Of paramount importance: Do you have enough glitter? If not, you need to go out right now and get yourself some glitter. How much is enough glitter? Think about how much glitter you might possibly need. Now double that.
Prepare yourself mentally. Remember: you’re dancing like everybody’s watching. Why will everybody be watching? Because you’re spectacular! #Blessed. Can’t you already feel those eyes on you? And hands too, because your dancing is so magnificent people will want to touch you. Some will even place their feet upon you because that’s just their way, don’t ask questions. It’s the dance that makes them behave so.
Next, you must create the Facebook event, with a catchy name like “Me So Dance-y!” or “There Is No ‘I’ In ‘Dance’ But There Should Be!” What was life like before the Facebook event? Those were sad days of candlelight and rotary phones and people dancing with hardly anybody watching at all. But now they have you. It is you they will watch dance, and their lives will never be the same.
Videotape yourself dancing – just a little bit. A tease, a taste and tarantella. A tarantula. Yes, you’re a tarantula! Now you’re interpreting the assassination of President Garfield! You’re a moth discussing Kierkegaard! You’re a series of vaguely racist Internet memes!
Enough! Now share your video with everyone you know. By email. Yes, email so they know you’re serious about dancing like everybody’s watching. Clog up their servers with your multi-megabyte videos that proclaim, “The dance is mightier than the bandwidth! I care nothing for your virus protection! I am a Trojan horse – of dance!”
Choose a public venue where your guests and those lucky souls on their way to pick up dry cleaning or responsibly neuter their pets – they too will have the opportunity to witness your gift, the gift of dance, the gift with no exchanges, no refund. Bus stations, shopping malls, Republican primaries: all of these are venues where people gather, not knowing that what they need, what they crave in their dreary souls, is to see you dance!
Some people may want to join you in the dance. Never! Let them dance like everybody’s watching on their own dime. Don’t worry; the frenzied mob will manhandle those interlopers so you can continue to be you, you, just you. Dancing! Like everybody’s watching. Because they are.
What’s this? You hesitate. You shrink from the challenge. Is it doubt? Fear? Maybe heartburn. No! It’s shyness! How dare you! How dare you even consider denying the world of your dancing in all its splendour and glitter! You have no choice. You are but a vessel for the spirit of boogie. Let the goodness shimmy through you. Everybody is watching! Don’t be a shmuck.
Now where were we? Ah, yes, attire. Are you wearing stretchy things? Good. Are they flattering? It doesn’t matter. Don’t even think about it. The way it ripples there. And there. And bulges there. Your dancing transcends your body, even if everybody is watching and also pointing at the jiggling in that particular quadrant. People will only see the dance, and the dance is the same weight it was in high school. Be jealous of the dance. But also admire it. “Here: wear these horizontal stripes,” the dance says. And you obey. You are helpless to the dance like you are helpless to cupcakes.
Feathers, pompoms, water balloons, graphing calculators – these are the tools with which you augment your dance. Thrust! Lunge! Bounce! Solve for X! Some furniture may be broken, some eyes put out. But that is the risk others are willing to take.
And now it is time. You are dancing. Your feet are flying and your arms are flailing. There’s a cloud of magic floating around you. No, that’s just the glitter. But you are undoubtedly, indubitably, irrevocably dancing! Dance like everybody’s watching. Isn’t it wonderful?
Don’t screw up.
A version of this piece aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway” on March 15, 2016. You can here it — with sick beats! — below.