So you think you can’t dance?



One of the oldest human traditions is dancing. Almost all cultures throughout history have some form of dance ceremony or ritual, from Native American and African tribal dances to today’s “Whip” and “Nae Nae.” There is a reason dancing has stood the test of time — because it is arguably the most exciting form of physical self-expression.

Let me be the first to say, I am no Chris Brown. Not even anywhere close. But what so many people seem to get lost in is that whether or not one is good at dancing is not the point. It’s all about cutting loose and enjoying yourself.

While I’m certainly no dance expert, I have taken several dance classes and competed in several dance competitions throughout my life, and anyone that has been to a party with me knows that I’m not exactly shy on the dance floor. I’ve competed in both Greek Sing and Stomp-A-Palooza for the past two years, and I can honestly say that no feeling in the world matches the feeling of dancing in front of thousands of people.

Last week I wrote about the benefits of doing martial arts. Having been a martial arts practitioner my whole life, I never cease to be astonished with all the similarities between martial arts and dancing. Both teach coordination and control over one’s body, both increase stamina and flexibility, and both are great for letting off steam (think the warehouse scene in “Footloose”).

For whatever reason, many people feel uncomfortable with dancing, but these people are cheating themselves out of a good time, as any situation is more fun when people start dancing. And no matter who you are, there is a type of dance suited for anyone.

There are several dance clubs and studios on campus and in the Lexington area, and classes that students can take as electives that offer introductory lessons on different styles of dance.

For those who want a more classical touch, ballet never goes out of style. If you’re looking to learn some Latin-style dancing, Salsa dancing is a good way to go.

And seeing as how we live in the 21st century, most popular dances have instructional videos on Youtube. Look them up and practice them in your free time, so you’re not sitting in the corner the next time “Hit The Quan” comes on at a party or at the club.

For you gentlemen reading this column, if nothing else just watch both of the Magic Mike movies and steal a few of Channing Tatum’s dance moves. Your girlfriends and wives will not hate that at all, trust me.

So whether you take a class here at UK or learn from Youtube videos, it’s not hard to find instruction on how to dance. And even if you decide against that, just start swaying a bit in place to the next song you year on the radio. You might surprise yourself with how naturally the movements come.

Cheyene Miller is the managing editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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