Dancing Around Your Room — or the World

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Some of my college friends might argue that I minored in dancing. I often took “dance study breaks” and made time for “dance party warm-ups” in our dorm room when I was bored, tired or just needed a laugh. On weekends, my roommates and I hosted dance parties in our common room, and even got some wallflowers to dance on occasion.

My roommate Julia sometimes played the Kings of Convenience’s “I’d Rather Dance with You” song late at night to ward off our fatigue. While out having fun, my friends and I — all 10 of us girls — would request Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” or Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

I know you’re probably laughing right now.

But heck, lots of people dance, even if they’re not good at it. (Think Elaine on “Seinfeld.”) When I was at a wedding in Marco Island recently, I went to a restaurant where senior citizens were dancing with one another at 11 p.m. Their old legs made for wobbly transitions and slow spins, but the dancing seemed to keep them awake, spirited, and young at heart.

A younger guy, 31-year-old Matt Harding, just finished dancing around the world — literally. As part of a Stride Gum advertisement, Harding graced Australia, India, Miami, New Guinea, Zanzibar and dozens of other places with his swaying hips. He danced the same dance in each location and, in many places, had fans who danced alongside him, unabashedly flailing their arms and bobbing their heads.

If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of Harding dancing, I’d suggest you check it out and that you read this piece that my colleague Kelly McBride wrote about The New York Times‘ coverage of the young dancing phenom.

A weekend of dancing, followed up by a Monday morning viewing of Harding’s video reminded me just how freeing and fun dancing can be. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a dance break.