Got a Secret to Tell Ya …

I’ve got a secret to tell.  Nope, it has nothing to do with blogging this time.  It’s not about writing.  It’s a secret about me.

It’s one I’ve been hiding most of my life, and one which, when I’ve shared it with a handful of others before, I got a lot of flack for.

Ready?  Here’s the secret:

I don’t know how to dance.

Yep.  I loved singing in the band, loved playing guitar for the brief time I did so, but one part of music I never caught onto?  Dancing.

Oh, when I was in my twenties, I hit the nightclubs.  Oh yeah.  I did the alcohol-fueled attempt to pick up girls (I stink at that too, by the way).  I watched the gyrating bodies, the flailing limbs, the grinding hips.  I was the starer, the one observing everything from a table, getting happily and quietly buzzed with the music pumping, pounding, smashing around me.  My friends all got to dance, and knew what to do when they did.  I never got anyone to dance with me, and when I did, I had no idea what to do.  My best friend tried to tell me to talk to the girl, but that was … weird.  What am I supposed to say?  Where should I be looking?  Should I be trying to … I dunno … imitate others?  I ended up blushing and slinking away to my seat again, staring into my whiskey sour and wondering how the heck I should act.

It started early, I think.  Sixth grade, maybe eighth.  I don’t know.  But somewhere back there, school dances became a reality.  And I froze up when it came time to ask someone to dance, and wouldn’t budge when a girl asked me to (!).  I just … couldn’t move out there.  Incredible shyness, the most intense case of introversion you’ve ever seen (I can almost guarantee it), and soda bottle-bottom glasses and bad teeth amounted to one nerdy, awkward, uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin kid.  So the social act of dance is never learned, never practiced, never mastered and eventually set aside and forgotten.

When I finally got comfortable with someone – in a long-term relationship – I’d be able to dance with them.  I don’t remember how that felt and don’t want to know what it looked like, but it was long ago.  The last dancing I did was in the living room of my (now) wife’s house while we dated, to her favorite songs.

I just never learned to cut loose, let go, be free to move around and wiggle on the dance floor with other normal, comfortable-with-themselves people.  I’ve seen a lot of gawky albatross-like floundering on many, many dance floors, but they still got out there and shook it.  I have to salute that.  I’m always too shy, too reserved, and too … well, uncomfortable to do it.

I wonder, from time to time, if that shyness, that reservation, holds me back in my writing as well.  I’m too nervous to write the things which make me squirm, make me blush, make me uncomfortable for whatever reason.

How about you?  Is there something about you which holds you back in life, in creative endeavors, in general?  Or are you free to just get up there with all the other normals and shake your booty?


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25 thoughts on “Got a Secret to Tell Ya …

  1. You’re not supposed to know how to dance. Here’s an excerpt from The Ladies: A Man’s Perspective:

    Dancing; dancing exists just to make us look silly in a room full of people. That’s why they want us to dance. Part of the whole “messing with us” thing. Men are not created to be graceful. You show me a graceful man and I’ll show you a woman in disguise. A spy to infiltrate our ranks just so they can always stay one step ahead of us; so as to control us.

    HA! That’s sure how it feels, isn’t it? But I know a lot of guys who dance, and well. And they’re not chicks in disguise either. Real men, real dancing, real good. So … *shrug*

  2. Nothing shameful in not knowing how to dance. That really isn’t all that bad. And look at you now, you have a wonderful supportive family. Didn’t hold you back now did it? 🙂

    As for me, well, I would say my insecurity holds me back. Not the typical “OMG I look sooo fat!” girl insecurity. It’s the ones inside that eat your mind. That “I’m not good enough, nor am I good enough for anything ever.” The “why in the world do they even bother talking to me? I’m so not even close to their intelligence level.” Sure, a lot of people have that, but for me it can be paralizing. To the point I will get up and leave a room because I don’t understand why people bother with me. We won’t discuss anything further I do to get away.

    And yet, I keep coming back. Probably because you haven’t told me to sod off or anything like that. You are blessed Darc, always remember that. Dancing, it’s just a thing. Your wife still loves you just the way you are.

