You might think it takes a minor miracle to get a straight man out on the dance-floor but even without the aid of divine inspiration you can get a dude to dance in public. We all know the stereotypes of straight men dancing. Imagine Frankenstein’s Monster doing the Funky Chicken and you have a pretty good idea of what it looks like. But that’s just the stereotype. The reality is often worse than that. Sometimes watching a straight man dance is sadder than watching a one-eyed woman cry. And straight men know this, which is why they don’t feel super eager to get out there and shake their moneymaker.
I have friends who will fake an injury at a wedding, maybe take a fake spill down some stairs, just to get out of dancing at the reception. Other friends have arrangements with their wives, the ones who gave up asking them to dance after two wedding seasons. Now the wives dance with whomever they please as long as what happens on the dance-floor stays on the dance-floor. That’s just sad. Why are more men willing to go to war than a dance-floor?
When I was 12, my sister taught me what the beat was. It’s not that I didn’t hear it, I just clapped along with whatever part of the rhythm I wanted to – I didn’t think it mattered. You could say marching to the beat of your own drummer has always been my song. For the longest time, this was a family joke, but there I was about to go to my first junior high dance and my little sister didn’t want me to embarrass myself (or the family). She was nine. She knew the beat mattered if I wanted to dance with a girl. So she taught me to clap along to the beat and she showed me a few steps she’d learned from watching musicals. It totally worked. I went and was unafraid to ask a girl to slow dance. Nowadays, at whatever wedding I go to, I know when the music starts, I’m gonna end up dancing with everyone’s wives, girlfriends and mothers because I’m one of the few straight dudes who’s comfortable out on the dance-floor.
You could say I’m a classic example of: If I can do it, anyone can. I mean, c’mon, I had to be taught to clap along to the beat by a nine-year old girl. Thankfully, she didn’t give me a complex about it and instead she showed me a few steps, because now I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of dancing in public thanks to her. Seriously, I know, down in my dancing shoes, any dude can learn to dance. I’m no Fred Astaire, but I have fun. Life’s way too short to be afraid of dancing.
So… here are eight ways to get a straight man out on the dance-floor:
1. Promise Him That People Won’t Laugh At Him
Okay, you know, there’s a good chance his dance moves might make a few others smile, laugh or giggle. They might even make your great-grandmother spit her dentures in her diet coke. But don’t tell him that. And try to keep him away from any kids. Those little buggers can be cruel. In order to get him out there, promise him others won’t be watching him. Try to say this with a straight face. Remind him of the safety found in numbers. Point out how many people are dancing and suggest he’ll kinda blend in- just be one more in the herd. The biggest obstacle for most straight men is their fear of looking stupid. What makes us afraid? The unknown. Losing face in public. Stage fright. A guy runs up against all of these when it comes to dancing because most straight men have no idea what they’re doing. Most of the time no one ever showed them how. And even if they kinda know a few steps or at least get the idea of dancing, how can anyone be good at something if you never practice? So maybe before you get a straight man out on the dance-floor, teach him some basics. He’ll be ten times more likely to wander out into the herd of wedding dancers if he feels the least bit comfortable.
2. Point Out How The Other Guys Are Also Crappy Dancers
If he’s still somewhat uncomfortable, or if he doesn’t go for the idea that no one will watch or laugh at his dancing, then play to his fears and point out all the other subpar straight men cutting a rug. Suggest he’ll blend into that part of the crowd. Remind him that no one has any expectations of greatness from a straight man dancing anyway. If he’s upright and moving in time with the music, he’s already winning. And if you need to, tell him to avoid the White Man Overbite, and who knows, he might even look like he knows what he’s doing, but at least people won’t laugh at him. If he still remains shy or reluctant, look him in the eye and ask him why people would be watching him when you’re dancing with him. He’ll probably find it hard to answer that question, afraid he’ll upset you. Quickly grab his hand and head for the dance-floor while he’s momentarily confused.
3. Give Him “Some Encouragement”
If the straight man in your life still won’t dance- there’s a surefire strategy that’s been getting bros to dance since before Jesus was born. Get him drunk. The Greeks were masters of getting drunk and dancing. They even had gods and festivals dedicated to it. Use that ancient wisdom and pour some liquid encouragement onto the problem. Don’t get him so drunk he’s likely to puke on Uncle Lou, just buzzed enough he’s feeling loose and is well past the point of worrying about social mockery.
4. YouTube His Ass Some Dance Lessons
Before you go to your next wedding, family function, reunion, office holiday party, or clubbing with your girlfriends and their significant others, dedicate some YouTube time to the virtual dance-floor. Since so much of a straight man’s fear of dancing in public stems from not knowing what to do- you gotta employ one of the most powerful forces in the known universe to combat his fear- education. Give him some tools to work with. Watch some vids and practice the steps together, which could be surprisingly fun for both of you. No guy likes to be bad at something in public so give him a chance to be bad in private with you. And guys, you can also just practice by yourself. Whatever it takes to get your toes tapping.
5. Inflate His Ego
I don’t want to hear it. You know there’s such a thing as “doing bad to do good.” Look at the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, you’re basically lying to a child to make them feel good at a later date with gifts and money. So, yeah. This is like that. Lie to him like he’s a happy-faced child. Tell him he’s a better dancer than he thinks. And if you can say it without cracking a smile, tell him he’s a good dancer. And hopefully, with that boost to his confidence you can get him out there often enough that one day that’ll be true.
6. Turn To Experts
If YouTube dance classes don’t do it for him, try taking an actual factual dance class with instructors and everything. Now, most guys won’t go for this. So maybe ask a hypnotist to take him under and give him a post-hypnotic suggestion. That way when you’re out with your girlfriends and their significant others, you can say your trigger word and suddenly, like The Mask, he transforms into a world-class dancer. And when you’re done dancing, say the release word and have him go back to being his everyday Stanley Ipkiss self. I imagine hypnotism could work, although I also assume it’s probably expensive. But hey, it’s worth a try.
7. Pull In the Afterlife
This one’s another dirty one- but like I said dancing is more important than a little white lie. So tell him, with the last of her strength, your dying great-grandmother, on her deathbed, asked that he always dance with you because to live is to dance. How could he turn down your dying great-grandmother? And if he can, do you really want that guy in your life anyway?
8. Get Pavlovian On His Ass
Every time he dances with you in public make sure to reward him with some sex. Assuming you and this straight man have it like that. Faster than Pavlov got those dogs salivating at the sound of bells you’ll have him running out onto the dance-floor. Sex is a powerful motivator. Evolution uses it. You can, too.
Most guys like to make the woman in their life happy. Since most straight men would rather go skinny-dipping in cold water than show off their shortcomings on the dance-floor, if you wanna get him dancing, just make sure he knows a few steps, this will make him feel like he knows what he’s doing, and he can feel comfortable shaking what nature gave him. With some repetition comes confidence, and once he’s no longer thinking about what he’s doing and he’s just out there dancing- Watch out now!
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