“Let’s dance!” Two words that are guaranteed to send slivers of ice shuddering down my spine. They are usually shouted by an extrovert with a look of glee in there eyes that shall forever more remain alien to me. I lock a rictus grin on my face and follow the group onto the dancefloor, praying for it to be so crowded there won’t be much space to move. Then follows an hour of mindnumbingly repetitive movements of the body, which I pretend are inspired by the awful music blaring from the speakers. Sometimes, I can manage to send myself into a numb trance through these movements. This helps to make the time pass quicker.
Then one night, I was at a party at a friend’s house. Music was being played, but people were talking and socializing in groups. Until ‘the dancer’ arrived. This was a party so she was going to dance. She took her shoes off, planted herself in the middle of the living room floor and started showing her moves. She had an aura of a self-righteous activist on a protest march. Her pride in herself for being the first, and so far only, person ‘brave’ enough to dance at this party was palpable. Socialising was unnecessary. Every time someone squeezed past her to get to the bathroom or refresh their drink, she threw her large hips out further and shimmied harder.
Eventually, as people came in from the garden out of the cold, it became necessary for more people to gather in the kitchen. The ‘dancer’ was still pounding the carpet, pretending she was unaware that the people shoved to the sides of the room by her taking up most of the floor had no option but to watch her. There was a hard triumphant gleam in her eyes.
Then someone suggested the party clown dance too. She made way for him, as he began to wriggle and bend. Then he pulled more people up, one of whom was a professional dancer. She held back this time, not being in the mood and conscious of being in someone’s livingroom. But her movements were still graceful and elegant. Like a couple of the other guests now up dancing. The ‘dancer’ stopped smiling at the clown. She lowered her head and watched the professional out of the corner of her eyes as she tried to match her moves and outdance her.
Then it was my turn to be called to the dancefloor. As usual, I felt that heaviness in my stomach when I was called. But this time, I stayed in my seat. Stubborn, but pleased with myself for finally not joining in an activity I do not enjoy out of peer pressure. I walked away from the dancefloor, feeling my spirit dance inside.
What if there are more people out there that don’t want to dance? That feel like a hippopotamus among flamingos the minute they step on the dancefloor? Why must people be bullied into dancing? If they say no, and let the people that want to dance do so, why not leave them be?
Let each person have the freedom to dance, or sit, or stand still in order to get their groove on – whichever their choice may be.
Inspired by Daily Prompt.