For The Art Of Dad Dancing
Dad dancing, a thing of ridicule – but for me a thing of impending fear..
Definition of dad dancing in English:
[MASS NOUN] British informal
Awkward or unfashionable dancing to pop music, as characteristically performed by middle-aged or older men: for optimum embarrassment of offspring, dad dancing is best performed to REM’s Shiny HappyPeople.
What is it about becoming a dad and losing your sense of rhythm?
Everyone takes the mickey out of Dad Dancing. But hold on a minute; I’m a Dad. I love to dance – I mean I really love to dance and have done since I was a boy, when the Breakdance craze knocked me and million others like me off my feet and onto our hands/knees/heads and kitchen lino in carparks and shopping precincts up and down the country. Breakin’ gave me a sense of timing and rhythm to be able to move and spin around freely and gracefully without feeling like a “Norbert” on the many dancefloors I have crossed paths with.
Later on as a teenager, watching shows like Dance Energy religiously exposed me to moves like “The Running Man” and “The Wop” I would spend hours practising like mad in my bedroom, ready to put on show at the weekly youth club and roller discos.
Think of a slightly whiter, more ginger Kid and Play in House Party and you have me to a tee.
Then through my soul and funk days in my 20-30’s I would be dancing at any and every opportunity; never one to be shy of being the first on the floor.
Since becoming a dad, I don’t really get the chance anymore to dance. Obviously, my clubbing days are well over so the only opportunity I get to boogie is round the kitchen when a good song comes on the wireless. I think it’s more than a case of “If you don’t use it, you lose it” but what I have noticed is both EI’ and I have lost it – When she goes for it now, rather than the soulful sister I spent our dating days going to gigs with, she now goes into what has been christened “The P T.A (As in Parent Teacher Association) boogie” an awkward jazz, side-stepping, slightly out of time jiggle. Considering ‘Er Indoors was a professional ballet dancer with the Welsh National Opera, she seems to be affected like me, with the curse of the “dad dance” or in her case “mum dance.”
All our years of hard earned practising moves has flown out the windows and instead of lots of “Woo Yeah’s” and “Get on downs” we hear “Ouch” and “I need to sit on down, my knees are killing me”. Spinning, high-kicking and tripping our way through the light fantastic seems to be gone in favour of something odd looking and my son, already in his tender years, looks down at scornfully and distastefully like we are embarrassing him.
I can already hear myself in conversation with the teenage Duke “You wait, son, I’ll tell you what a demon your old dad used to be on the dancefloor” whilst his eyebrow arches higher than St Paul’s Cathedral as the cringe factor comes rolling in.
I am determined not to let this happen. I now intend to dance as much as possible, even if that means in the supermarket, or on the way home from nursery. I don’t care – I am going to dance till it don’t hurt no more!
So here is a guide and a quick and soulful high-five to all the dads that haven’t lost their inner dancer. Next time someone takes the Mick remember there’s a video that shows how it should be done.
So it’s one for the treble, two for the bass come on everybody lets all ..
What are your favorite moves?