for example, have a degree of eroticism that would seem to indicate carnal intent. What though, should we make of Riverdance? What could the stiff, immobile arms and motionless head, neck and upper torso in combination with the preposterous, maniacally-flailing leg movements of Riverdancers indicate that they want to do in the bedroom? Whatever it is, I don’t want any part of it, and I don’t want to hear it through the wall either.
3. Death. Ah, the Tango; that moody dance from Argentina; so sensual, so visually arresting and so beloved of film-makers. If you meet a lusty, long-limbed, raven-haired, wild-eyed beauty, under no circumstance should you dance the Tango with him/her because, as we have learned from Hollywood movies, you will die. It’s one of the rules of cinema that if you dance the Tango in a film you will be stabbed or shot by your partner’s jealous lover/former lover, usually in an alley outside a Buenos Aires dance hall.
4. Geography. This is a map of where your feet need to be when dancing. If you don’t understand this diagram (and I think that’s all of us) you shouldn’t be dancing. Who knows what could happen or where you might end up? If you do understand this diagram then your chances of meeting a dance partner are negligible, by the way.
5. Strictly No Dancing. Ballroom dancing is a great reason not to dance. If you have no desire to paint yourself orange and dress in tight, sequinned, garishly-hued, puff-sleeved creations (the ladies outfits are even more preposterous) and twirl around with your teeth clenched then you should avoid ballroom dancing at all costs. Not ballroom dancing also minimises your risk of having to go to Blackpool.
6. Boycott. One of my local bars has a sign that says “Do not take lasses onto the dance floor”. There’s no way you should go and dance without taking your lass, so we boycott dancing at this venue.
7. Weddings. If there is an occasion that you shouldn’t dance at it’s a wedding. If you do anything freakish or memorable on the dance floor in front of the friends and family that you rarely see, you will forever be defined by it, as witnessing whatever it was that you did on the dance floor will be your extended family’s shared experience of you. They will bring it up at every social occasion you attend from that moment on, and if you don’t believe me, ask Sweaty Uncle Richard.