An Ode To The Solo Dancer

An Ode To The Solo Dancer

There’s no field of glory like the dance floor at any drinking establishment. You may not be big on dancing, but you’ve at least found yourself out in that majestic dimly lit space grinding to some filthy R&B that jumpstarts 70% of unplanned pregnancies. At the minimum, you and your boys have jumped around like inebriated gorillas while “Shout” was on. Whether in a big group of your friends, with your date, or with that girl whose drink you just put on your inflated tab with the hopes of bringing home, from time to time the normal person can’t help but get out there and dance.

This isn’t about the normal people or the normal scenarios. This is a little further out in left field. In the sea of all the grinders, the groups, the dudes sipping their beers and subtly moving their head to the beat, there’s one special person who deserves a shoutout. Here’s looking at you, solo dancers.

Occasionally out in the middle of the pack of gyrating intoxicated bodies, there’s one person out there doing one thing, and one thing only: getting the fuck after it. They’re not saddled up next to a member of the opposite sex or their friends. They’ve given themselves a perimeter and are going to town whipping out every dance move in their shallow dance move bag. Their friends are either egging them on or hiding in shame, but either way, this person is the life of the party.

This fleet-footed drunken bastard usually falls into one of three categories: someone who’s had all the drinks, someone who has all the confidence, or someone who has none of the fucks.

Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been the solo dancer who’s had all the drinks before. Anyone who was at Brew Brothers in Reno, NV during the summer of 2012 can back up that testimony. I don’t have much rhythm, and I don’t often have the urge to dance even in a proper setting (dragged out by a female). But, you get me throwing down every single shot/drink that gets put in front of me and throw on an ’80s cover band, and I’m cutting a rug of awkward white boy dancing.

Keep in mind the solo dancer who’s out there because of what eventually may become alcohol poisoning is a danger to himself and everyone around him. None of his limbs are moving with any sort of purpose or direction, but they’re all moving nonetheless. If their eyes are even open they’re massively glazed over or staring towards the ceiling, and there’s an 86% chance they’re poorly singing the lyrics of the current song into their beer bottle. I’m not proud of any night in which I’ve done this; I’m also not ruling it out next time I black out and “Jessie’s Girl” comes on.

For someone with all the confidence, they don’t need the liquid courage required by the previous solo dancer. They’re out there with a purpose– to strut their shit whenever their jam gets dropped. Every limb is out there moving with a specific purpose, and you get the feeling that this person has broken it down to “Thriller” in front of their bathroom mirror at least once.

This dancer has definitely always been comfortable in their own shoes, but that doesn’t mean they’re particularly good. I’m not going to fault a guy for getting out there because the music is making him move, but someone with that much swagger needs to be dancing better than Plaxico post-NYC club incident. Once in a while you’ll see a dude out there looking like a poor man’s JT, and when you do, it’s better to just get out of his way to avoid being embarrassed. A confident guy with good dancing skills at the bar can kill your own meager confidence worse than a case of erectile dysfunction.

Finally, your solo dancing wildcard is the person who gives none of the fucks. They’re not too drunk, too high, or too whatever the hell else they’ve been doing, but they just don’t seem to give a shit. This weekend I got to witness a woman that I’m almost certain was a mid-40s meth-head shaking the minimal skin and bones that her momma gave her while wearing a camo skull-covered shirt. It was fan-fucking-tastic. Long ago, this woman had chosen to forgo any ability to give a shit about anything, and it showed.

Keep in mind that this person doesn’t always have to be your local crackhead. It could be one of your trolling ass college buddies who randomly decides to dance like the biggest asshole on the planet tonight. Or it’s that awkward newly single person who’s been out of the game for a while (calm down, I haven’t resorted to this yet) who figures they don’t have shit to lose by going out there and hoping someone eventually saddles up to them as they’re getting in the groove by their lonesome.

Dancing is a sacred art, and it’s often best done with someone you’re interested in or a group of your drunk buddies. However, the solo dancer is a special phenomenon and needs to be treated as such.

Image via YouTube

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Kyle Bandujo

The artist formerly known as Crash Davis. My kid doesn't think I'm funny.

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