Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Woman in her Thirties Can't Dance (Probably)

It is safe to say that I have cut many-a-rug. I have danced the night away in upwards of ten countries. And while alcohol has never been a necessary factor to get me out onto the dance floor, it certainly has never hurt. The truth is, I like to dance. It's fun and stuff.

This weekend I went to S's wedding in California. I am still in the 'you look kinda fat' stage of pregnancy, and that coupled with the inability to have even a glass of wine made me more than a little self conscious. But I figured I'd have a good cry over how beautiful S looked (and boy, did she ever) and be able to dance with my friends and have a good time while toasting with sparkling water. All of those things were happening according to plan, until midway through the first song I came to a startling realization:

I can't dance.

Friends who knew me in my bar-dancing twenties: I am not fishing for a compliment here. I am good at lots of things. Hula-hooping and Skee-ball come to mind. But this weekend I stood in the middle of the dance floor and my feet wouldn't move where I wanted them to, where they moved in my mind. And as much as I would love to blame the Johnny Cash cover band, I know the simple truth is that I don't have any beat. I probably never have. It stung, like so many realizations a woman in her thirties comes to about herself.

The thought crossed my mind to sit down and lament the passing of my dancing years. I certainly could have played the pregnant card and no one would have faulted me. But I couldn't do that-- I didn't want to. I saw friends at S's wedding I hadn't seen in almost ten years, and a woman in her thirties doesn't take those types of things lightly. So I continued to move, cracking jokes at my expense, and making googly eyes at L to pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top come dance with me. And it was in the middle of Lady Gaga that I came to another, even more powerful realization:

No one was looking at me.

In fact, no one was looking at anyone. People were just dancing. None of them had moves that were particularly graceful; none of them looked like they should be the next judge on So You Think You Can Dance. They were just moving and enjoying the moment which, in a nutshell, describes the woman in her twenties I was, and the woman in her thirties I still am. Pregnant, off-beat, and all.

So I stopped thinking and kept dancing. We danced until the DJ took the microphone and said, 'Last song, people. Time to go home.' In true form, all of us moaned and groaned and wished for one more song, because that is how a dance floor full of happy people ends a wonderful night. And it was a wonderful night. I have the aching feet to prove it.


  1. I want to see pictures! This post made me laugh... and cry... because this is EXACTLY how I felt at YOUR wedding. Thankfully though, that didn't stop me, and there are a few pictures of me out on that dance floor to prove it. I'm so glad you had a good time!

  2. I can't dance anymore either... at least you keep trying! That's a whole lot more than I can say for myself!

  3. You forgot to mention the large mens suit jacket you were wearing that hindered your abilities. You also forgot to mention the many bar tops and coffee tables you have danced on. ;)

  4. Fantastic post. I've never been a dancer and always feel self-conscious out there. But you're right, if you look at most people, they can't dance either-the difference is they have confidence. Something all women in their 30s should have!

  5. The part of this post that made me the happiest was that you figured out we had sparkling water!