Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Stephen Fry on dancing

Stephen Fry on his fear and loathing of dancing, from his podgram - "Bored of the dance":

I hate dancing more than I can possibly explain. I hate doing it myself, which I can’t anyway, but I loathe and resent the necessity to try. [...]

If I listen to music, I like either to do it completely alone, so that if I am taken by the desire to move my feet and body (which is inevitable with so much music) I can do it unwitnessed, or I like to LISTEN to it, to hear the line of it, to follow the lyrics and to allow it work inside me. [...] I do not want to use music as the medium for a mating or courting ritual. No one would ever select me as a sexual partner on the basis of my ability to froth, frolic and gibber in time to music anyway, and nor would I ever choose a partner by such desperate and useless criteria.

I can’t dance. It may well be true that guilty feet have no rhythm, but it is also true that perfectly innocent feet can also be unable to move persuasively or happily to the beat. I can’t dance and I SO do not want to. Or is it that I don’t want to because I can’t? No, I don’t think so. I can’t play football, golf, cricket to anything like a human standard and I want to desperately. Desperately. It really isn’t a question of being truculent and captious about it.

The unhappy self-consciousness of the adolescent on the dance floor at school, or in the village barn dance or local disco is too well known a standard hero of rueful dissection for me to need to describe myself in that guise in too much detail. Here were boys and girls my age twisting, spinning and jumping at each other and they all seemed to know what they were doing. Had I been confined to the sick room with an asthma attack the day disco dancing was covered in the syllabus? How did they know which way to move,when to fling up a hand, when to spin, when to jump? When to look into their “partner’s” eyes, when to look at the floor? There was nothing written down, did it accord to some chord change or eight bar measure that I, in my hot discomfort And pop illiteracy simply could not hear?

[...] So let me be absolutely clear about this. This is all a weakness, failing, problem, phobia, hang-up with me. It is something to do with physical shame, clumsiness, self-consciousness, pride in privacy, lack of co-ordination, all of which have culminated in a huge and insuperable hatred of losing physical self-control, in jumping in and joining in. The once sappy bendy young tree is now too old for anything to be done about it without his gnarled distorted shape cracking with a puff of dry dust, so it is too late to change.

A man after my own heart.

5 comments:

Devika said...

But but... You and Mus are so cute on the dance floor!

Kris said...

This is me to a "T"--yet another thing I have in common with Mr. Fry.

Thanks for sharing this--I enjoyed!

Kalena Robinson said...

I had dancing lesson when I was in 4th grade. My parents used to send me to that dancing school twice a week.
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