Why do I loath thee so ?
I have a motto which lends a little to a disco song that has led (so far) to a fulfilling life, “don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance, I’m gonna live forever”.
Ok, so I now partake of alcohol from time to time again, man cannot live by bread alone, but the other two rules have stood steadfast throughout my life and served me well.
Way, way, way back in the late 1960’s our year at the all male high school discovered that we had two dancers in our midst and boy did they get bullied, as the natural law of the all male high school dictates.
Platt was an 11 year old ballroom dancing champion when he stupidly confessed his secret to someone in the playground one dinnertime, fortunately he would have been bullied anyway, he had that sort of face that made you want to hit him so he never blamed the ballroom dancing on his ever present bruising, but even if he didn’t realise it, ballroom dancing didn’t help his case.
Watkins was the other, an Art Garfunkel look-a-likey, even had the voice so was instantly labelled as a puff (these were cruel, less correct times), but when he mistakenly let slip one dinnertime in the playground that he was also a ballet dancer his fate was sealed. Not one break session elapsed without someone punching him hard and long enough to make him pas de deux and often a huge circle would form in the yard with hundreds of boys, and some of the teachers too, clapping and chanting for him to twirl faster and jump higher in a Billy Eliot-esque demonstration of his girlie talent, then someone would trip him up and we’d all give him a good kicking, teachers joining in at the end, nothing had changed since Tom Browns Schooldays.
I like to think that he is now a world famous ballet dancer earning millions and looking back on his time at our high school as a rite of passage to future wealth but the truth is that he probably committed suicide early in life.
Such are the dangers of being a dancing male.
Men don’t dance, it is written.
The rule is that simple and yet all through my youth the pressure was on to disco dance in order to attract a member of the female species to your side so that you could “walk out” with her, buy her drinks all night, disco dance some more (for females will not end the evening without a disco dance) take her home on the bus, pay her bus fare, walk her home, and then if you were lucky receive a peck on the cheek, leaving you stood outside her gate, skint, with your a’mour rapidly deflating, wondering what the lads were doing now.
At least disco dancing was easy to do – at first. John Travolta spoiled it all, the bastard, by introducing set moves and pieces that any self respecting male out on a totty hunt had to perform on the dance floor, what an utter bastard.
Before then you could simply pose on the dance floor to a Barry White song, eyelids slightly lowered, feet planted firmly on the dancefloor, only one foot was required to move at any given random time, shuffle it forward a few inches, point the toes, shuffle it back, whilst arms were raised to waist height, elbows pinned to the waist, forearms flapping gently from side to side, fingers clicking in a rough estimation of the beat, all the movement being generated from the twenty degree left to right and back again waist swivel and occasionally to top off the disco dance and impress your lady, a toss of the head to flick your flowing locks from your face in the same way that Peter Gordeno had done that same evening on the Cilla Black show.
All my efforts at disco dancing were wasted for I am made of disparate parts that function perfectly well for doing human things like walking, feeding and blowing of nose, but when instructed to disco dance behave as if the separate parts had never met each other, the disco beat can be anything, the disco beat is irrelevant when I disco dance for the disparate parts move independent of the music and of me.
Frankly, I dance as if I’m having a seizure and often paramedics are called to put an end to it.
I have never attracted females on the dance floor, many have fled, but none have stepped forward to join in the “fitting dance” as myself and my friends called it.
Disco dancing was, and still is a chore to most males, we prefer to stand around at weddings etc in small manly groups drinking beer, talking football, talking anything to avoid the disco dance floor, we let the females and the homosexual men disco dance with each other all night until the DJ announces that he’s locking up and going home in five minutes at which point, drunk and incapable, husbands are dragged from all parts of the room by their wives, and by some of the homosexual men too, to fit and spasm for the last disco dance and the smoochie – its at this point that my life-long rescue plan kicks into place – I go to the toilet for ten minutes leaving Suzanne to find a suitable homosexual male partner to finish the night with a flourish of nylon and nail polish.
It works every time, has done for 30 years.