A Smooth Dance Move

The music kicks in. She wants to move. One man's case for why -- and how -- to be ready.

The author during rush week, 2003.

Studies have empirically proven the correlation between a man’s ability to dance and his ability to attract the opposite sex. This research may or may not have been conducted at my fraternity between 2003 and 2007, but that’s beside the point. The point is, how to move matters. Ladies will take notice, other guys will get jealous, and you get to have all the fun.

Much like Spartan boys were expected to be fearsome warriors straight out of the womb, I was expected to become a seasoned salsa dancer before I could walk (the hazards of being Cuban). And while dancing with my mom was initially the cause of great embarrassment, I succumbed just enough to get the gist of what my entire family seemed to know innately. I learned some moves. And all those random afternoons with Mom as Celia Cruz shouted “¡Azucár!” made sense as soon as I went to my first college party. In an environment where I knew no one, those lessons helped me stand out from the guys with baggy chinos and two left feet.

Of course, it’s important to know your limits: This isn’t Step Up 2: The Streets, and you’re not battling for your crew’s respect. Nor should you take my advice literally and pretend to be Cuban (trust me on this one). And if your moves have anything to do with the operation of lawn equipment, buying groceries, running in place, or cleaning out your ears, stop it. Stop it right now. You’re trying to impress, not distract, so learn something simple and own it.

Remember that song by Ciara, “One, Two Step”? You’d be surprised at how many songs that works for – left, right, snap…right, left, snap. Repeat, times 100. If that’s too much, keep your elbows close to your rib cage, hands out at 3 and 9, and sway to the right, tap your left foot, sway to the left, tap your right foot. Bob your head and (gasp!) feel the music. It may seem simple, but you don’t want to act a fool on the dance floor. You want to do just enough to catch her eye.

Regardless, make sure to invest some time in it just like you would learn the guitar or perfect your step-back jumper. Don’t be afraid to take a ballroom class. Learn how to spin a girl and what it means to lead on the dance floor. You don’t need to be Gene Kelly, but a little bit goes a long way – especially when she doesn’t expect it. And guess what? Those lessons will even help you at the club. Whether it’s 2 Chainz or Sinatra coming out of the speakers, bring her in close and put your hand on the small of her back. You’ve officially told her “I know what I’m doing,” so tread carefully and Godspeed.

Oh, and don’t get too cocky — leave the Dougie to the experts.


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