If you want to scare people, mention one of three things: death, public speaking, and dancing. If you mention all of them at once, you’ve got the plot to a horror movie. People are scared of dying for obvious reasons. Public speaking is hard because many of us fear big crowds. Dancing, however, is another matter. Our fear of it may go back to a fear of being judged as lacking somehow. It’s one thing to feel clumsy and uncoordinated in everyday life, but dancing can take those fears to an entirely new level. That’s why so many people do everything they can to avoid getting into a situation that requires dancing. It’s still going to come up sometimes, though, and when it does, you don’t have to bust out a perfect waltz. But a situation where a bit of dancing is expected isn’t something that should make you run away screaming either.
Do you have to dance at a wedding? No, you don’t. That’s true even if it’s your own wedding. Some couples really want to have a moment together on the dance floor, but it’s not compulsory. No jurisdiction will make your marriage license contingent on dancing, just like no jurisdiction will require you to walk down the aisle with your father or wear a veil. If a first dance as husband and wife doesn’t feel like something that makes sense for you as a couple, then skip it. But don’t skip it just because you’re scared of dancing. Think about your first wedding anniversary, and then think about your twentieth wedding anniversary. If not having a first dance is going to be something you’ll regret, then it’s time to tackle your fears head-on by signing up for wedding dance lessons. Look around your city and you’ll find dance studios that have packages designed just for people who are about to get married. They’ll be able to work with whatever skill level you have. Don’t feel like you’re going on one of those TV dance shows, because there are no judges here, only trained professionals who want to do everything possible to make your first dance memorable for all the right reasons. Start a few months before the big day to give yourself plenty of time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t be too hard on your fiancé. There’s so much that’s stressful about planning a wedding, so try to have fun with the dance lessons. If nothing else, consider it a bonding experience for you and your sweetheart.
Parties and nightclubs
The kind of dancing you’ll see at a club on a Friday night is quite different from the kind you’ll see at a black-tie wedding, but it can be stressful partly because it’s so much less formal. Are you supposed to just kind of stand there and sway? One of the best things you can is to bring friends and dance together. That’s especially useful for women who don’t want to be hit on by strange men. Be confident and don’t apologize for how you look. Find a venue that makes you feel comfortable. Some people look for a certain kind of lighting that flatters, while others prefer a specific style of music. If you are trying to attract someone’s attention, then know that few things are sexier than confidence. Knowing the latest dance moves isn’t nearly as important as getting out there and just having a blast while you work up a sweat.