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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, October 28, 2002


Guys — when forced to dance, it's best to keep it simple

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By Ken Rickard
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kingston Mines in Chicago is a pretty good blues club. It's an old-school bar that attracts a wide variety of clientele and was worth a stop while I was in the Windy City.

The band was grooving and the crowd was ready for some fun. It was the magic mix of the music and just the right amount of alcohol that most likely caused the tragedy that I witnessed that night.

It started off innocently enough.

A small crowd began to fill the dance floor as the upbeat music bellowed throughout the nightclub.

That's when I saw it in the corner of my eye.

An excited lady leapt to her feet and started to groove with the beat. Then she beckoned to her date to get up. He tilted back the rest of his beer, slammed the bottle down to the table, and stood up.

And began to dance.


His torso was flailing as his legs were writhing. His head was bopping and his fists were clenched. His eyes were closed and he was biting his lower lip, all the while following the beat to a song that had to be something other than what the band was playing.

It was hard to watch this guy. He could not find the beat even if he had a map. The sad truth is most guys can't dance.

Gentlemen, it is our civic duty to dance with a woman when asked. But please stick to the basics.

I've had my share of dance floor debacles. They all start out the same.

A bunch of your female friends want to dance, and you're trying to enjoy a cold Bud Light.

They give you the come hither wave from the dance floor before subtly dragging you up there by the arm.

Most guys will play it safe and do the "upper body" dance. That's the one with the feet firmly planted in one position while swaying one's arms and shoulders in hopes one won't notice their lack of ability.

Women know we can't dance. That's why they love to fast dance in groups — because they can.

They will set aside a night where the sole purpose is to go dancing. You'll probably never hear a guy say, "You know what, man? I feel like dancing."

But when left with no other option the ladies will force ... ask ... us to cut a rug with them.

When you find yourself in this situation, just use some common sense and you'll get through it unharmed.

Here are some tips:

• Try to find the beat. If you can do it in the car with your woofers blaring, you can find it while at the club too. It's that sound that you nod your head to.

• The Running Man is old. So is the Roger Rabbit. I don't care how many Bobby Brown videos you've studied, its best to keep it simple with the feet. Just shuffle them around a little.

• Don't freak them unless they freak you first. But don't overdo it, because your friends are watching.

• Swing dancing is kind of neat to watch. But you can't do it. Leave it to the pros.

• Finally, if you think you are dancing great and can feel the music flow through you, you are too drunk to drive. Call a cab and deny everything in the morning.

Reach Ken Rickard at krickard@honoluluadvertiser.com.