Must be this dancy to enter

OPINION

  • Girls dance at Las Pulgas nightclub in downtown Tijuana, Mexico, on February 1, 2013. The clubs in the city draw everyone from students to factory workers looking to hear bands play the musical styles from their native region of Mexico. (Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT) ORG XMIT: 1138655
Girls dance at Las Pulgas nightclub in downtown Tijuana, Mexico, on February… (Don Bartletti / McClatchy-Tribune )
May 28, 2013|By Yusef Williams, @lovefromthbrain | For RedEye

I'm a dancer. I love to dance. I'm the guy Dane Cook jokes about who goes to the club to express himself through the art of dance.

As a dancer, nothing diminishes my club experience like being the only guy on the dance floor. No, correction: Nothing brings me down more than navigating pillars of men standing on the dance floor.

I have to give the pillars a little credit, though, for actually making it out to the dance floor. Most of the time, the guys are standing around the periphery watching. Still, the frustration is the same. As I fight my way around the pillars to create a little space for my two-step, I also have to fight my desire to hijack the DJ booth, grab the mic and yell, "Dance, you fools!"

The "standing in the club looking dapper" thing is killing the nightclub scene. It's turning what should be an awesome dance party into a weird kind of meat market that is uncomfortable for almost everyone involved.

Do these guys not understand that nightclubs are made for dancing? I mean, I hate to state the obvious, but here goes: Everything about clubs—from the DJs to the deafening sound systems to the lighting to the DANCE floors—is designed to create an atmosphere conducive to dancing. If you know this, then why on Earth would you put on your fresh clothes, stand in line and pay a cover to get into a club ... and then not dance?

Are you there for the ladies? If that's the case, here's a pro tip: The ladies are on the dance floor. Yeah, they're dancing with each other. What choice do they have if the men won't go out there? And trust me when I say that one of them—if not all of them—wishes you would join, because even on the best girls' night out, dancing in a circle gets old.

The language of the club is dance. Nothing says, "Hey ladies, I'm a fun, confident, interesting, non-threatening kind of guy" like busting a few moves—even if your moves are bad. Don't believe me? Watch the reaction of that circle of girls when Mr. Not-So-Hot-But-Fun jumps in the middle of them and performs whatever he calls that move he's doing. Heck, even peacocks do a little dance.

It's time to put the "life" back in the nightlife scene. Guys: You need to save the awesome dance party by joining the ladies—and the random handful of guys like me—on the dance floor and dancing. The women will appreciate it; the DJs will appreciate it; the club owners will appreciate it; and at the end of the night, after you have sweated through your outfit, you will appreciate it too.

Yusef Williams is a RedEye special contributor.

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