    She must. Eleven years of this crap and she’s still around? It absolutely MUST be love. 😉

  3. Your whole “I’ve got a secret” thing didn’t fool me for one second.

    ROFLMAO! Not even for a second?

    I’m pretty sure I’m a terrible dancer, but I do it anyway whether I should or not. Not in public.

    Most ladies dance better than they think they do; at least, that’s how it looks to a manatee wiggling around on its fins, such as I am. I bet you do just fine.

  4. Well kiddo, you may not know how to dance, but you definitely know how to shake your booty. 🙄

    If I ever start shaking my booty, California’s gonna fall off into the Pacific.

    • ROFLOL! California is going into the Pacific regardless. God’s been telling them fools to leave for years. ie floods, fires, earthquakes. If you believe in get god on the whisper, no one over there is listening.

      True! Too true!

  5. I bet Sara could teach you how to dance 😉

    You kiddin’ me? I’d break a hip. Hers, probably.

    I think dancing looks ridiculous, but I’ll still do it, just to look ridiculous. It’s funny. In fact, I’ll share a little tidbit about my dancing in a future blog post. Stay tuned…

    Well, I’M hooked. 🙂

    As for something that held me back…shyness, insecurity, and all that goes along with those things all the way through my teenage years and into my 20’s. I was painfully, painfully (did I say painfully?) shy. I took steps to overcome it by forcing myself to do scary things, like public speaking (excruciating) and not hiding out in an all-girls college even though I got a scholarship there. Nope, I knew I had to learn to speak to women and men too, so off to coed I went. Still, it held me back — I never raised my hand in class, never joined any extracurricular activities, missed out on football games and tailgating. Oh well. I more than made up for it. 😉

    No, doll, not joining in any reindeer games certainly didn’t do you any harm, that’s for sure. You’ve quickly become one of our favorite people. 🙂

    Don’t feel bad about not knowing how to dance. Most people I’ve seen can’t dance either. It sounds like you dance when it counts, and well too–look what those twinkle toes landed you in Falc. 😉

    Ah, therein lies the rub! Fal is an outstanding dancer (she won’t do it now because she’s too self-conscious about her weight), but she never tried to get me to dance. No, I won the Falcon with — ready for this? — good grammar, systematic theology, dispensationalism and hermeneutics. HA! Nerds rule. 🙂

    • Can I butt in here? Weight has nothing to do with it. How do you dance in 6 inch spectators? Huh? I would ask Sarah Jessica, but she’s unavailable.

      Can’t speak to the six-inch heels, but that’s the reason Fal doesn’t dance anymore. She will again, but she doesn’t now.

      • Six inch heels are nothing. I have nine inch go go boots! Think Fal and I talked about that last week. I love them, they are really easy to move in. The higher the heel the better. As for dancing…. well, I’m not a pro or anything, but I’ve been known to have fun making a fool of myself on the dance floor. Hey, if you cannot laugh at yourself… 😉

  6. I never learned to dance either, except like Elaine. I’ve always wanted to take dancing lessons, but I never have a partner. Alas, I will never learn to dance.

    You know, Fal and I have discussed taking a dance class too. I gotta get unfat first, and she feels the same, but we’d like to learn to dance right; ballroom maybe.

  7. I read this and felt like someone had wrote it about me, it really hit home. Dancing’s high up on that mental list of skills I wish I had acquired during my earlier years. Excellent work my friend, I like your style and look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

    Thanks, Flow. Glad to have you around. Welcome! There is madness and randomness here aplenty; pull up a chair and grab a dish. We’ll serve ya up.

  8. It’s not so much “knowing how” to dance that matters. There’s dance and then there’s dance. Like, the ballet lessons I took when I was a kid, during which there was a always a teacher telling us “shoulders back! stomach in! tighten those buttocks!” vs. letting it all out on the dark dance floor of a club. The ballet, jazz, and folk dancing lessons got me comfortable in my body, giving me the confidence to ad lib in public. You have to go beyond “knowing how”, or just bypass it altogether.

