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A Gentleman’s Guide to Dancing in a Nightclub

Advice from resident dance expert and certified lady-person Michelle Ong:

As a lady with a deep, undying love for (disco) balls, there’s a reason why I only go to nightclubs with girls and gays: a lot of straight guys have trouble with dancing. A lot of you treat it like an advanced mating ritual you have to decode, or else you look downright pitiful, blinking nervously while shuffling around in a circle. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Here is the essential 10-step, foolproof, lady-approved guide to dancing in a nightclub.

1) “Why So Seeerious?” If you’re trying to get past bouncers, you can adopt a detached air of nonchalance at the door—but drop it once you’re past the velvet ropes. Ballet’s an art; this is not. Roll up your sleeves and get that dress shirt a little rumpled.

2) You Are Not Too Sexy for Your Shirt On the other side of the spectrum: the guy who can’t get enough of himself. Dancing is a communal activity, so make some eye contact and smile. And for the love of God, avoid sexy-face.

3) Less Is More Your favorite song comes on. Stay. Calm. Save the big showstopping moves for when the song builds to a climax and everyone else starts gesticulating widely. Then yes, you may throw your hands in the air.

4) Unless You’re a Lyrical Genius If you know every word to a song, go ahead and sing all of it. We think it’s cute.

5) Remember: Minimal Knees and Elbows Keep them tight. No one likes dancing with a Slinky. Anyway, all the good stuff happens with the hips, shoulders and feet.

6) No Clapping or Spinning Unless you’re Michael Jackson, clapping, spinning, snapping your fingers and tipping your hat always look cheesy. So don’t. (See also: the Euro-douche fist pump.)

7) Nor Sloppy Drunkenness Drinking helps you loosen up. I get it. But keep track—getting so sloshed you have to shift your body weight onto stiletto-clad me is embarrassing (for both of us).

8) Nor Boners Enough said.

9) Get Off the Fence If you’d like to approach a lady, make it clear that you’re interested. It’s pretty awkward when I think you’re into me, but really you’re just inching forward so you can tie your shoelaces or something.

10) Treat Women Like Wild Animals By which I mean, no sneaking. Nightclubs are loud, confusing places, so approach from the front, make constant eye contact and keep your hands up in the air where we can see them.

And most importantly, don't stress yourself out. We can't all be this guy.

— M.O.