How to be 50: How to Dance

By Charlotte Latvala

"Everybody dance now" is  sometimes a command that must be obeyed.

“Everybody dance now” is sometimes a command that must be obeyed.

Do you need to dance, at 50? Well, sure, you say. I like to toss on an old Wham! CD and boogie around my living room every now and then.

But that’s not what we mean. In mid-life, there are occasions when you need to dance in public, including but not limited to: Your kid’s wedding; the annual work-related social event your spouse drags you to; and one of those rare but glorious funerals where the music starts and everyone hits the dance floor.

Don’t let the rhythm catch you unprepared. Instead:*

  • Fuel up. A healthy snack before you hit the floor is as important as a good beat.
A perfect pairing.

A perfect pairing.

  • Remember it’s not 1982. So stop yelling at the DJ to play The Psychedelic Furs.
  • Don’t whip. Don’t nae nae either. It’s cute when a toddler or very elderly person experiments with the latest dance craze. You, not so much.
  • Remove any highly restrictive clothing (i.e. suit jackets, belts, Spanx) before you a bust a move.
  • On second thought, never use the phrase “bust a move.”
  • To distract everyone from your dancing, release a few dozen balloons during your favorite song.
Up, up, and away goes everyone's attention.

Up, up, and away goes everyone’s attention.

  • If the evening involves line-dancing, tape a large R and L on the appropriate shoes.
  • Under no circumstances should you reference Grease. Not the movie, not the musical, not John Travolta. Just, no.
  • If you’re hell-bent on re-enacting the 1970s, stick to The Hustle and forget about The Bump. Making people wince with your awful dancing is one thing; inflicting bodily injury quite another.
You know you remember the steps.

You know you remember the steps.

  • Don’t squeal “Wikki, wikki, wikki!” and pantomime “scratching” when the DJ plays something remotely resembling rap.
  • Likewise, please stop shouting requests for George Michael songs. It’s only funny once.
Half of Wham! but all of our hearts.

Half of Wham! but all of our hearts.

  • When you see someone filming you with an iPhone, do not – we repeat DO NOT – shout “I’m gonna twerk now!” and begin wiggling your backside. Because that’s the video that will show up at the family reunion, the office Christmas party, and quite possibly your own funeral.

* If your goal is to embarrass your children with your dancing, please disregard all of the above advice.



Filed under dance, dancing, humor, middle-aged

9 responses to “How to be 50: How to Dance

  1. I love it! I completely dance in public! I stick to jazz clubs and places that are playing oldies where I can do the Twist without people staring and thinking I’m having some sort of fit… speaking of modern dancing…

  2. Reblogged this on Middle Aged Rage and commented:
    Charlotte Latvala at “How To Be 50” strikes again! Here she is with advice on how to do your very own “middle-aged rave.”

  3. While I agree with your list of cautions, I suspect that a Cynical Girl would intone “bust a move” at least once.


  4. ““I’m gonna twerk now!””

    Yes, I am. I just horrified the cats and sent a flock of startled blue-jays screaming away from the feeder.

    Feel the POWER!

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