Over the weekend, I headed down to Cornwall for a couple of days of surfing with some friends. On the Saturday night we all met for dinner at the pub and replaced our expended energy stores whilst listening to a live band. Now, I am sure all of you have been to a music event where everybody is nodding their heads and tapping their feet but no-one is prepared to be the first on the dance floor. You know, like those early school discos with the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other before one pioneer is brave enough to cross no man’s land. Well, this was just like that until one guy stepped out of the shadows and, in front of a packed pub, owned the dance floor!
He puffed his chest out, flailed his arms about like a threshing machine and played a variety of different ‘air guitars’ whilst gurning enthusiastically. Now, at first, he was a figure of fun with the majority of people pointing and laughing. When it became clear that he couldn’t give a toss for what we all thought, an interesting thing happened. Other blokes joined him. Not only did they join him, they tried to copy him as well as trying to invent even more outrageous moves themselves. Within the space of one “Jam” song, those on the dance floor were the ‘cool’ ones and the majority still sitting in their seats were the jerks.
Some of you may have seen the You Tube footage of the guy who single-handedly starts a group ‘dance off’ at a music festival (if you haven’t, here’s the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk). Watch the footage right to the end and listen out for the woman who exclaims “How did he do that?!”
Like the guy in this video, here was a man not afraid to express himself, not afraid to be the first. Other people saw his unabashed enthusiasm and wanted to be a part of it. When the rest of the group saw that it was ‘ok’ to join in, this started a chain reaction for others to follow.
How many times do we hold ourselves back, fearing people’s reactions to our ideas and actions? We have all done it but seeing the joy on the face of the guy in the Cornish pub and the music festival man and I bet nothing beats the feeling of being first on the dance floor.