Dancing Through Life

Ally Stapleton, Editor in Chief

If aliens were suddenly to land on the earth and begin examining the human species, I believe that some of their first remarks would be about dancing. Why are all these people moving so enthusiastically and unnaturally around in a room? Why do they all move around the same way for the Cupid Shuffle, but not for anything else? What is that guy doing with his head?

I was reminded of the strangeness of dancing at a wedding I attended recently where I saw dozens of people crammed together on a dance floor, making repetitive, bizarre motions with their bodies, unified by the beat of a song yet all displaying wild variations in their physical reactions to the music. I love to dance, but I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m terrible at it. And I can also tell you that many people at that wedding were terrible at it too. But for some reason, it didn’t matter. In a way, dancing is about being stupid. That’s why no one batted an eye when someone at this wedding started waving his entire body up and down in a rapidly oscillating, tsunami-like motion, why everyone willingly hops and and stomps and claps their hands exactly when they are told to during the Cha-Cha Slide, why “the worm” and “the sprinkler” and the “running-man” caught on as dance moves. Dancing is random: it has no rules, and it is, in many ways, downright weird, but I know very few people who dislike it. It seems to be an indisputable fact that dancing makes people happy.

Dancing is, in so many ways, a lot like life. It’s not always pretty, and it’s definitely a lot harder for some people than others. It follows very few hard-and-fast rules and is rather unpredictable. It’s a  wild, raw, unfiltered adventure. Yes, it’s crazy and it’s weird and a lot of times it’s uncomfortable, but it’s certainly a lot of fun because of those things. It’s not something you can plan out most of the time, and whether a person enjoys it or not ultimately depends on their individual reactions to the music of life.

So what if we acted in our everyday lives the same way we act on the dance floor? What if, in the normal course of a day, people gave their honest, immediate responses to things? What if the things we heard or read moved us so much that we got up and physically did something in response? What if we stopped caring so much about what other people thought and just expressed ourselves? What if we took time to forget about all the things we “have” to do and did what we were naturally drawn to do? Maybe, if we lived the same way that we dance, life would be a little happier.

So you go, Tsunami Man. You too, Frantically-Waving-Your-Arms-Up-and-Down Lady. And you, Mr. My-Feet-Are-Moving-Too-Fast-to-Worry-About-What-My-Arms-Are-Doing. That person smoothly swaying to the beat, the girl who does the YMCA with extreme enthusiasm, the kid who just wants to learn how to dougie, all of you, go for it. Go all out on the dance floor of life. Do whatever dance the music compels you to do and do it with gusto. Because, in the sagacious words of the Kid President, “there’s plenty of reasons to dance, if you stop to look for them.”