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Dancing Fool

by Stephen Lautens


November 19, 1999

It never ceases to amaze me just how little men understand about women. Ask any man what he thinks attracts the fairer sex and you'll get a wide range of clueless answers.

There are those men who think women are impressed by cars. I've yet to meet a woman who gets turned on or even could care less about the kind of car you drive. And I'm not saying that just because I drove a sub compact most of my life.

Others think women are attracted by the size of your paycheque. Wrong again. Although the chronically short of cash are rarely seen in the company of supermodels, money rarely gets or keeps anyone worth having.

Then there are those men who try to impress the fairer sex with extreme sports, brooding looks, or an encyclopedic knowledge of the Kama Sutra.

They are all mistaken. What really attracts women can be summed up in two little words ­ ballroom dancing.

I stumbled across this secret by accident. I hated gym in high school. I hated the whole phys ed experience - the cold days in the school yard, the sadistic teachers, the getting naked in front of classmates.

As a skinny kid I was also on the receiving end of one too many murder balls and judo throws. So when they offered ballroom dancing instead of regular gym class, I was the first to sign up.

At first my friends made the usual supportive noises - they laughed at me. Then they realized I was one of only three males in the whole class.

Too late did they realize I was on to a good thing. While they were off getting their faces stomped into the icy mud of the football field, I was making small talk and getting close to some of the school's best looking girls. And I was getting a credit for it.

As if that wasn't enough, the other advantage of taking ballroom dancing was you didn't have to change into gym shorts or have a shower afterwards. And rarely did anyone throw a murder ball at your head during a waltz.

Ballroom dancing lessons have considerable staying power. Twenty-five years later I can still remember the basic steps to bring out for weddings and New Years. If I was a jock, I'd already be in retirement, doing commercials for cheap long distance and pain relievers.

In fact, I had to dance twice in the last two weeks. There I was out on the dance floor counting 1-2-3, 1-2-3 in my head. Nothing fancy. No dips or kicks, and I tried to stay in the middle of the dance floor to stay hidden from the crowd.

I didn't step on my wife's feet once

I'm not saying my wife married me for my cha-cha, although I've been told I have a pretty good rhumba.

Just remember, if you're a man, dancing is like running away from a bear. You don't have to run faster than the bear - you only have to run faster than anyone else he's chasing. As a dancing man, you don't have to be any good -- you only have to dance better than other men.

Trust me.


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