Little Brother Wants To DanceI don't know if this is considered a "social phobia" or not, but I cannot dance in public. Just the thought of attempting to dance in public literally makes me want to throw up and I have the musical Bye Bye Birdie to thank for it.
When I was 12 years old, I auditioned for a part in the Smithfield Junior High production of Bye Bye Birdie. I was in the seventh grade, still very much Little Brother, and was still coming down from the high I got off of my role in the W.A. Porter Elementary sixth grade production of H.M.S. Pinafore where I had the lead role of Buttercup. I knew I could sing and I knew I could act and I thought I could dance until I stepped on stage and attempted to do the Charleston during the group dance auditions. For some reason, my hands and my knees just couldn't get in sync and I fell on my *** as everyone stared and snickered. I was humiliated. My Mama was a former go-go dancer and my little sister had moves that were just unreal. I was so good at everything else, why couldn't I get this? I was so devastated by everyone's laughter, that I ran out of the cafeteria and ran to the weight room where I immediately started doing 50lb dead lifts. That was it. That was the catalyst that lead me to where I am today and my phobia of dancing in public.
I hate it. I'm pissed off at myself because like Napoleon Dynamite, I gotta dance! I can stand out there on the dance floor and bob my head to the rhythm of the music and bend my knees a time or two, but I simply cannot allow myself to let go, even if I have been drinking. It just irks me to no end because I have a beautiful girlfriend who loves to dance and it kills me to watch her out there on the dance floor while I nurse my Bud Light on the sidelines. I keep telling her, one day, I'm just going to bust out of my shell and it's going to be a combination of the cupid shuffle-meets-Thriller-meets-Saturday Night Fever-meets- the lambada-meets-who the hell knows what. It's going to happen and when it does, it ain't going to be pretty, but it will be the most satisfying moment of my life because it will be me, Little Brother conquering a phobia worse than snakes and spiders, worse than speaking in public, worse than being suffocated by jellyfish in my sleep (that's a different story all together.) Little Brother is going to dance!