I have to give credit where credit is due. Last week I was given a challenge in the comments section of the Music article. The reader wanted to know if scientists have done any studies correlating dancing prowess with, well…another kind of prowess, prowess in the sack. My ears pricked-up at the concept. As it turns out, the answer is a resounding YES!!! I’m going to really try to keep this an article of general interest, though I can feel it in my bones that it will be a difficult article for me to write about objectively. First off, I truly LOVE to dance. Decorum dictates that you draw your own correlation to this. Yet, what we’d actually like to know is: will my becoming a better dancer make me a better lover as well? Read on Macduff. This is gonna be fun, though not so much for the feint of heart nor the Puritanical.
As a brief background, my mom and dad were superb dancers, and those who know my background know I don’t dwell on my praise of my father. At an extremely young age (before second grade) I had a crush on a girl whose name rhymes with Neva Kelly. No, wait a minute… That actually was her name. I asked my mom how to dance so that I could ask her to do so. I learned the most rudimentary step on planet…the box step. I wasn’t particularly good at it…too restrictive and even back then, I began embellishing. No one noticed, but Neva didn’t seem to mind. At age six or seven I was already hooked on Neva and on dancing.
DANCE! By the time high school rolled around I had been practicing quite a bit. Before every Friday night dance, I’d put on, (care to guess?) DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, by the Beach Boys. I’ll never forget the first line: “After six hours of school, I’ve had enough of the day. I put the radio on and turn it up all the way. I wanna DANCE!!!” I got to be pretty good. At every high school dance I’ve ever attended, the girls would line up on one side of the floor, the guys on the other. The music would start…and we’d all stand there like idiots, staring at each other. No one wanted to be the first idiot to make a fool of himself. Well…there was one idiot. I’d go over and whisper, “Do you want to be a leader or a follower?” Most times it worked.
As it turns out, through vigorous scientific study, dancing is Darwinian. It’s not just humans but many species who, first off, have to show that they have the guts to get out there. Then, they have to show some coordination, smoothness, sensitivity, and most of all ENTHUSIASM! In dancing as well as sex, enthusiasm will take you a very long way.
Over the Hill? Guess again. Many of you may sigh right about now and say, “Yeah, that’s all well and good, but I’m not 16 years old anymore, I’m (fill in some horrendous number here). Plus…I’m already married. I don’t have to bother with that crap anymore. Guess again…
Dancing has absolutely everything going for it and no bad side effects. If you are still drawing a breath and are even somewhat ambulatory, you can dance. Dancing is the discreet vertical version of making love. You can choose your poison, what song that puts you and your mate in the mood and then begin, just by holding each other tightly, swaying a bit and pressing your little (or big) body against your mate’s. If you have a reluctant mate (we all tend to get more self-conscious) two things help. Ply him or her with their favorite drink and then put on their ultra-favorite song. It’s so basic, but…it works and guess what dancing is a prelude to. A good friend sent an ethnic joke last week. The punchline was, “Sex is frowned on because…it could lead to dancing.” There’s something to that.
As a Sidebar, there are only two things that I would worry about if Pamela and I went out with another couple. First: if the other guy could make Pamela laugh like hell…a LOT, and second, if on the dance floor, he was smooooooth and suave. Oh, there’s a third, too. If he looks like Hugh Jackman, or Tim Olyphant, he’ll never make it to the dance floor with Pamela. He just won’t.
Ballet Dancers: It works the other way as well. My first infatuation was with a ballerina with the Russian Kirov Ballet. She danced the Sugar Plum Fairy and…wow. Years later, when I met Pamela at a mixer, I quickly discovered that she was a Hungarian Ballerina…with Harkness Ballet no less. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. I must have been sorta okay on the dance floor. She didn’t keel over in laughter…still doesn’t even though we’ve been together for decades. Uhmmm… Pamela just strolled in and began peering over my shoulder as I’m writing this. She said, (and I quote) “Dancing is a secret test that women sometimes give to men. Many have failed a test they didn’t even know they were taking.” Darwin would approve. FYI, yes, that’s Pamela flying above the stage.
Enough already, Henry. Are you going to give some valuable advice…or not? If your hobby is ice fishing or golfing or tennis or…whatever, slice off about half that time for a month or so and go dancing. Take a basic class or tango class, salsa, jitterbug…doesn’t really matter. Practice, practice, get sweaty, be enthusiastic, and afterwards when you get home…and are still sweaty, do some horizontal dancing…smoothly and with enthusiasm.
Be creative, turn your brain off and become ALL the animal you can be. Unless you are married to a large block of ice, your results will be very rewarding. Dancing leads to even more dancing and occasionally to horizontal dancing. It’s good for you, your heart, your relationship, your self-image. It’s ALL good. Gaze out at a dance floor. Look at the dancing and who is doing what. It’s a superb gauge as to how a couple relates…or doesn’t.
A Secret Weapon that’s REALLY Fun! On a whim, right after one of our little dance parties, we went on-line, and ordered…a tambourine! It cost something like $14.95 and arrived three days later. That night after dinner and a glass of wine, we cranked up Lady Marmalade, but it could have been the Stones, Led Zep and then….Oooooh baby! It’s easy to do a passable job in about two minutes, but the fun is when you get about four degrees better than passable. While you’re dancing you can pass it around and, it’s just a helluva lot of fun! Hint: Don’t try to hit every single beat in the song. People will begin throwing things at you or prying it out of your hand. It’s like a musical spice… Think of sprinkling a little cayenne.
One of the highlights of my life: We were stationed at Yokota AFB, Japan. I was a young captain and Pamela had just recovered from having our son, Cameron. Went to the O’Club and Whole Lotta Lovin’, (Led Zep) came on at 12 million decibels. We got out there in the epicenter of the dance floor. Pam was twinkling her funny little twinkle. Fourteen seconds later, we had cleared the floor. Yeah, dancing and sex…they’ll take you pretty far. Better than knocking around a little white ball with a stick or bouncing a big orange rubber ball.
P.S. Whoever you are and however old you are, if you have a cool shot or story of yourself dancing…send it in and I’ll post it. And yeah, that’s an older shot of me…but…that’s how I feel when I’m dancing.