    Oh, I’m certain if I’d had formal dance training this wouldn’t be the secret I’d have shared. That’s a BIG leg-up. But some people are just naturals, like my wife.

    I would hope that one day you get enough courage to let yourself dance freely. It’s a wonderful experience, even if it’s just you in your bedroom with the door closed.

    Oh, I’ve done that. That’s not even remotely the same thing to me. I want to be able to dance at weddings and such without embarrassment; that’s a whole other ball of wax.

    • I see… so you do know how to dance. You just don’t know how to stop being embarrassed. 🙂

      No, no … there’s no “knowing how” involved. 🙂 And nope, never stopped being embarrassed. Ever.

  9. ……..hmmmmmm..cant dance…well dudes that can tango usually pick up chicks…….hahahahahahah zman sends

    Lucky for me I don’t have to worry about that aspect anymore! HA!

  10. Dancing.

    When I was younger and I took myself too seriously I couldn’t bear to dance, to risk looking silly.

    Now that I am closer to the date of my death than I am to the night I lost my virginity I shake m grove thing whenever I feel like it.

    I mean yes I do look like a spaz but I don’t give a damn.

    As it should be. I suppose. 😉

  11. I love to dance. I don’t know if I dance very well, but it is actually the one thing I do where I don’t care how I look. The one thing. And I love musicals–Gene Kelly was my hero! My grandmother was a professional dancer, so I thought everyone should dance. Made the mistake of going on a date once with a boy whose religion said dancing was a sin. Not the boy for me!

    Not the RELIGION for ME. 😉 🙂

    But if I were going to confess something that holds me back…sigh…showing my forehead. Isn’t that weird? I refuse to wear my hair pulled back or go swimming in public just for this reason. There is no horrible blemish, scar, mole or anything. I just feel so ugly. So exposed. Foolish, but I’d need therapy to get over it. Long live my bangs.

    We all have something. Yours is no less or more odd than anyone else’s. My crippling fear of heights is a problem in a lot of circumstances, but it’s just part of me. Your forehead being covered isn’t the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard, and I say EMBRACE your quirks!

  12. On one hand, I’m so Genesis: “I can’t dance, I can’t talk…”

    On the other hand, I’m so Men Without Hats, “You can dance if you want to.”

    For some reason I’ve been thinking in musical lyrics lately. I don’t dance, period. Ben and I tried dancing together at someone’s wedding once and stopped almost immediately by mutual assent. It just felt weird in public. We’ve danced here at home though 🙂 Maybe we’re just ‘Private Dancers?’ of the Tina Turner type, eh?

    I can deal with, accept, and even agree with that. I feel that way too.

    Mkay, I need to sleep more and get up at 4:30AM for random reasons less.

    P.S. You didn’t fool me with your “I gotta secret” either. Ha!

    Oh quit. You didn’t know this before, so it WAS a secret. 😛

  13. Dancing is just another way to let the joy out Darc. Now karaoke, there is something I find frightening! The older I get the more I am willing to try…maybe I’ll do karaoke with some little kids next week?

    Be sure and upload an audio file of how you do. 😉 (I don’t mind singing; I used to be in a church band and a rock band many years ago. I’m rusty, but singing doesn’t bother me so much.)

  14. With you on the can’t-dance thing. Did you see the wedding “march” thing that took the Interwebs by storm a month or two ago? When I saw that, even though I knew it had probably been rehearsed, I could also tell that they were all pretty much told, “Do whatever you feel like doing.” And that’s where the whole dancing thing falls apart for me — an almost total inability to shut off my self-consciousness to the extent required to do what I feel like doing… in front of other people.

    But I do love watching others who aren’t so neurotic!

    I did see that wedding procession, and I LOVED it. It’s a favorite video of my wife’s; we both just LOVE the expression of joy those folks were able to demonstrate by being able to dance and not worry about how it looked or what anyone else thought. There is something so cool about that, isn’t there? A LOT of fun to watch.

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