Do you ever wish for a talent you just don't have? I know I do. I wish I could play guitar; I wish I could sing; I wish I could do DIY; but most of all I wish I could dance!

There's nothing guaranteed to take me back to my childhood, when I cut a subdued withdrawn character, like an event that involves dancing.

I'll qualify things further here. I'm talking about dancing to modern music. On the infrequent occasions when I have to take part in Scottish dancing I actually relish the occasion and I'm happy to get involved.

Actually its not that weird if you think about it. Scottish dancing is full of rules that you have to follow. As a geek following rules and instructions comes naturally to me. Add alcohol into the equation lowering my inhibitions and the faculties of the other participants and I feel quite at home.  

But switch the traditional band for a dj and suddenly I'm all at sea. The thing about modern dance is that there are 'no rules'. Well there are rules but they aren't explicitly stated and so I've no idea what they are.

The other problem is 'sense of rhythm'. For somebody who loves music it has to be said that I have a dubious sense of rhythm. Just ask my guitar teacher!

You know those times when you are at a gig and you're all clapping along. I usually start fine but at some point my mind drifts off and then I suddenly realise that I'm clapping at the wrong time. Then as is normal on such occasions the more you think about it the harder it gets (well with one exception!).

On the odd occasion when I take to the dance floor I have exactly the same problem. The more I concentrate on the beat the less I seem to be able to hear it. My limbs feel like they don't belong to me as I randomly move them about feeling more and more self-conscious. Suddenly the song which I'm sure was a two minute ditty seems to have taken on the epic proportions of 'Stairway to Heaven'. Will it never end? The overwhelming urge is to run from the dance floor. Run from the hall. Go back home. Resign from work. Grow a very big beard. Become a recluse. Never show your face in polite society again! The only thing keeping me from this course of action is that you don't want to embarrass your dancing partner (further).

As I get older I feel myself reverting to my childhood self. From my mid twenties to late thirties I was happy to make a fool of myself on the dance floor but increasingly I feel too uncomfortable to take the plunge.

Of course we all know people who think they have a solution to the problem I'm describing. They think that dragging me (kicking and screaming) onto the dance floor will do the trick. Of course the reality is that this makes me twice as self-conscious as normal.

So my plea to all of you out there (mainly the girls). If you see me sitting all alone at a disco don't come over and ask me to dance. Because to misquote the Arctic Monkeys -  I bet I won't look good on the dancefloor!




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