Viral sensation Psy says dress classy dance cheesy. But what about those who just can’t dance?

Yeah, you make it LOOK simple. Photo:

Having a social life can be pretty awkward for people born without a dancing gene. Specifically at weddings, (especially your own), parties celebrating milestone birthdays and any kind of drinking social event from your late teens right through until your mid thirties. Or longer depending on how much of a life you have.

You will know the person without the dancing gene because they are the ones clinging to the edges of the party. When the music starts, they suddenly disappear to the bathroom, or to have a cigarette or to catch up with “so and so” who they haven’t seen for ages.

Granted, there are a few exceptions to this situation. The first one is when you are getting married and are forced by social niceties and the benefit of your parents, to endure a five minute scrambled kind of dance so that everyone can stare at you more.

This situation is made worse if you happen to marry someone who also has two left feett, for example. But it can also be compounded by a mismatch – someone who is more risqué, energetic, or lets face it, drunk than you. 

Another exception apparently is 40th birthday parties. A friend said recently she took to the dance floor with an entire flock of well dressed women who spent half the night trying to convince each other to get up, but then had no idea what to do once they made it there. Well, at least they looked nice.

Getting tipsy can also help people without the dancing gene, but only in their minds eye. A couple of glasses of champagne and you’re on your feet, convinced you could make to into the first round of Dancing with the Stars. Unfortunately, as anyone from afar will be able to tell you, that’s not the kind of vibe you’re giving off.

The bad news of course is there is very little you can do to overcome this affliction. There really are only two choices: reject every social occasion by email, or pretend like you can dance.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • DexteR says:

      08:31am | 20/10/12

      I always say “I don’t dance” never I can’t, or I use a slightly altered quote from Seinfeld “I choose not to dance”

      That way it I own it as a choice rather than a lack of ability:)


      09:24am | 20/10/12

      Hi Lucy,

      Dancing may as well be considered to be part of our personal and cultural DNA.  Just like you mentioned some people could come up with so many excuses for not dancing in crowded events such as weddings and evenings out to celebrate special occasions like anniversaries.  I have discovered recently that everyone has the potential to at least pretend to dance to begin with and then go on to have the best time of their lives, by letting their hair down and dance the night away.

      I have learnt that most interesting part is to actually dance as if no one is watching you!  I am guessing that it is a bit like performing in front of crowds and what we call stage fright.  Recently I was invited to an evening dinner cruise which began so peacefully enough!  However towards the end of the evening, some guests were totally out of control with the high amount of alcohol in their blood stream and with no care or a worry in the world. 

      Especially more so for a stressed out businessman from Taiwan, it was hilarious to watch. Even when the music stopped playing he was still dancing with some moves we hadn’t seen in some of the best rap artists in the world.  It only goes to show that once we get over our hang ups and self image problems, we might actually end up having a really good time. We will never have a chance to discover our true talents as well as our limitations until we give it a try.  That rule truly applies to all the misconceptions we may have about ourselves a well as others.  Kind regards to your editors.

    • andye says:

      09:24am | 20/10/12

      Lots of people who “can’t dance” actually just can’t let go and stop worrying about what people think. This is why ecstasy taught a generation that dancing like an idiot and not caring can be kinda liberating.

    • Yup says:

      01:14pm | 20/10/12

      Nailed it, and also happy talk to people you would have never even approached otherwise.

    • Bho Ghan-Pryde says:

      01:36pm | 20/10/12

      Bourbon did the same for an earlier generation.

    • Daz says:

      02:05pm | 20/10/12

      Ok Lucy I’ll help you out. I only dance when I’m drunk. Nothing has less rhythm than a sober white male.


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter