I DON’T like dance when it’s a verb, and I loathe it as a noun.
The art form confuses me, no matter the genre. Tap, jazz, hip-hop – I’ve never quite understood the concept of flinging your body around to music.
The way I see it, if Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman kissing couldn’t make ballet appeal, nothing ever could.
This is not to say I’m numb to music, the fuel that underpins dance.
I’m not completely without rhythm.
Once upon a time I played passable impersonations on the guitar, and sometimes I could even settle into a groove.
But the knock on me, from everyone, was that “he needs to move more on stage”.
I could tap my toe or nod my head like a metronome, but my hips – my pale, non-Latin hips – were palsied.
But something happened to me on Friday night, during my work Christmas party – something that doesn’t happen often these days.
I got pissed and went to a club. To dance.
And somewhere, on that scuffed and feral floor, something even stranger happened – I enjoyed it.
The venue, suggested by a younger, dancier colleague, was that most salubrious of Perth institutions, the Hip-E Club.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been there, but I’m old enough to remember when Greg Matthews had his egg scrambled outside it during a 1993 Shield game.
Soothed by a (really) nice beer buzz, and encouraged by my new dance hero – the give-no-sh*ts maneuverer behind English band Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson – I slowly found my groove.
What a peculiarly human place a dancefloor is.
Back in the day, the only time I’d find myself on one was when trying to impress the female of the species.
Of course, I impressed no one – the plumage of my stationary air guitar and pulsing left knee easily put in the shade by the more nimble, handsome peacocks.
But on Friday I came to understand something, moving my hopelessly unmalleable body as best I could.
Dancing, fuelled by the glorious beats and hooks of your youth, is fun.
Gyrating, pointing, sashaying to Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Madonna, wondering what that bus thing is all about – it was the best night I’ve had in years.
Sure, Saturday was a write-off and my calves have been sore ever since.
But I think, if aging is about the garnering of wisdom and appreciation of new things then, at almost-42, I finally understood something that’s eluded me all these years.
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