When you find yourself at a wedding reception, and the DJ invites everyone to hit the dance floor, who is the first person to run out there and dance like no one’s watching? Dad, of course. Dads love dancing, and dads love dancing badly.
Here are eight specific (bad) dance moves that every dad has in his arsenal.
The Chicken Dance
A staple at every Midwestern wedding that’s ever been held, the Chicken Dance was created in a laboratory for dads to drag their young children on the dance floor so the whole family can look like dorks for a few minutes. It’s not elegant, or cool looking, but it’s easy and goofy, two things that are pretty much requirements for a good Dad Dance.
The Elaine Benes
There is no choreography for the Elaine Benes dance, named after the Seinfeld character’s, um, unique dance skills that pretty much mirror most dads on the dance floor. Flailing limbs, lots of thumbs, and the certain belief that, despite all evidence otherwise, you are a good dancer, are all hallmarks of just about every Dad Dance.
The Fist Pump
If you see a dad in the wild at a rock concert, you will see this, and only this, as his sole dance move. Just pumping his fists wildly in the air, in theory along with the beat of the song, but let’s not kid ourselves here. The most impressive aspect of this move is that, somehow, dads manage to never accidentally conk anyone on the head as they toss out uncoordinated phantom rock punches.
Most Of The Macarena
Dads sort of know all the steps to the Macarena, which they should because it’s an incredibly easy dance.
And, in theory, they know all the steps in order. But once they’re put on the spot, there’s roughly a zero percent chance they pull it off without accidentally skipping a part, or starting with the wrong arm. And they’re almost always going to do the final jump step prematurely. Dads are just super sloppy with this dance.
The “Twist And Shout” Dance
A guaranteed way to make a dad impossibly excited is to play “Twist and Shout.”
Dads love that song, but they love the dance for it even more, which is basically where they reenact the dance scene from Animal House during the “little bit soft” and “little bit louder” parts after sort of bopping weirdly on the dance floor for the first few minutes of the song. Really, dads should just go on the dance floor for the second half of the song, but once the song plays they forget all about that and just rush the floor thinking, “Ferris Bueller!”
The YMCA song is the perfect song for Dad Dancing. It’s primarily played at sporting events, and when it plays you’re only required to stand up, clap your hands awkwardly, and then make the letters for the chorus. It’s easy, and pretty silly and annoying if you take a step back and look at it objectively, but dads freaking love it.
The Electric Slide
Nothing is more dad than a song with directions how to dance to it as part of the song.
The “I Don’t Know What That Is But Please Stop Dad, You’re Embarrassing Me”
At some point (and after enough beers) a dad’s dancing might morph into just an unholy amalgamation of every dance style he’s ever heard of.
He’ll dab. He’ll roll the dice. He’ll mow the lawn.
But most of all, he’ll embarrass you and everyone in your family. To be honest, the embarrassment factor is probably the primary reason why he’s dancing in the first place. You just can’t let him know that you’re dying of embarrassment, though.
Because that’s exactly what he wants.