Old School Things I Miss: When Men Used To Know How To Dance, And Not Just Grind On Folks All The Time

October 4, 2012  |  

From time to time, even a sophisticated lady such as myself likes to step out for more than drinks and small talk. Sometimes I like to go to lounges, or non-ratchet nightclubs to get my two-step on and maybe even drop what my mother gave me a long time ago. Yes, I’m the person in the spot who you can hear screaming Oooooooooooooo! over “P.Y.T.” when it drops. And while I have had a blast dancing with my girlfriends and a boyfriend, or the occasional fella from time to time, I’ve noticed more and more these days that there’s consistently a darkness hovering over me on the dance floor. It drips of sweat, smells of alcohol and brings an unnecessary amount of body heat onto my back. Oh yeah, it’s the modern-day dude who wants to grind on my a**. So we meet again…

And of course, this same dude will expect me to do AAAAAALL the work while he leans back, trying to pull my backside closer and closer to his junk. And if that’s not bad enough, he’ll hold onto me for more than the allotted dancing time (uh, one song limit,son) as I look in sorrow at my friends having a ball in front of me, like a kid being dragged away from a playground. Because of such non-enjoyable experiences (after college, this type of dancing becomes irksome), I’ve opted out of grinding, booty dancing, juking, or whatever you’d like to call it, with anyone who’s not my mate. You’ll get the, “Thanks, but I’m just gonna dance with my friends.”

It might just be me, but as someone who grew up watching Kid & Play dance for their lives in House Party and Wesley Snipes and Allen Payne bust a move in New Jack City, or hell, just lived through the ’90s, where everybody from Public Announcement to Usher, Ginuwine and the likes were breaking it down on the dance floor, it just disappoints me that these days, the most you can get from a guy is a harsh pelvic thrust *shudders at the thought* I mean damn, even R. Kelly stepped in the name of love from time to time. Try to dance with a guy face-to-face and he’ll be off you midway into the song (probably because he doesn’t know what to do with his feet), tell him no thanks when he asks to dance with his penis and not via verbal communication, and he scoffs at you like you told him you were a lesbian. Hey, sometimes I want to dance, but I’d prefer to keep my a** to myself thank you very much. And can we talk about the people who can’t even find a two-step for a song, but would rather grind to a track that’s highly inappropriate for such movement? Like dropping it like it’s hot to “Power” by Kanye West, or 2Pac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”? Uncouth much?

I think the whole thought about the lack of rhythm men have, or rather, care to share with most women, came back into my mind from a hilarious video I saw on the website, Dormtainment.com. I don’t know if you guys have watched their videos, but they are E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I often watch them wishing that I went to school with such creative gentlemen, but instead, my male classmates were all trying to be party promoters and the like. Well, anywho, they posted a video a few Sundays back entitled, “Invisible Dancing Girl.” In it, they show you how odd it looks for men to dance when there’s no girl around, and of course, the dancing consists now of just a few pelvic jerk motions at different height levels and levels of comfort. While I laughed, or better yet, howled, at the hilarity of it all, I couldn’t help but realize that this is the the only form of dancing men do nowadays, and we’ve accepted it as the norm. That’s why, without a woman to dance with in the video, the brothas only knew how to shake their hips as if there was a booty in front of them.

And I think I really realized how bad things were getting when I went to my niece’s Sweet 16 birthday party a year ago, walked into the room thinking I was going to catch a scene out of “Family Matters” (you know, “Everyboooooody, do the Urkel dance!”) and found the room with the lights dim. These teenagers were popping on one another like they were in a Luke video, and anytime somebody would cut the lights on, they would scatter away from each others laps like roaches. What made it worse was that my brother and sister-in-law were in the room, and were allowing the jukefest to happen. Really? It wasn’t until another mother who came to help chaperone put folks in check that people stopped all the jubilating gyrating. But when you took that away from them, they all stood around looking at their phones or talking. If they weren’t grinding on one another, aka, dry-humping, they weren’t trying to bust a move.

Of course, this change in the dancing habits of people isn’t a serious issue whatsoever, but it’s something I’ve found to be irritating. You’re being used for your hind parts in the club whether you know it or not, like cats wrap themselves around scratching posts for relief. And while it’s all fun and games for a song or two, is that all men and women can do in the club? It’s annoying when that’s the only type of way men expect you to move and groove to a jam (I’m saying, sometimes they don’t even know what you LOOK like at all, they’re just going to town on your butt), and that’s kind of sad. Well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for my old school House Party VHS tapes and dance with Kid in my mind…for now…


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