At the Ben Folds concert last Thursday, I spent much more time watching my fellow Duke students than Ben Folds himself. The reason? I was fascinated with one aspect of Duke students’ lives that apparently no one here seems to notice: We cannot dance.
It’s really quite mesmerizing. As Benny boy played his “piano rock” (what a horrible name) with his driving beats, almost everyone in Page was bouncing up and down in a terribly arrhythmic fashion. Many people were moving their heads in such a way that made them resemble drunken pigeons. Many others were gyrating their lower torsos so off-beat that it looked more like an alligator was biting at their crotch than actual dancing. The rest were simply using their knees to move themselves up and down, but, unsurprisingly, at the completely wrong tempo.
Now, don’t get me wrong, some people here can dance. But it’s basically just the step teams and a few assorted other people. The rest of us are so bad that it’s actually quite funny. If you don’t believe me, I invite all of you to go to Parizade or Shooters or Bully’s and watch. You’ll get a good laugh, unless you’re one of the people dancing. And in that case, you’ll get laughed at. It’s a win-win situation.
I sat back and began to wonder why we suck so badly at dancing. Then it hit me. Remember last Thursday, the same day as Ben Folds, that huge 20-foot dancing blue thing that was right at the bus stop? And, what most of you probably don’t remember is that right across the way, in front of the Allen Building and Perkins, there was a pathetic attempt of a protest that was happening. I realize that the cars were in the way and that most people couldn’t read the messages written on the cloth, but did anyone noticed it? And if you did, did you pay attention? If yes, bravo. If not, why? Because you were probably paying attention to and, like the girl sitting next to me on the bus, talking about that “weird ugly blue thing.”
It’s not your fault, though. You’re the victim. It’s probably just because you just don’t care about things like people protesting or the problems in the world. Think about the PSM. Remember that? Well, the protests were pathetic. Oh wait, you probably didn’t go.
See, the vast majority of Duke students—yourself probably included—were in their rooms sleeping off hangovers. The reason we don’t care is that we’re not supposed to. We forget too often that we go to a top-tier university. We’re America’s future businessmen, lawyers, doctors and CEOs. And all most of us ever think about is getting rich, joining the yacht club (there was a Yacht Club Party, remember?), getting married, having kids and then having an adulterous affair with our secretary, nurse, maid or pool boy. That’s why we don’t care about poor people being oppressed. That’s why we suck at dancing. We’re just not cut out for it. You don’t see Donald Trump boogying and bouncing around to Snoop Dogg, do you?
The strange thing about Duke students and dancing, though, is that even though we’re so bad at it, we still try. I guess the only reason for this is because we’re still lost in the high school lie that we’re cool. In reality, we’re all dorks here at our oh, so prestigious university. If we weren’t, we’d be going to State or Carolina or ASU. That’s one huge thing about ourselves that we need to realize. We must accept our dorkiness and stop trying to dance. We stopped caring about world issues, so how hard can it be? Frat boys, sorority girls, you’re no cooler than that dude who studies orgo even after he finished the class with an A+. Scary though, huh?
So the next time you’re thinking about dancing, don’t. