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A dilemma of hands

Hands are a big problem when dancing alone or in a group. What to do with them? How to incorporate them in whatever violent movement that you’ve chosen, at the moment,  to pair with whatever bass-heavy monstrosity is blasting, at the moment. Involving another human—you have options. Hips, neck, what have you. With a partner, your hands have some sort of homebase, so to speak. A dangerous juncture to incorporate baseball metaphors, I know, but let’s keep it PG because I’m trying to make a point.

Your own hips are not really an option — though there are fleeting exceptions—because you will likely draw attention to yourself in a negative way (what is this, Riverdance? says no one) and most definitely will hurt someone. Bottom line: You’ll upset everyone.

I recently did something I never do: I willingly went to a club, knowing that the expectation was that I not masterfully brood in a corner.  Not a minute went by when I wasn’t secretly cursing these loathsome extremities a.k.a. stranger-grazers.

There’s a very simple reason I enjoyed the dance crazes of yore. The Macarena? So much to do with my hands. Cotton Eye Joe? The “Jump On It” (real name?) dance? All hips. God help me, Soulja Boy? I was all about it.

I have no idea what the modern-day equivalent is to these out of vogue dances, but I suspect they too offer solace to  ham-handed white girls like me.

This particular night, I found myself envious of a lad who had come prepared: He brought magic tricks. I want, nay, need to believe that this man in his early 20s was not an employee of the club, that he’d brought one of those disappearing-reappearing balls of light of his own accord, to delight virtually no one, to perform feats in a vest that I hope so badly is only worn on these rare  nights and Christmas. The point is, his hands were busy the entire time, retrieving the light from his mouth, his ear, his eye, his pocket. I am retrospectively thankful he didn’t come near me.

To get an idea:

He did occasionally break into dance, in a flailing sort of movement that was relatively unsettling, but impressive given the simultaneous magic. And who am I to judge? I wish I could say that my biggest flaw on the dance floor was incorporating too much shoulder.

In all, I think I did o.k. No injuries. It was actually a lot of fun, sprinkled with some healthy moments of self-horror.

Like this one: A Backstreet Boys song came on and I was overwhelmed. My initial, gut reaction —to my subsequent alarm— was “finally, a song I can relate to.”

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