Rhodri Marsden: What's the worst that can happen if you take to the dancefloor?

Life on Marsden

Related Topics

Dancing badly in public should become a less daunting prospect as you get older. The self-consciousness that blighted your youth ought to evaporate. Pay no more heed to the laughter that greets your innovative, hobby-horse-like prancing to the sound of Chase & Status. Embrace the idea of dancing like no-one is watching, instead of dancing like everyone is watching, intently, with their fingers hovering over a button that operates a trapdoor sending you whizzing down a chute and into the mouth of a volcano.

Dancefloor aptitude is overrated. You may admire the slick shimmying of strangers and worry that your own untutored frugging doesn't measure up, but there's never been any direct correlation between smooth, rhythmic movement and popularity. You're lovely and you can't lambada – so what? A man who can execute a perfectly-timed backflip into the chorus of "Thriller" might also have a gambling problem, be an active member of the EDL and eat his own bogeys. So don't worry. If you've ever had cognitive behavioural therapy, you'll be familiar with the question "What's the worst that could happen?"; in the case of dancing badly in public, the answer is "rip the arse out of my trousers/skirt while high-kicking to DJ Fresh". And worse things can happen on a night out. Fighting, kebabs, etc.

But dancing is one of those rare activities where confidence can entirely make up for lack of ability. At the weekend I strode drunkenly but purposefully onto a dancefloor in Newport to join my friends Dicky and Rob in order to gyrate to the 2002 R&B classic by Nelly. "It's getting hot in here," it goes, "so take off all your clothes." Avoiding the contemptuous glances of the locals, we spontaneously invented a series of powerful moves that involved miming the awkward removal of clothing. Pushing off one shoe with the toe of another shoe. Hopping on one foot while attempting to remove a sports sock. Getting static in the face as you get an acrylic jumper stuck on your head. Afterwards, Dicky said "I think the girls liked it." He was wrong; our choreography was wasted on them. But seriously – would you rather be the kind of person who drunkenly pretends to take off their underwear on the dancefloor, or the kind of person who stands at the bar saying "Look at those bloody idiots"? Pardon? Oh. OK, fair enough.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism' is now lying on its back  

Tory modernisation has failed under David Cameron

Michael Dugher
Russian President Vladimir Putin 'hits his foes where it hurts'  

Dominic Raab: If Western politicians’ vested interests protect Putin, take punishment out of their hands

Dominic Raab
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform