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Americans should dance more

Plenty of Americans do ballet, ballroom dance, or other dancing activities, but these are performers
Most Americans know how to go into a mosh pit or grind, but that isn’t dancing. From: Pexels

I recently attended the International prom and noticed while many people wanted to dance, they couldn’t. And these weren’t just uptight Americans who think dancing is not for men, but people who are not brainwashed by our culture.

I realized it was the music. We have classics like “Cha Cha Slide” and “Cupid Shuffle.” They played a lot of Taylor Swift and other songs you can sing along to, but in my opinion, they have no rhythm to dance to. When I went to a nightclub in Mexico, it was easy to dance, despite not knowing the words. Mexican culture lends itself to dance because the music is danceable. 

Plenty of Americans do ballet, ballroom dance, or other dancing activities, but these are performers. 

What frustrates me is that I am the only one at parties who wants to dance. But everyone else thinks it’s cool to sit in the corner and maybe shake their head to the music. I think the 2000s was the last era with songs that were easy to dance to. I gotta feeling by Black-Eyed Peas, All the Single Ladies by Beyonce, and Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira made excellent music you could dance to when you put your mind to it. 

Most Americans know how to go into a mosh pit or grind, but that isn’t dancing. Going into a mosh pit lacks the creative expression of dance, and grinding is just a sexual act with clothes on. I love a good grind, but that’s not what I want to do at parties. 

That is why I find the parties at Chico so dull. They put in the effort to set up a sound system and lights, but the music is often trashy mumble-rap or sing-along pop. You can’t dance to it!

However, when I went to the Diwali and Holi events hosted by the Indian Student Association, everyone was dancing. The music was fast-paced, expressive, and rhythmic, which lent itself to dancing. 

While it may be a generalization, I gather most Indians like to dance. When speaking with Rishika Tiyagi, Vice President for Business and Finance, she mentioned that in India, while not everyone knows how to dance, they do their best because they enjoy it.

My Brazilian stepbrother, raised for half of his life in America, mentioned how men should not dance and always made fun of my enthusiasm to do so. Brazil is known for its carnival, a yearly celebration where people get drunk and dance. American culture did something to him; otherwise, he would be like me and not get embarrassed when dancing. 

Unfortunately, it is very common to have a fear of dancing or Chorophobia. Famous people like Johnny Depp have described how they would rather swallow a bag of hair than dance. Often, these fears stem from past issues of shame for not dancing well or dancing inappropriately. 

However, Dancing is a biological experience that is psychologically soothing. It offers people an opportunity to synchronize their circadian rhythm, which helps people bond and get to know each other. Dancing also helps with memory loss, as the process of dancing lowers the possibility of getting dementia. And of course, the apparent health benefits lie in cardiovascular performance, weight loss, and flexibility. 

Dancing is fun, but we are missing out. Unfortunately, something about our culture changed, which is not cool anymore, but there are ways to change that. 

For example, I was one of the few people who wanted to dance on a bus tour to Israel during the pandemic. We were at a kibbutz having a swim party, and I decided to get out of the water and dance for a few hours. People were surprised by my Chutzpah, and I even crowd-surfed. 

By the end of the trip, I was not the only one dancing. In Jerusalem, we all went to a local park with some music and danced in our specific ways. 

It wouldn’t have happened if I had not danced the first time. So next time you feel an urge to dance but are too afraid to do so, do it, you will be seen as a legend.  

Ari Sorokin can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ari Sorokin
Ari Sorokin, Reporter
Dogs are Ari Sorokin's first true love and caring for them is his pride and joy. He loves keeping an active and creative lifestyle through his passion of drawing, writing and yoga. Sorokin is also a bit crazy about Indian culture.

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