I’m guessing I’m not the only father in this category. For every dad who can successfully cut a rug there’s a dozen who feel mortified at the thought of dancing in public. It’s why I take such pride in watching my sons dance the night away.
My boys jump at any occasion to start a dance party. They danced in front of a live band at a Hawaiin restaurant, did the same during a sunset cruise and, most recently, heradled the belated start of summer with a Journey dance jam.
Hey, gotta introduce them to the classics, right?
It’s already clear my boys inherited my lack of rhythm. Their dance moves are clumsy, as if the music was entering one ear and exiting the other without incident. They don’t care. When you’re four and two, you dance without any sense of how the world sees you. And what a wonderful thing that must be.
It won’t last forever, of course. At some point my sons will become self-conscious and they’ll hesitate before stepping onto the dance floor. With luck, a healthy sense of self or an encouraging gal pal will help them keep on dancing.
Or, if they’re like me, they’ll find themselves at their Junior Prom scared to death at the thought of twirling their date around a few times.
I’m afraid a father has limited resources to help a child in this arena. I could suggest dance lessons down the road, but my guess is a pre-teen would rather do almost anything than count their steps alongside total strangers.
Am I doomed to watch my sons transform into the hesitant dancer I became? I’d like any suggestions from fathers of older children. Perhaps they’ve successfully navigated this cultural question. Frankly, I’ve yet to read about it in parenting books. I’d like to be ready when my sons start dancing and suddenly stop mid-sway as they realize people could be watching – and judging – every step they take.