Dance like no one’s watching…because no one is.

The only opportunity I have to dance in public is when I’m on a cruise ship. At least daily, there’s a venue that features live music and a dance floor. I’m untrained in dancing so it’s not a pretty sight, but it’s relaxing, almost cathartic. On our recent trip on the Queen Mary 2, Mary occasionally danced with me but my nine-year-old grandson refused. I tried to bribe and cajole him, but he wouldn’t budge. I appealed to his sense of logic, saying, “Ben, no one is going to notice you.” But that didn’t work either. 

There’s a fundamental and helpful thought lying at the core of the phrase, “Dance like no one’s watching…because no one is.” Don’t be overly concerned or restrained by worrying about what other people might think of your actions, because they probably don’t even notice. Another lesson is: If it gives you pleasure, don’t hesitate to do something you’re not good at. 

Some of us go through life being inordinately self-conscious. We worry about what we’re wearing, what we’re saying, and what people think of us. The reality is, most people don’t think of us often and don’t care about what we do, so we shouldn’t be overly concerned. 

Of course, we should defer to social norms, manners, and protocol—that’s called social intelligence. But maintain a balance between what your culture deems as normal and acceptable and what your heart wants to do. Periodically, cut the rug.

16 Replies to “Dance like no one’s watching…because no one is.”

  1. Don, I think I might pay money to see your uninhibited dance!

    Ann Landers said, “At 20 years old, we worry about what others think of us. At 70 we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”

    1. Thanks, Wayne, for sharing the Ann Landers quote. It’s so true. I so deeply appreciate our friendship. Don

  2. Outstanding! One of the best articles so far. Excellent advice. As a climber, this is a great application. Don’t be self conscious. Just scratch your way upwards because no one is watching.

    1. Shane, I didn’t know you were a climber. Tell me more.
      We’re all too self conscious. Take care, Don.

  3. “Cut the rug” That is slang from 100 years ago. Most people wouldn’t know what you mean…

  4. So true! Well said. Where are you living now? Every time I drive by your house, I think of you.
    Henry is still moving, but more slowly!. He is into one project after another! We have a 17 year old grandson who keeps us thinking about the state of the world. He loves history, and interviewing every veteran.

    1. Lila, it’s so good to hear from you. I have fond memories of you, Henry, and your daughter. I’m happy that you have a grandson. Our Ben is 9 years old and our daughter, Sarah, who lives with us just had a daughter. Yeah. Mary and I feel like Abraham and Sarah 🙂

  5. That’s SO true!!
    Thank you for your humor and the ability
    to see and tell the truth about the watching of other folks.
    “People watching” used to be a pass time for some families—just to have something to do. Can I say boredom sat down in their lap?
    Thanks for the laughter you sent today!

    1. Gail, I love your phrase “boredom sat down in their lap.” I’ll find an opportunity to quote that. Take care, Don.

  6. Don. As I was reading this post it brought to mind a time when you were dancing and my wife and I were watching. We were on the Insight for Living Tahiti Cruise and were enjoying the after dinner entertainment on one of the islands. You enthusiastically joined in the dancing, shirtless no less. It was an unforgettable experience.

    1. Oh my…I have not thought of that in years. That was me being inauthentic 🙂 Actually, I act like that often when I’m with my grandson. I hope you are doing well. Don

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