Dance clubs do not catch me at my best. My body was not exactly designed to replicate Michael Flatley. Far from it. While I do not mind shaking the occasional leg, I like to do it in private. Unfortunately, when you live in a country where there is nothing else to do to while away the long, weary weekends, you find yourself being drawn to one night club or the other. It is inevitable.
Friends do not help, either. I usually hang out with a bunch of guys who all have managed to secure the immediate presence of girlfriends in Singapore. So it follows that I, one of the few singles in this place, often am forced to accompany these pairs to their favorite watering and dancing holes as a sort of sympathetic appendage.
It’s not all bad throughout the night. The festivities start out with the entire bunch dancing as a group. In a mob, I can camouflage my twin deficiencies (no groove, no girl) pretty easily. All it takes is to focus really hard on which leg is currently being shaken by the group, follow suit, and try not to kick anyone in the gonads.
But once the DJ starts playing romantic ballads as the night wears on, the lovebirds usually pair up and move to far corners of the floor. Leaving yours truly stranded in the middle of the dance floor, much like the surprised Mark Antony who realized that his friends and confidants had peeled off unnoticed from his group, until at last in Egypt, he was suddenly left alone, with the spotlight shining on him.
Years of experience in battle has hardened me somewhat. The modus operandi in such situations, without fail, is to slowly start shaking my hands to the tune. (Not my legs. Unfortunately, in these situations, there is often a breakdown of communications between my torso and legs) Once I have got the hands swaying gently, I slowly execute a tactical retreat to the bar. I always find solace there, in the company of fellow guys who are as rhythmically challenged as I am.
But the retreat does not end there. There is only so much time you can spend at the counter, locking eyes with the barman. Eventually they ask you to stop begging for vodka. I then start circling the dance floor, slowly twisting and turning to avoid the smooching couples, ducking to avoid the wannabe ballerinas and stopping altogether to prevent the spotlights singling me out. It’s an art.
There’s only one silver lining to the whole cloud. I am usually the only one in the group who isn’t expected to hold back his girl’s hair while she pukes her gut out in the street outside. It’s not always the wisest thing to dance for girls. Ask Antony.