If having to dance in a social situation makes you want to glue yourself to a wall with permanent adhesive, that's normal and you're not lame. Social dancing is hard, because there's so much pressure to look cool, sexy, and fun — all while keeping to the rhythm and pretending your moves are completely spontaneous.
"It's especially hard for our generation to embrace dancing, because we are the generation that elevates effortlessness and irony," says Sadie Kurzban, founder of 305 Fitness. "It's tacky these days to show that you are enthusiastic, that you actually give a damn, and that you are enjoying yourself."
Plus, dancing just makes a lot of people feel vulnerable, says Jonathan Lee, a beginner hip-hop instructor at the Ailey Extension and former backup dancer for Madonna and Britney Spears. "Let go of the fear of feeling judged, and this includes self-judgement," Lee says. "Other people's opinions of your dancing are just that — their opinion and none of your business." Lee says the easiest way to feel confident dancing is to fake it, but that's just the first step.
"The more you practice and get familiar with dance vocabulary, the easier it gets to understand, and you'll feel more at ease with what you are doing," says Ariel Hoffman, director of professional development at AKT, a dance cardio studio in New York City. We aren't all blessed with Beyoncé charisma, so as wedding season approaches, it's time to rehearse. Here's a handful of dance moves that you can have at the ready for whatever wedding, bat mitzvah, or clerb makes you get up offa that thing and dance.