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Help exists for those too afraid to dance

Nov. 10, 1998

To dance or not to dance. In college, that is often the question. With sorority and fraternity functions, parties and dance clubs, the ability to boogie is one of the essentials people tend to leave out of those college survival kits you get for high school graduation gifts.

I've seen countless dates go bad when one person either can't get past their grooving insecurities or even worse, has no insecurities whatsoever despite the fact that their dance ability is somewhat questionable. Think 'Sixteen Candles' when the poor guy tries to impress Molly Ringwald at the high school dance. This is a scene that all too often repeats itself on the dance floor.

So in case you too have been known to jump, jive and fail, or sit in the corner while your date dances the night away with someone else, there is hope.

I believe there can be a dancer in all of us. For those of us who aren't quite comfortable 'gettin' jiggy with it' on the dance floor, there are some creative ways to hide dance anxieties.

I've taken a poll among those who have experienced this problem and the following are among the favorite dances that have saved embarrassing moments and provided entertainment.

The airplane: Act like a flight attendant and show everyone the basics in airline safety. A sure winner.

The lawnmower: Pull that cord and mow to the beat.

The sandwich: Slap some deli meat on bread (slap one hand on the other) and act like you're chowing down.

The shower: This one's really easy. Just act like you're doing what you hopefully do every day. Turn on an imaginary faucet, lather-up, wash your hair and dry off with a towel.

The shopping cart: Pretend you're at the grocery store and load up your cart.

The pencil sharpener: Once again you're in your elementary school classroom sharpening a pencil, but now you can get a little funky.

Roll-the-dough: This one goes back to when you used to play 'Patty-cake' with your parents. Just rotate one arm around the other. It was also pretty popular in the '70s.

So maybe these dances are a little silly and basic. However, they are fun and easy to do. This is just a sample of the wide array of choices you have to make you the life of the party. It's important to look at dancing light-heartedly and let go of your inhibitions to truly enjoy yourself.

Of course, you'll need more than this article to help you in mastering the moves. A visual aid will be best.

Ask around, and chances are you'll find a friend who has used these combos in one or two dance emergencies.

(Jenni Luker is a senior journalism and French major from Oklahoma City.)

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