Okay, it’s confession time. I can’t dance. I could never dance. I swear I was born with 2 left feet. I can bob my head to the beat at any point in time, but the rest of my body just doesn’t cooperate. I get out there and it’s like I stiffen up. I’m good for about the first 20 seconds, but then… it just gets ugly. Funny thing is that I can dance all over the house with no problem. I’ll throw on some old school jams and get to grooving. For some reason when I get into a public environment, things are totally different. Well, let me add a quick disclaimer to that. If given enough drinks, the dancing fool may appear at anytime. Under ‘normal’ circumstances, I’m the cat who’s holding up the wall or at the bar. I’ll just watch everybody else dance, sip on my drink and talk to whoever is around me.
Going back to the days when I was a kid, I was never the one to dance. I did breakdance however and was pretty good at it. The summer of ’84 when Beat Street and Breakin’ were out, threw me in the mix. I learned how to do a lot of tricks and stuff and was pretty good at em if I was say so myself. I could do windmills, flares and handspins like it was nothing. One thing that I refused to even try though was the headspin. I wasn’t tryna bust my brain up. Anyway, I had the parachute pants and could slide and glide over a piece of broken down cardboard boxes with style and grace. I suppose that me being double jointed kinda helped a little bit. Oh well… so much for ’84. I’m a lot older now and a lot less limber.
When I was in high school and attended house parties in the late 80’s, I wasn’t thinking about dancing like that to try to impress people. I just slow danced with the girls who would let me. However, I could never keep my hands where they were supposed to be and I got a lot of mean mugs and cold stares from girls back then. I was fortunate to never have been slapped. Lord knows I deserved to be, more than a few times. When I attended parties, I just used to run my mouth a lot and just talk to folks. Things have not changed one bit. I still go to clubs and parties occasionally and when I do, I’m up in there networking and making contacts.
I remember one club experience that will always be fresh in my mind. I was stationed in Groton, CT while in the Navy in 1990. I went to the Officer’s Club with a couple of the guys one night. There weren’t that many fine sistahs in the place, but there were a few nice looking ones up in there. While sitting down at the table one of them came over to me and asked me to dance. So I got up and took her to the far corner of the dancefloor where it was real dark, cuz I didn’t want anyone to see me. The deejay started playing Parliament Funkadelic and the folks in there got real wild. Her and I danced for about 10 minutes and then I went and sat back down with the fellas. My man O’Neal called me out and said “Mo… you’re the only brotha from DC that I know who can’t dance” Needless to say the rest of the fellas clowned me on that that night and the next several weeks afterwards.
So, the tradition continues ’til this day. I don’t dance and I really don’t care to dance. When I go places where people are dancing, I know my role… just be on chill mode. I could tell stories for days about times where folks tried to get me to dance and I either refused or I just made a fool outta myself. Sometime within the few months, I’m gonna have to learn at least some styles of slow dance. I’ve gotta do that so I’m not looking foolish and/or tripping over my own feet. Lord knows that I can’t be at my wedding reception looking like a total idiot during the first dance. But for now, I’mma keep doing what I’ve been doing for years. People laugh when I do it cuz they think I’m just playing around, but I’m really serious. I take my cues from the TV show What’s Happening and do my favorite dance… the Roger Thomas.