There are some people who can eat the floor with their dancing skills. And there are others who just shuffle, drag and disappoint.
I belong to the second category, most definitely – the original Man with the Two Left Feet.
I tried a million times to let the music send feelers to my feet. But all that happened was a clumsy shake, rattle and roll which had my friends in splits. Believe me, this is no laughing matter. And I blame John Travolta for leading me up the garden path.
There I was, young, impressionable and gullible watching the great Travolta shaking them crazy with his antics on the floor in Saturday Night Fever. I was trapped, ensnared by his captivating presence on the floor, swinging away in magnificent movements which had the fans gasping in the air.
The spirit of youth spurred my ambitions. I had learnt that Travolta actually was no great shakes as a dancer but had gone through the whole rigmarole of hard work to become one.
If Travolta can do it, why not me?
So after equipping the self with a big collared shiny shirt, flared trousers and high-heeled shoes, I set out to achieve my nirvana. But one must have some basic skill to move and glide. Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start, stumbling over my own shoelaces and sliding on the floor like a Travolta turn.
The subsequent breaks in the limb and the ensuing pain ensured that this was it. The curtains on my dancing career fell as abruptly as it was started.
Damn Travolta and damn his dancing skills. He can flit out of my life forever for all I care. But then… there was a major drawback. A little bit of dancing went a long way in impressing girls. There were those slick souls who got the girl of their choice because they cut a solid figure on the floor.
And then there was always this thing that if she chose to dance with you meant that hope burgeoned in the bosom that she may be interested. But bereft of any dancing skills, the road ahead looked bleak for me. The thought of being a lonely bachelor rose before the eyes, often with a twinge of what could have been.
Then a friend, who would have made Travolta proud, took me aside and gave me sound advice. I guess he pitied my hungry dog expressions.
“Can you at least move, mate? If you can, then just grab her by the, you know, innerwear strap, hold her tight and whirl slowly, keeping on talking to distract her from your dancing skills.” It took six months to muster up the courage.
One New Year’s Eve with the body flushed and the mind numbed with by numerous glasses of rum punch, I asked a girl to dance with me. Well, she was one of those snooty types, who quoted Kant and talked about the merits of abstract art.
She hated Pisceans and bearded gents too. So I pressed her to dance with me, no doubt courage emanating from imbibing the rum punch.
Five hours and numerous dances later, my back was gone. It is never easy to close dance to rock, jazz and blues. Five hours of dancing, oh man! This must work!
“I hate Pisceans. I hate bearded men…..”