I feel ridiculous when I dance, how do some people dance with no inhibitions?

I feel ridiculous when I dance, how do some people dance with no inhibitions?

Dancing may be ridiculous, but it is also very enjoyable. When I was a young man I wanted to dance but I was very shy. When I reached the age of 81 I decided that it was time to try again. Do not make my mistake of waiting so long.

In order to overcome your inhibitions, you need more experience. I recommend attending more dance classes and actual dance parties. If you can afford it, take private dance lessons; in private lessons your partner will be your teacher.

It is an advantage if you have a good sense of musical rhythm, because in most dances there is a definite rhythm made up of slow steps and quick steps.

As the gentleman you are expected to take the lead, and the lady is expected to follow. This means that (in the absence of instructions at the time), you should take any steps you may choose within the particular dance (e.g. foxtrot), and expect your lady partner to take the corresponding lady's steps. If you do not signal to the lady what steps you want her to take, she is likely to complain that she wants a strong lead.

With more experience you will gain more confidence, and the ladies will love you for it.

Happy dancing!


When I was in my youth, I felt ridiculous when I danced, too. That's because social dancing was defined back in the late '70s and early '80s - aside from disco - was freeform and totally un-choreographed. What, exactly, are you supposed to do out there?

As our school was out in the country, a couple of weeks square-dancing between Thanksgiving and Christmas was part of the curriculum, and by high school, we were having enough fun with this dance form that students would find ways to skip classes to dance for hours.

Once I took bellydance, modern dance, and jazz dance classes, I became much more confident with freeform dance. I imposed a couple of simple rules on myself: 1) move from the torso, and 2) follow the music. Those two rules also make it much, much easier for me to quickly pick up the moves in a Zumba class or line dance.

By imagining every move originating from the torso, and letting both arms and legs just "go for the ride", my dance moves appear much more intentional. It also prioritizes my attention as I am learning a choreographed dance, giving me a reputation for being a "quick-study". My heart-center leads the direction in which I am traveling. After a few bars of learning travel-direction, I concentrate on what my feet are supposed to be doing. Most choreographs are composed of the same few patterns: grapevine, basic salsa step, box step, step-ball-change. I do not worry if I can imitate intricate arm or hand movements until I have mastered those two priorities.

I follow the music by understanding that a 3 minute Western-style pop song usually follows an A-A-B-A pattern: Verse, chorus, 2nd verse, chorus, instrumental interlude, repeat first verse with more intensity, rousing chorus. The moves you do during that first verse, can be repeated for the next two verses, albeit as a mirror image, with a few additional embellishments, or performed with more energy in the finale. The moves you do during the chorus are repeated each time the chorus is sung.

In belly-dance, a dancer feet only follows one instrument: the drums. No drums, you stand in place. Drums are playing, your feet move in time. The drummer adds in a trip-beat, your hip notes that little embellishment and you do a pop or a lock to acknowledge it. The drummer plays the tom-toms, your hips do larger movements; the drummer plays the snares, you tone it down, and so on...

A wind instrument or the violin (the instrument closest to the human voice, so is treated like a wind instrument) plays, your chest swells and opens. This is where "camels" can be incorporated into a dance, as you breathe along with the musician, acknowledging their breath with your movement.

Lastly, what do you want your arms to do? Allow them to do much less than you're imagining they have to do. Imagine that you are in a tube or an old-fashioned phone booth: whether your arms are raised or lowered, they stay close to your body. If the music is happy and celebratory, allow yourself to raise your arms over your head and let your wrists follow the beat. Most Westerners don't have the courage to do this. Anyone on the floor who dares to do this doesn't look silly, they look like they command the floor. They get the party started.

Give it a try. You may amaze yourself.


In my opinion, dancing allows you to let go of your inhibitions.

You shouldn't feel ridiculous when you dance. Dancing comes to you naturally, whether you dance professionally or not, because dancing is just your body reacting to the beat of the music.

The inhibitions could be from something that is weighing heavily on your mind, like maybe upcoming examinations or difficulties in life concerning family or career. Try to sit down and resolve the problem by thinking, but don't think too hard. Spend at most 15–30 minutes thinking, but if you still cannot find a solution to your problem, try dancing instead.

Don't force yourself to dance, allow your body to sway to the music. You can start by putting on some comfortable clothes and your favourite song. Close your eyes and listen to the song. Let your body relax and move as it wants to. Make sure you do this in an area with some privacy, like in your room.

If you feel ridiculous because you're bad at dancing, you shouldn't be. No one was born great at dancing, not even Michael Jackson and Martha Graham. Everyone had started out as a beginner, and practised endlessly to be as good as they are now.

I hope this helps, and constructive criticism for my answer is very much appreciated:))


That's only how you feel. When you get up and dance, you probably feel that everyone is looking at you and judging you. In reality, you are probably not doing too badly at all and no one is looking at you and least of all, care how well or badly you dance.

I presume that when you dance, it will be at some social function. If you think about it, would anyone care or be judgemental about your dancing? Everyone is there for a purpose and part of that purpose is the expectation that people will be getting up to dance. It really doesn't matter what you do, no one is going to applaud if you pulled off the most spectacular K-pop sequence or just shuffle from foot to foot like most people do.

Even if you are in the company of trained dancers, they will not be judgemental as they will realise that everyone was a non-dancer once, including themselves. So don't worry about looking ridiculous because you won't be and just enjoy yourself.


Thanks for the A2A!

The lack of inhibition comes more from the state of mind one is in rather than the dance or technique.

People who dance without inhibition have an amazing mix of self-confidence, desire to express a feeling, and not caring about the opinions of others.

For some, confidence comes from mastery. They know the dance so well they don't have to think about it. Just like amazing guitarists who don't look at the fretboard but know exactly where they are and where they are going when they play an amazing solo.


I dance without a care in the world I dance with friends, I dance alone. It makes me feel good and I don't care if I look like I am being electrocuted or you are laughing at me.

Yes, I am that crazy old lady that you see on random videos.

Ask me to stand up and speak in public though and I will die a million deaths. I rarely speak up in crowds. If I want to ask a question or make a suggestion I would most likely wait until I can talk face to face with the one I need to speak to.

I think about people with the self-confidence to speak out in large gatherings the same way as you feel about people who dance with abandon. They must be from another planet.


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