I don’t like to brag, but with the appropriate level of lubrication, my wife and I are fantastic dancers. I don’t mean to say that we think we are fantastic dancers due to that lubrication , it’s a proven fact. People used to tell us that all the time. After performing our perfectly choreographed “Rump Shaker” routine in an Orlando night club more than a few years ago, several spectators asked us afterwards which troupe we belonged to, refusing to believe that we weren’t professionals somewhere in the most visited tourist city in the world.
We not only start the dancing at weddings, we end it, a serious discussion occurring one night about whether or not we could legitimately start a business where people would hire us to ensure a certain level of fun at their affairs. I’m still not convinced that there wasn’t an untapped market that we didn’t have the courage (motivation) to try and exploit.
Like many of my skills, this one seems to be diminishing as I grow older. That point in the evening when my toes would start tapping and my groove would start getting on are now the times when I start yawning and checking my watch. We know fewer and fewer people that are getting married or that haven’t sworn off the institution altogether. Moves are growing stagnant , routines unrehearsed.
The five year old, however, loves to dance , anywhere and at any time. The 2012 Super Bowl was memorable for being the second time the New York Giants spoiled things for my wife’s New England Patriots but more than any particular play I remember Madonna’s halftime show and a little girl who could barely stand on her own showing off some impressive moves. Early attempts at taking her to restaurants were abandoned not only because of her habit of throwing crayons at people at surrounding tables, but because if there was any music playing she was unable to sit still. The girl just had to dance.
Children dance with even more of a lack of self-consciousness than I used to have at last call. After listening to her laugh, watching her dance is one of the greatest gifts of fatherhood.
On the Wednesdays that there haven’t been home games for the local minor league baseball team, we’ve been going to a park in a neighboring town that hosts bands in the summer. We’ve seen rock and country, oldies and swing. There is a playground on site so I’m usually abandoned for other children fairly quickly after arriving, but there always comes a point in the evening when she decides that she needs to dance. She needs to dance and she needs me as a partner.
So we dance, poorly but enthusiastically, as far from the actual dance floor as she will agree to. Her moves often seem to resemble a blind ninja surrounded by imaginary enemies, mine closer to somebody having a small seizure while walking over hot coals. Calls to any of the bands to play Rump Shaker have so far been ignored.
We dance because it’s fun, and I care less and less what anybody watching thinks each time that we go. We dance because when a child hands you a toy phone, you answer it. When they grab your hand and ask for a twirl you dust off your two left feet and you shake that booty.