The Single Greatest Expression of Mugwump Joy

The One-Woman Dance Party.

I often leave Facebook status updates when I am hosting the one-woman dance parties (complete with updated guest list) and a friend yesterday commented that I seem to have those often. And then it dawned on me that perhaps not everyone does this? At least, not with regular frequency.

I am no stranger to being an anomaly, regardless of the company I keep, so I can’t say that I am necessarily surprised or disappointed that I have found an activity that I love that most people don’t do (and maybe wouldn’t even consider). I mean, really, let’s just tack the one-woman dance party at the end of: painting, geocaching, running holiday-themed 5Ks, eating frozen grapes, sleeping with a light on, talking to strangers, etc.

And I can think of a host of reasons people do not throw themselves dance parties:

1. You are committed, and thus always have a dance partner.
2. You believe you are a terrible dancer.
3. You find better things to do with your time or do not feel as if you have time for such silliness.
4. The idea of having any fun whatsoever makes you want to peel your own skin off.

If you fall into the 4th category, I cannot help you and we maybe shouldn’t really hang out. Because I will make you want to peel your skin off– I can be kind of a firecracker.

But I think more people should engage in the one-woman (or one-man, we don’t judge here) dance party. First, let’s refute reasons 1-3 why you may not, and then I will give you ALL the reasons I think you oughta. You really oughta.

1. You’ve found someone to share all things with, including your dance party time. Uh, yeah, this is lame. Well, dating/relationships/marriage/whatever the kids call it these days may not be lame, but you have to be alone SOME of the time right? If you are spending every minute with that person, I think your dance-party hosting capabilities should be at the bottom of your list of concerns. We all need some space from significant others, friends, roommates, family, whomever. Take your space, clear it out, and dance like crazy in it. This is not to suggest that small group dance parties are unfun or unacceptable– they just aren’t quite the same, are they?

2. You believe you are a bad dancer. OF COURSE YOU ARE A BAD DANCER! How do you think you got that way? Lack of practice, i.e. not enough solo dance parties. Well, I have had a lot of solo dance parties and I am still a bad dancer, but that’s because I just keep practicing bad skills. Solo dance parties are the ultimate safety zone where all bad dance moves magically become good (in a related note, not knowing the right lyrics to songs also becomes cool here). The running man? Excellent choice. Moonwalking, or pretending to? Crowd pleaser. Perhaps you don’t even know these moves– it’s okay, just shake about (there are even good songs for this, namely Rooney’s “I’m Shakin'” and Metro Station’s “Shake It”).

3. You find better things to do with your time or do not believe you have the time. Average song length, is let’s say 3 minutes, but probably not even right? And the oldies, those gems are a little shorter. You don’t have 3 minutes? Bollucks. You found 2 to brush your teeth this morning, you can find 3 to drop it like its hot this afternoon. You may have to be strategic a bit– I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this in the middle of a large work meeting or exam (those three minutes belong to someone else). But right when you get home is an excellent time or right before bed. Or for the entire time between “just got home” and “going to bed,” if you prefer.

Like I said earlier, if you have an aversion to fun, I really can’t do much for you other than suggest an attitude readjustment.

Other reasons I solo dance party:

1. Do it for health. An adult needs a solid 60-90 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day to maintain or lose weight. 60 minutes is 20 songs, and you will be surprised how that time flies.

2. It’s a good stress reliever. There is little better than taking a few minutes to literally drown out the world around you with some blasting music in your headphones and just do your own thing. This is not a long-term coping mechanism, although I do dance party more when I am at either emotional extreme, but for a few minutes to decompress and gather yourself I think it is totally appropriate.

3. It’s inherently funny. I like to pretend that my dance moves are good, but deep down I know they are not, and thus the dance party becomes ridiculously entertaining. People enjoy others who can laugh at themselves. If you aren’t comfortable doing that now, the solo dance party will help get you there in a hurry.

4. There is nothing wrong with being totally comfortable and at peace with yourself. Really, at the end of the day, there are few people I would rather celebrate my day with than myself. We all have our insecurities and issues, our hang ups, blow ups, frustrations, and disappointments. Accept them and dance them out. And with the potential exception of getting “busted,” which is slightly embarassing but mostly hilarious, no one is going to see you. And if you can’t dance with yourself, who can you dance with?


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