How To Do The Dad Dance

This past year, I’ve been to a half dozen weddings, and it’s come to my attention that Dads really know how to “cut a rug” on the dance floor. I’ve seen foxtrots, some nervous Robots… my own Dad has even been known to bust out “The Lindie” on certain occasions.

After watching dozens of Dads in action I realized you don’t even have to be a Dad to dance like one. While specific styles of dance vary from Dad to Dad, the fundamentals are the same. Here’s a five-step guide on how to dance like a Dad.

Step One: Be Prepared. And by prepare, I mean hit the bar, and hit it hard. As a Dad, you’re going to naturally stick to beer and hard liquor, because cocktails are for women. That’s fine. Just make sure to grease the wheels. A lot. Take a shot with that cousin you haven’t seen in three years. Choose a sibling you hate and have a beer with him or her. Drink about enough to actually enjoy the company of your wife again, though not enough to break down and cry at the dessert buffet.

Step Two: Choose Your Song. Let’s face it, you’re not going to crush it when the DJ plays Skrillex. As a Dad, you’re probably not even sure if Skrillex is a man, a woman, or a freaky group of mixed gender weirdoes.Jesus, whatever happened to all the good bands? You saw a picture of Sting in the paper the other day. He looked old. Are you gonna die soon? Nevermind that, dammit. Just play it cool until they put on something in your wheelhouse… As soon as you hear the opening chords of “Hotel California,” put one foot in front of the other and – you’re on the dance floor. Now move your ass and start dancing, old man.

Step Three: Choreography. After all the lead up, you’re finally dancing! Find a beat that is diametrically opposed to the rhythm of the actual song and stick to it like your life depended on it. Who the hell is Don Henley to tell you when the 2 and the 4 beat is in a song? You have a graduate degree, dammit. You’ll dance it the way you want to dance it.

Step Four: Force a Smile. As you dance, your body is moving in ways it hasn’t moved in years, if ever. Relax. You’re joining a tradition of physical expression that people have practiced for time immemorial. Just don’t knock any kids over and you’ll be fine. Isn’t this fun? You’re not embarrassing your family at all. And who the hell cares if you are. Dammit, you probably paid for this whole event, so you’re gonna dance even if they tell you not to. So what if your own father is rolling over in his grave? Think about something that makes you happy—like U.S. News & World Reports— and smile.

Step Five: Exude Whiteness. This should not be something you have to think about, as it exudes from every pore of your being. Like your hairline, your moment of glory is fast receding from view. No matter, you did what you came here to do. Jostle over and kiss the bride/Bar Mitzvah Boy/Retiring Principal. When it’s over, get your coat from the coat check girl, get in your sensible four door sedan and get the hell out of there. Mission accomplished.


Dan Eder, Remy Mattel, LIVING THE DREAM

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