A few days ago, I attended my Senior Ball--an end of the year formal dance for high school seniors. It was the first school dance that I've attended during my hich school career. Dances never really appealed to me; I knew that I wouldn't recognize any of the music, I wasn't especially fond of dancing, and I would have rather hung out with one or two good friends.
Despite this, much to my astonishment, I actually had a good time. I didn't have a date (I asked someone, but she wasn't able to come), but I went with a group of good friends, with whom I enjoyed a nice dinner and pleasant conversation. It was with great reluctance that I braved the dance floor. I didn't really have much of a choice; there was nothing else to do, and everyone insisted that I at least try. At first I sort of stood there and bounced up and down a bit, but after a while, I started watching Mintz, and sort of doing what he was doing.
That's when I realized the great secret of dancing in large groups. The hardest thing about dancing, for me, anyway, is the fear of looking like a fool. This profound realization hit me that night: everyone at the dance looked like an idiot, and no one had the foggiest idea what they were doing. The trick is to realize that in all probability, you look like a fool too; if you just pretend that you know what you're doing, people will think that you do. And that's when you can really have fun. Once I got past the awkwardness of the situation, and really cut loose, I was having a really great time, making up silly dance moves, and generally being spastic.
There was an elevated walkway so that people could get from once side of the dance floor to the other without being trampled. Somehow, Mintz, and, since I was following him around, myself, ended up dancing up there. People started cheering for us. In spite of the fact that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
The next day, at school, people kept commenting on my dancing. Everyone seemed surprised that a studious chap like myself could actually dance. I couldn't tell if people approved or not, but it really doesn't matter. I discovered a new activity that I enjoy, and now I'm actually looking forward to going to some dances while I'm in college and the like. It was great exercise too--two days later, my legs are still a bit sore.
I guess that what I learned is that the old adage is true: if you can walk, you can dance. The hard part is letting yourself do it.