By Christopher Seifert
A wise man once said dancing is a form of seizure. In my lifetime, I have seen very little that would lead me to dispute that assertion.
Perhaps that”s why anyone who passed by Room 278 of the Richards Building between 7:30 and 9 on the night of Wednesday, July 23, got a special treat. Yes, there was the honorable Christopher Seifert, flailing his limbs about like a drunken chimpanzee … Oh, how the mighty have fallen …
In my defense, however, I was not necessarily there to have fun. Rather, my attendance and, sadly, participation at this event merely served to fulfill a long-standing promise to a good friend.
I think it was about two years ago when, in a moment of extreme weakness, I assured that stubbornly persistent fellow I would attend a BYU folk dance “Rec Night” some time before my death. Well, my death is not necessarily impending – if “Rec Night” did not kill me, I”m fairly certain I”m indestructible – but it seemed Wednesday might be my last chance to be publicly humiliated in such a fashion. I figured it was time to pay up.
My disdain for dancing has a long and sordid history connected rather intimately with the church youth program. I was, both then and now, a shy kid who never met a dance – be it bi-stake, tri-stake or any stake – that I actually liked.
Dances were loud, dark, intimidating. Before the age of 14, I had no idea the cultural hall could be such an evil place, and, needless to say, on those miserable nights, I made ridiculously frequent trips to both the restroom and the refreshments table.
I was rather socially backward – other than my mother and sisters, I”d probably spoken to two whole girls in my entire life. I was even more uncoordinated – it took me about four years to learn how to shoot a lay-up, and basketball was something I ACTUALLY LIKED. Dances did nothing more than remind me of these two deficiencies.
Oh, I would try to have fun. I would look out at the crowd of smiling faces and think, “Chris, they”re having fun. What”s wrong with you?”
I would eventually choose the path of conformity and slap one of those deadened smiles onto my face too. But fun, I discovered, is not necessarily something you can force, and I would only end up feeling worse than before.
Well, many years have passed, and I still experience that same dreadful sinking feeling when I step out onto a dance floor.
I have, however, discovered the courage to ask the most important question: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU? How can you live with yourselves and this freakish pastime of yours?
Turnabout, after all, is fair play, and who is to say my opinion is wrong just because 99 percent of the world”s population disagrees with me?
A great irony of my “Rec Night” adventure is this: My friend, the one who forced this upon me, didn”t even attend. He was busy working, or so he said, but my guess is he”s never actually gone dancing in his entire life. Otherwise, he certainly wouldn”t endorse it.
Embarrassingly, there is a second, more glaring irony to the situation: Another “Rec Night” will occur one week from today, and I, in all likelihood, will be in attendance. You see, I took my favorite lady friend, and she actually claimed to have a good time. She”s sick, I know, but I like her all the same, so …
Gentlemen, if you have any intention of maintaining even a scrap of dignity, my advice is avoid women like the plague.
Or would you rather I admit I actually enjoyed myself – even just a little?
No. Never. I”d die first.