Press "Enter" to skip to content

Sidestep the Humiliation of Public Dancing


Do you worry about looking awkward when you dance in public? Photo by Flickr user Rob123.
Do you worry that you look awkward when you dance in public? Photo by Flickr user Rob123.

When the 8th Grade had a Zumba class meeting on Feb. 26 in the East Atrium, I wanted to die of shame. Zumba is a Colombian dance/fitness program. I have nothing against the practice of Zumba; I just have a problem with how I look doing it.

And on this day, we were Zumba-ing in a public area. There were many people watching from above as we attempted to shake our hips in time to the blaring music. As the instructor led us in spirited movements and I half-heartedly went along, I felt as though all the seniors were watching ME and judging ME and laughing at ME and videoing ME. Now, when I reflect upon that event, I can see that believing that everyone was focusing on me was a bit self-obsessed and a little crazy, but, at the time,  I was convinced I was being mocked. If I tried too hard to master the steps, I knew I would mess up and make myself look silly, but if I didn’t try, I knew that I would look like the girl who thinks that she’s just “too cool.” So my genius plan was to have bursts of energy, immediately followed by lackluster attempts.  No matter what, I managed to incorrectly perform the steps.

If I had one wish, besides wishing to be able to execute a simple dance step, I wish I could get over my extreme embarrassment of dancing in public. Instead of focusing on having a good time or getting some much-needed exercise, I focus on the mistakes when I dance. I must admit that I enjoy rocking out when I’m home alone, but only when I’m home alone. It would be great if I didn’t have to dance in public ever again.

I know that you can never get over a fear if you don’t face it. However, I continue to become even more tense and awkward, and I have good reason. During the Spirit Week Lip Sync, as everyone in my class knelt down, I remained standing. My School-wide humiliation and feeling of personal responsibility for my class’s loss still haunts me. The funny thing is that moment was only about two seconds and I doubt anyone really noticed my unfortunate misstep. And if they did, I highly doubt they remember that the girl who forgot her cue was me, until they read this of course. Dancing is a source of constant anxiety, which is why I think we should be forced to dance in front of people less often.