Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Of dancing dads and conga line accidents

Right. Shoes sorted. Six pairs in good condition off to charity. Replaced by two new pairs in different colours with plenty of straps to stop my feet sliding and rubbing.

But that's not the point of this post. Last Friday I went to my honorary nephew's wedding, a very happy occasion despite rainy weather. It was a garden wedding, and the bride, who looked stunning, insisted on holding the ceremony outside. So we all stood under umbrellas while vows were made and bridesmaids' curls drooped by the minute.

Back inside, a big dance floor invited our attention, and once the DJ had played a couple of songs we didn't know, we heard one or two we did so I dragged my husband onto the dance floor. I love dancing. I'm not fantastic at it, I'd never get a part in Glee, but I think I move around pretty well for an amateur. I don't just stand and shuffle.

My husband, however, does the Dad Dance.

A few years ago I remember reading in a magazine or newspaper colour supplement that once men have sired children they lose some of their ability, in some way, to dance. It's all to do with nature providing males with peacockish tendencies to attract a mate; once the mate has been snared there's no need to put on such a display. Dads dance differently to men who haven't fathered children. Unless they are professional dancers.

Which explains why my husband shuffles, chuffing his arms back and forth, in more or less the same spot. Add a goofy smile and sometimes I have to bite my lips to stop myself from laughing. It's a genuine Dad Dance. The kind of dance my girlfriends and I used to giggle cruelly at when we were in our 20s watching older guys take to the dance floor at weddings or discos.

He's not much chop on the jive or waltz either, but he's my bloke, and at least he gets up and dances with me, unlike some of the other guys at the wedding.

But he's unfit, and I was in the mood to party, so I joined the inevitable conga line while he sat gasping for breath and downing a beer, and that's when things went pear shaped.

The video cameraman was standing at the side of the dance floor - well, actually ON the dance floor, and I was so busy looking ahead and trying to keep in step that I didn't notice him, and tripped on his size tens.

Down I went - thump! - on my knees on the sprung wooden dance floor. Through my dress and tights I managed to take the skin off one knee. Thankfully, that was all it was; like my mum, I 'bounce' and long may it remain so. I picked myself up straight away and boldly rejoined the conga, pretending nothing had happened. I left the conga after a discreet minute and walked carefully back to our table. Ouch!

Fifteen minutes later I had dragged my husband up again as it was a Beatles song, and hey, you gotta dance to the Beatles. Then we had Nutbush City Limits... and....

It wasn't until we got home after midnight and I took a shower that I saw I'd taken a 20 cent coin-sized piece of skin from my left knee, something I hadn't done since primary school. (How to feel young, ladies - skin your knee like a schoolgirl!)

It's still a bit sore and stiff even now but at least it's healing OK. And I have the dubious pleasure of providing a good wedding anecdote on Facebook for my nephew and his lovely bride.


  1. LOL I have seen that Dad dance and I concur! Glad the skinned knee wasn't too bad to stop you enjoying the rest of the party.

  2. Thanks! I always have trouble not LOLing when t'other half does the Dad Dance. It's painful. Sam Neill did a version of it in some ads for the beef industry a couple of years ago and they were cringeworthy. Only his Dad Dance was far more innovative and involved more moving around the floor. :-)