Don’t be afraid to be you when you hit the dance floor


Summer is a season full of many activities and events, including weddings. While the celebration of marriage brings family and friends together to witness the union of two people in love, the ensuing reception also opens something up for all of those in attendance: the dance floor. Many people are quite comfortable boogying the night away in any given situation, but there are still plenty of individuals who are rather hesitant when it comes to getting caught up in the beat of the music.

It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “Oh, I don’t dance,” or “I’m a horrible dancer.” While there is an actual diagnosis of severe cases of the fear of dancing, known as chorophobia, most people who refuse to dance simply do so because they are afraid that they will look silly and that others will judge them. However, most people on the dance floor are so concerned with their own dancing appearances that they aren’t focused on what other people around them look like.

“Once hesitant dancers begin dancing, they may find that they loosen up pretty quickly,” Christine Devereaux, Ph.D., Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, wrote in Psychology Today. Dancing actually reduces anxiety and improves body image. It may seem ironic that an activity that often causes people to have unnecessary stress indeed reduces stress levels, but it wouldn’t be the first time that people overanalyzed something that’s supposed to be enjoyable.

Rather than focus on how silly you think you look the next time you’re at a wedding (or anywhere with a dance floor), forget about your fears and boldly dance like no one is watching. If you’re still struggling, just remember these three things:

1. Beauty is unique: Your dancing may not look like that of those around you, but it’s not supposed to. Your dancing is supposed to look like whatever you want it to look like. Some people are really good at rocking The Robot, while others are free spirits who like to twirl around the floor. Just go with the flow—your flow.

2. Beauty is timeless: Don’t worry about your dancing being too “old school.” After all, people still jump around and do the “YMCA” every once in a while. The “Cupid Shuffle” never seems to get old. Nobody does those dances perfectly, anyway, so don’t stress out about that. You can add some flare or make stuff up as you go—it’s more fun that way.

3. Beauty is enticing: When people see how confident and comfortable you are in your dancing, they are more likely to join you on the dance floor and feel free to be themselves as well. Eventually, the contagion will spread, and even more people will make their way out there—and it’s certainly easier for people who are still slightly hesitant to find ways to blend in with a greater number of people surrounding them.

Dancing is a beautiful thing, whether you think you look like a Footloose character or a bird having seizures. Don’t concern yourself so much with what other people think of your style. What matters is how you feel and that you have fun while moving to the music. It’s the confidence you have while dancing that makes it appealing. Hesitant head bops and half-inch sways look awkward, but throwing your hands in the hair and even adding a few hair flips show you’re not afraid to embrace life and the beauty you bring to it.

Life is too short to let people’s opinions of you dictate your actions, especially on the dance floor. Don’t be afraid to let your childlike spirit shine through when you’re out there—it’s a beautiful thing to be able to embrace who you are and let others know you love being you.

When in doubt, just do what Lady Gaga sings: “Just dance.”