After giving this subject a great deal of thought over the years, I've decided that there are basically three kinds of men when it comes to dancing:
1. Guys Who Can Dance
2. Guys Who Think They Can Dance but Can't
3. Guys Who Can't Dance and Know They Can't.
Let us now examine these three types in greater detail.
GUYS WHO CAN DANCE
OK. Examining in greater detail is going to be hard in this case because (frankly) I haven't had that much actual life experience with Guys Who Can Dance. John Travolta can dance, it is true, but since I don't know him personally I'm not sure if it is ethical for me as a responsible newspaper columnist to use him as a specific example in this case.
GUYS WHO THINK THEY CAN DANCE BUT CAN'T
I have a little story to tell here. Once when my husband Ken and I were at a party, we couldn't help but notice one of our fellow guests who was busy making a complete jackass out of himself on the dance floor. This guy, who looked like Mr. Peepers in a tuxedo, would flit from table to table, asking "chicks" to dance.
All the women he asked said yes, but you could tell they wanted to run for cover as soon
as the music started because Mr. Peepers was so very scary when he started to shake it, get down and really move. He'd do these strange, gigantic leaps from side to side while at the same time flapping his arms around and around like he was getting ready for takeoff.
"Do you think he's doing the Watusi?" somebody at our table wanted to know. "It's been years since I've seen anyone do the Watusi."
"I think he's doing the Frug," somebody else said.
"Well, he looks like a fruitcake," Ken said.
GUYS WHO CAN'T DANCE AND KNOW THEY CAN'T
Ken, on the other hand, would never look like a fruitcake on the dance floor because he knows he is essentially a non-dancing male who chooses not to embarrass himself by trying to be anything different from what he is. This, however, was not always the case.
When we were first married, Ken and I decided to enhance our lives together by taking a social dance class at that Ballroom Dancer-Intensive university, also known as BYU. This turned out to be an experience that nearly ended our brief union as man and wife.
I've tried to forget most of the unsavory details of that terrible time we spent together, but I do vaguely remember being in a mirror-line studio in the Richards Building, watching other couples swirl gracefully about us as Ken and I had fistfights over who got to lead. We had a problem with this little issue because he thought he should lead because he was the guy whereas I thought I should lead because I'm the one in the family who knows how to dance, duh.
My dad and brothers are also nondancing males. My dad once humored me by taking me to a Daddy-Daughter Dinner-Dance where he was easily the nicest date a 10-year-old girl could have, but he did have that sort of noble stoic look heroes always get when they're being led off to the firing squad.
Anyway, when I was pregnant with my fifth child, people used to ask me if I was FINALLY going to get a baby girl.
"I doubt it," I answered truthfully. "I'm certain I'll do what I always do, i.e., give birth to another Guy Who Can't Dance. They run in both of our families, don't you know."
And sure enough we had Quinton who also gave every indication of being just another Dancing Dork until last week at his preschool graduation. Actually, he even looked like a Dancing Dork then, too, especially when the kids did the Leprechaun Dance for us. Quinton kept doing dorky things like putting his foot "out" when he was supposed to be putting his foot "in," and whenever he turned around he banged into the little boy next to him like a wrecking ball.
But then the most amazing thing happened! Quinton started to dance right before our very eyes! Every time he said one of his parts right, he did a little victory dance, just like a professional football player in the end zone. It was almost as if you could hear him taunt the opposing team as he strutted in front of us: IN YOUR FACE, LOSERS!! MY HOMIES AND ME, WE KNOW OUR ABC'S!
"He has too many big brothers," said Ken.
"No doubt," I said, "but at least the man can move it!"