Why Can’t I Dance anymore?

I recently discovered that I have been stricken with a strange affliction: I suddenly can’t dance. I’m not saying I was the Second Coming of Michael Jackson or Fred Astaire to begin with, but I had my moves, executed them well, and could mostly avoid snark and condemnation at weddings and clubs. But that has all gone away.

I was the last one to notice. The first one was my Innocent Flower of All Things Perfect, who at eight-years-old, has not yet developed the filter section of her frontal lobe. I was rocking out to the B-52’s, jumping around the kitchen while making dinner, when Unicorn Goddess looked at me blankly and proclaimed, “you don’t know how to dance, daddy.” I would have actually preferred it if she’d said, “your dancing sucks, dad,” because that would have implied that my ability was up for interpretation. Instead, the inference was that, obviously, I was missing was any kind of knowledge on the subject whatsoever.

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Apparently, I will never be friends with the dude from Men Without Hats.

And then My Dancing Got Worse

Shortly after this, a friend of mine shared her observation with me at a bar in San Luis Obispo. The band that night was kind of lame, but after I downed a few pops, they miraculously got better. I went up to the front of the stage to rock out, and when I came back to the table, my friend said, “when I watch you dance, a piece of my soul dies.” I asked her if she could be a little less vague and ambiguous. The evening did not end well.

I finally had to accept the disappearance of my dance skills a few nights ago, again while I was in the kitchen making dinner. My son, the consumate music hipster, turned me on to this German, art-pop DJ named Roosevelt. His song “Colors” came up on my mix, and I found myself dancing like Chris Farley in that old SNL skit:


I stopped. I tried again. Then I stopped again. Wow.

To reiterate, I’m not saying that Justin Timberlake ever dropped by the house to get a few lessons before heading off to his next video shoot. I think I formally learned one or two actual dance moves from my brother Dave, which he had stolen from the Solid Gold Dancers in, like, 1974. But yeah, I had my own flow. I grooved. I shimmied.

And then suddenly, I didn’t.

Soul train

That’s Dave, on the right, teaching me, on the left, how to dance. 

Where Did My Dancing Go Wrong?

I decided I needed to trace my steps backwards (pun intended) and see where I went wrong. As I mentioned, I love dancing to bands. Did it all the time when I was in a band myself, and used to be in the clubs pretty much every night. Until I stopped. In 2002.

Of course, dancing around the kitchen just comes naturally. I put on some music, pour some wine, and let the ritual begin. At least…I do now. Back when the Cold Winds of Emotional Desolation blew through my marriage like the ice storm surrounding the White Walkers, the kitchen was, as Shakespeare wrote, a melancholy place of death and sorry execution. Not so much dancing there. For years.

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Winter Is Coming…

Practice makes perfect. It’s the kind of annoyingly true cliche I laid on my son when he got a skateboard for his 12th birthday and wanted to be Tony Hawk the next morning. It’s what I tell my daughters when I let them paint my nails and it looks like some kind of jungle fungus disease.

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Case In Point

We Need To Practice More Than Dancing

As true as this motto is for dancing, the real thing that needs to be practiced is happiness. Dancing is an expression, it’s an art and a ritual and a way of emoting a feeling so powerful it can’t be contained. The soul has to be filled to the point of bursting, or the dancing is simply robotic (although as a dance, The Robot kicks ass).

So…more practicing happiness. More laughter, more dinners with friends, more wine (for the love of God, more wine), more of these weird little origami cat things my daughters just made me that I can’t stop laughing about. The moves will come back, because the moves will mean something again. In the meantime, more reruns of Soul Train. For the laughter, you know…


Practicing Happiness So You Can Get Your Dance Moves Back Pairs With: 2019 Tous Les Jours Pinot Grigio, Lodi.


A bottle of 2019 Tous Les Jours Pinot Grigio

Believe it or not, Pinot Grigio ranks as the most popular white wine varietal in America. If you turn to the Googles to verify this, you’ll find conflicting data. But as a guy who has marketed wine for years now, the popularity of Pinot Grigio is an inescapable fact.

And yeah, I kind of have a problem with this. The Ugly Wine Snob in me had come to believe that Pinot Grigio is the Chicken of Wine: the inoffensive wine that doesn’t really taste like anything, so it goes down easy and gives you a nice buzz and that’s about it.

But then I discovered the wines of Veneto, Italy, the heartland of Pinot Grigio production. These wines are deeply complex, borderline tropical, and even slightly pink in color, as Pinot Grigio is actually a red grape. When we went to create our first PG, we knew we had to locate a local source that could match this flavor profile.

We found it in Lodi, a warm-climate area north of San Francisco, California. The rocky soil and warm weather bring forth floral notes in the wine, and subtle flavors that are hard to find in mass-produced Pinot Grigios. At only $15 a bottle, Tous Les Jours tastes like more expensive imports from Italy, and that makes us do the happy dance. Try it now!

10 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Dance anymore?”

  1. I used to say I was born to dance. I was, without a doubt, a very, very fine dancer. Not just my opinion.
    I dance like an old person. I’m not sure there is anything about aging which has made me feel more baffled, sad, sorrowful, embarrassed, angry, or astounded than this and which leads to the question- if I was born to dance and now cannot, is it time to die?
    I can still cook so maybe not.
    But good Lord. I never expected this to happen. And honestly- the last time I did dance and felt like I was really dancing? I did something to my hip (seriously, really, right there on the dance floor) which I probably should have gone to the ER for. That’s been years and it still ain’t right.
    Go ahead, laugh all you want. But it’s true.

    1. See??? That’s what I’m talking about 😉 However, I happen to know for a fact that you’re full of happiness, so you’ll just have to nurse your hip and stick with the cooking 🙂

  2. Well, if it’s any consolation I never could dance. Surprisingly enough, I still cannot. It does not stop me from busting out silly moves and goofy steps though in front of my poor friends and sweet unsuspecting wife. Wine doesn’t enhance the moves, although has the ability to bring them forth in larger, more elaborate numbers. Excellent read, as always.

  3. You’re in good company. I recently attended a wedding and danced so much I left sweaty and disheveled. It was glorious! I just home my moves aren’t recorded for posterity on the bride’s wedding video! LOL! I wish I had some of that syrah. I’m not above name dropping, so…

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