Keep your meditation and yoga, I’ll take private dance parties every day.
So there’s that phrase everybody knows: “Dance like nobody’s watching.” Ultimately this just means have confidence in yourself on the dance floor and that dancing should be about YOU and not being concerned about if your moves are good enough or how you look. I’ve talked in the past about how beautiful music is when you just let it consume you. It’s true, when you get to that point where you just gotta dance, you definitely SHOULD forget everything around you and just let go. It’s more than just dance-specific. I believe whoever originated this phrase really meant that whatever it is tugging at your passion, you should just let go and not be concerned about what everyone around you thinks. For me that concept most often manifests when I’m playing the drums. Getting into the music and just letting go, flailing like a madman. It’s a magical experience.
However, I honestly wonder how many people know what its like to ACTUALLY dance when nobody is watching. I think the prequel to the opening phrase should be “you by all means SHOULD dance when nobody is watching. You should take every chance you can to throw on some music and boogie. Shake parts of you that you don’t often shake.” But I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.
Honestly, if you have never just had a solo dance party, you’re missing out. It is honestly one of the easiest ways to get hyped before a day of work. It is relaxing and refreshing. It fills you with confidence to approach challenges and energy to approach creativity. If you take it in the right direction, it can even be a good work out. I mean hell, why do you think there are so many dance-focused video games. The benefits of just absorbing some music and letting our bodies go is astounding. I don’t frequent dance clubs, but you best believe when I’m home I’m getting my Risky Business on.
I love it, to be honest. I never approach a day stronger than I do when I’ve let myself have a moment to just listen to some loud music and boogie, however that may manifest. And by all means, let your dance be specific to you. Wanna just bang head to some heavy metal? Tear up, satanicus! Maybe you feel like a private hoedown. Well then, do-si-do it to it, pardner! The music doesn’t matter, the moves don’t matter. All that counts is that you let the music grab you right in the emotions and you move the way it tells you to.
Like I said, I always find that getting a little groove in is great way to clear my mind and charge up for the day, but it’s not just me saying it. There have actually been studies that look deeper into the mental health benefits of regular or occasional dance, as well as groups that use dance as active therapy. There is seriously a ton of literature out there about different effects dance and music have on the mind as well as the body, and while the full effects are still being recorded and re-recorded, the overall consensus is that dancing both freely and as part of a organized group is one of the most beneficial activities you can take part in. It explains why we as humans are always so drawn to it. Hell, our modern concept of popular music is almost exclusively driven by the ability of a song to be “danceable.” We have had dancing and rhythm focused video games for literally decades. Popular group exercise programs like jazzercise and Zumba have been popular for literally as long as I can recall. We as people WANT to dance, however that movement might manifest, so if you haven’t just let go in the safety of your own home, then you’re severely missing out.
I invite anyone who reads this to dance. By yourself, with a friend, with a significant other. At a club, home alone, in the street (maybe not). Dance while running on the treadmill (carefully). Dance while vacuuming. If your jam comes on during the pre-show at a movie or in the waiting room at a mechanic or while you’re trying to find the ripest honeydew at the farmer’s market, then dive in and boogie-oogie and also oogie.
I also think if it’s something you’re interested in, consider finding a class or group and start doing that. Not only are you getting the benefits of regular dance, you’re getting the benefits of socialization and meeting a bunch of people with the same interest. You don’t have to be the next lead background dancer in the next [Insert Popular Music Personality Here] video (gotta keep these blog posts relevant for years to come). You just have to let go and get your groove on. Dance for yourself and follow where your body wants you to go.
Just dance like nobody is watching.
Some of my dance jams:
Standout – Prof
Genghis Khan – Miike Snow
Pork Soda – Glass Animals
Wow – Post Malone
Check Yo Self – Ice Cube
PARAD(w/m)E – Sylvan Esso
Lazaretto – Jack White
Superposition – Young the Giant
Something for your M.I.N.D. – Superorganism
bad guy – Billie Eilish
Wintergreen – That Handsome Devil
[Hardest part about writing this post was not making this longer than 10 songs. Honestly, it just gets less relevant and weird the longer it gets.]