How Do You Get a Guy to Dance?

L comes from one of those African countries with a reputation for deadly booty-shakin, feet-groovin funky tunes, whose music and dance culture is rapidly growing in global popularity, particularly via South America. Whenever we’re out and people realise where he’s from – and that he refuses, point blank, to dance – I never fail to elicit sympathy and surprise from friends. “A [Insert African country here]-ican you doesn’t dance?!”

Yes it turns out tv lied to us: not all Africans groove and shake the night away.

Now I’m the first person to admit that people from foreign cultures are in no way obliged to fulfil our misguided stereotypes of them…

But geez I wish L would dance! Even just a little.

I’m no party animal in any definition of the term. I prefer to spend my time reading, writing, camping, hiking or any other activity that’ll set me down at the end of the day with either a good book or a good feed. But I love dancing and loved clubbing in my late teens and early twenties: The buzz of the music, the pulsating beats, the thrill of busting it out with randoms who I was too shy to actually speak to. Dancing is human bodily communication par excellence – you can be anonymous yet connected. And as a withdrawn and socially awkward 20 year old in a club at 3 am, it’s hardly surprising that I got such a high out of it, completely unassisted by alcohol or drugs. In fact, I can still dance non-stop til sunrise on water alone.

Which is why I’m a bit bummed that L refuses to dance, or even go out most of the time. We’ve been in a new city for a while now but I still haven’t made too many friends to go out with, and I was hoping L would morph into my partner in crime. Unfortunately, things haven’t quite gone to plan. The only time I’ve seen him on the dance floor is when a friend asked him to look after her mum, who was visiting over the weekend and had joined us at the pub.

(Which makes me think…maybe I should drag him out clubbing with my mum when she visits….and then they’d both get dancing…and maybe my mum would actually give him a chance…but that’s a story for another post!).

When I recently complained about his lack of enthusiasm for a good night out, L gave his usual Oscar-the-grouch-reply – “Bah, I hate dancing. Go without me”. He mentioned that his ex-girlfriend, before he moved to Australia, would also always complain about his refusal to dance. “I used to go up to other guys at the club and ask them to dance with her.” He twinkles remembering. “Nobody ever said no, they’d have big grins on their faces”.

Then confusion slights his eyes.

“But I don’t know, she would always just get annoyed with me anyway”.

Sounds like she doesn’t know how luck she was. At least he took the girl out!


Filed under Cultural Difference, Music and Dance

9 responses to “How Do You Get a Guy to Dance?

  1. Hey my husband refuses to dance… unless it is Nepali dancing. I did not learn traditional Nepali dancing at school in Australia so i am left with a choice: Never dance with my husband or make a total twat of myself pretending i know how dance Nepali style.

    • You should strike a deal – you’ll dance on his turf if he dances on yours! I have to hand it to a lot of the Nepali men I have seen dancing, they are very very expressive 🙂

  2. kay

    Hmmm…I’m on L’s side. I hate dancing as well! Kartik tries getting me to dance all the time. When I go out, I like going to a loungy / bar sort of place with comfy chairs, good food, and good songs that aren’t too loud. Not a big fan of clubs because it’s too loud, too crowded, lack of comfy chairs, and bad food (and no desserts)!

    • I definitely agree that no desserts are a bit of a bummer!
      I don’t mind a comfy lounge with good food either. But I don’t quite think that’s L’s scene. Unfortunately his choice of lounge is lounging at home!

  3. When my husband dances, everyone starts laughing not only the ‘Europeans’ but also the Nepalese. He dances very enthousiastic and expressively. It is really funny.

    However, nowadays he refuses to dance because he feels laughed upon…

  4. I am probably the clumsiest soul that ever existed on the face of this planet and I cannot dance at all. I wouldn’t know if I should move my hands up or down, right or left. Where do my feet go? And what do I do with my head? It is all so confusing. I would rather sit at home and watch an action-packed movie and volumes turned up real high 😉 or heaven forbid read a decent book. Lucky for me, my wife is not much of a dance either. So there’s no pressure!!!
    The point is I sympathize with L.

  5. lkafle

    i am also 0 in dancing

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