A couple of nights ago, out of the blue, the husband announced that he missed dancing.
(before you get the image of him as some buffoon who just randomly says odd stuff, there was a context to it – I think there was an advert on TV for a dance music album or something, and we both spent time on the dance scene in our youth, but for different reasons. He was chasing girls. He got me. Unlucky.)
I don’t actually like dancing. At least not in public. I like looning around at home and being daft. I have a weird clumsy ballet routine I do whenever Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is you comes on, because it means Christmas. I’ve even been known to indulge in a do-si-do and some 50s rockabilly jive.
But only at home.
When I dance, in public, I feel ridiculously self conscious. It’s not that I’m bad at it. I don’t have warped rhythm or move the wrong feet at the wrong time. I dare say I blend in fine with all the other dancers. I just feel so awkward. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I feel like I’m doing it wrong and that people are noticing me. Which is ridiculous, because:
a) why would people be looking at me (who do I think I am?!)
b) I’m just doing pretty much what everyone else does.
I like to watch dance. Choreographed coordinated group dancing is amazing. Street dance. Even ballroom, to an extent. But normal people crowding on a dancefloor and just moving around randomly strikes me as very odd. I remember an experience at a club in Sheffield once, sitting down and just looking at the dancefloor, thinking how bonkers it was. This mass group bumping into each other, moving arms about and really getting into it. I was ridiculously drunk at the time, which probably added to my strange comprehension, but it just seemed odd.
You know some people like to get dressed up and go out dancing? That sounds horrible to me. You know at a party when a great song comes on, and people cheer with recognition and rush to the dancefloor? Very very rarely me. And, when it does happen, I lose interest after about 30 seconds and wonder how quickly I can slink away.
Today, I went back to the gym. It had been a while. I’m not great at the gym because I don’t like it, and I don’t like it because I don’t get immediate results, but again I worry that people are looking at me. When everyone else is jogging on the treadmill and I’m only walking, I feel like I’m being rubbish and people are thinking I may as well have stayed in bed. When I manage a little spurt of running (again, rare) I’m convinced I run like Phoebe from Friends.
When my husband came over to check I was ok (we’re not one of those icky couples who train together, but we did share a car there today) I felt like even he was judging me. If that isn’t ridiculous I don’t know what is!
I’m rubbish at weights so I don’t do them. I get giggly and pathetic and say crap things like “I have no upper body strength”. I’m not a fighter. I don’t work to prove people wrong. I’d rather give in than look stupid (or think I look stupid).
I guess, ultimately, it just comes down to not being great at something. I can do dancing, but I don’t feel that I do it well. I can go to the gym, but I’ll never be the gym bunny who people aspire to be.
It shouldn’t matter.
It’s the taking part that counts. Isn’t that what we’re always told? But in truth only losers say that! The people who don’t excel.
It’s strange to admit to what must equate to a lack of self confidence, which is very much a weakness. If you could see some of the stunts I’ve pulled in public over the years you’d be wondering what the frick I’m talking about. I’m not shy. I’m not a wallflower.
Perhaps I’m just an over thinker. Which sounds very intellectual and much more socially acceptable than being a twit.
Thanks, as always for reading! x