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Dance Like Nobody is Watching

March 8, 2017

by Mark Dunning

Rebecca Alexander challenged Alan Pinto, Peter Alexander, and me to do the Usher Dance Challenge #usher4ushersyndrome. If you haven’t heard about it, she is challenging people to dance to a song by Usher to raise awareness about Usher syndrome and, hopefully, get Usher the singer to join our cause. If all goes well, this could be our Ice Bucket Challenge.

Here’s why I think it’s comparable. No one wanted to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. No one wanted to dump ice cold water over their head. But they did it anyway to show their commitment to a good cause. Dancing in public, for many of us, is every bit as unpleasant as a shower of ice water. Speaking for myself, I would much prefer to be doused. In fact, I would rather be submerged in a frozen pond than dance in public.

So harken back a couple of weeks. Peter Alexander, one of those challenged, was in Washington DC. At the President’s news conference. Seated in the front row. Making international news by confronting President Trump on his claim of a landslide victory in the recent election.

I was alone in my son’s room. Listening to an Usher song. In front of an iPhone balanced on a dresser. Dancing like an idiot.

Sorry Peter, but I think what I did was just as important. Sure you were protecting the first amendment and fighting to save the truth from drowning. But I was trying to protect my daughter’s vision and keep her future buoyed. You tell me which is more valuable?

As far as I know, Peter and Alan have yet to bust a groove but I have seen the NYU softball team boogie. And there was a great Usher Dance Challenge video down by a gym in New York. What’s that you ask?  Am I stalling so I don’t have to show my own dance moves?  Stalling?  Me?  Stalling…?

Ugh. OK. Look. My goal was to dance in as humiliating a fashion as possible (and I have talent to do just that) so everyone else could say “Well, I’m bad but I’m not THAT bad.”  I think I was massively successful in attaining that goal. I did this so others could be free to dance. I’m kind of like Kevin Bacon in Footloose in that sense. Yes, I’m still stalling.

To my blind friends out there, I’m glad you don’t have to see this. To my sighted friends, well, be warned. This will haunt you for a long time. To my son, who still roars with laughter every time he sees this video, I share your hope that none of your friends sees this. Am I still stalling?

Wait, before I show you this, please join us in doing the Usher Dance Challenge. Find an Usher song you like (there are, like, a million or so) record yourself dancing to it, challenge one or more other people to do it, then use the #usher4ushersyndrome and tag @usher with your video. Send it to me, too, @UsherChair. I’d love to see it.

Still stalling…

SIGH. OK. Time to dance, dance like it’s the last, last night of my life. Enjoy the laugh.

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