The Catholic high school I went to closed after my sophomore year and merged with the inner city Catholic high school.

I played for the new school’s basketball team and we were half uptown white guys and half downtown black guys.

The white guys mostly listened to 70’s country rock like Marshall Tucker and Lynnrd Skynnrd (‘course I was listening to Elvis) while the black guys listened to disco. I remember  in ’78 Lemo playing “Freak Out” on a 45 minute bus strip, over and over, both ways.

The black guys liked to dance. They would dress real sharp and after games they’d go to discos and dance. They talked about dancing, they danced in the locker room and they’d dance in the aisle of the bus.

We wore flannel shirts and work boots and pounded beers in the woods or in the seedy bars that would let us in.

I remember one of the white guys saying “We’re gonna do some partying tonight!” One the black guys looked at him and said. “They means you’re gonna get drunk, right? How’s that partying?”

He had a point.

Why do men, or at least white men, have such an issue about dancing?

White Man Overbite

Should a guy dance?

I say, if he wants to.

But if he’s gonna dance, he should dance.

What’s with the guys who are willing to dance with a woman but only if they’re allowed to bring their long neck with them? It’s like their security blanket to tell the world, “Look, I’m dancing but I’m really here to drink beer, not be a sissy dancing man.”

For awhile it seemed like every white guy in the 80’s danced like Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing in the Dark” video. Hey, if the Boss danced, it had to be okay, right? After all,  he did Nautilus.


What about the weird circles that form at parties where no one really dances together? What’s that even about? What kind of weirdness is that? It’s like dancing light with all the flirtation and sexuality removed from it.

How do you feel when you see a guy who is too good at dancing? You know, the guy who has honed his moves and dances all night with all the women. Ever notice that guy came by himself and goes home by himself? He’s usually a little off in the way he dresses or a little too much attention has been paid to the hair. Who wants to be that guy?

Then there’s the foxtrot, tango, “Do the Hustle” guy who knows the official dance steps of those dances that have rules to them. Women like it but aren’t most guys cringing when they see that guy at the wedding reception?

Then there’s the guys who dance alone in the weird styles of the music they like. There’s that weird LSD-inspired Grateful Dead thing that says, “I’m stoned or pretending to be.” There’s that awful kind of trot-in-place thing that The Who fans do to be like Pete Townsend and I think there are guys who try to do the Axl Rose creepy sway thing. (Rose copied it from Davey Jones of the Monkees, which is decidedly far less cool.)

It’s a quite a lot to think about.

“I’m into you almost as much as beer.”

But after careful analysis mostly bad things can happen if you dance. It’s like throwing the ball in football–three things can happen and two of them aren’t good.

Me, I’ll slow dance with my wife but I resist other dancing.

Often, women get mad and say “C’mon, it’ll be fun!”

No it won’t, not for me. I’m not dancing.

I’m not making an issue out of it.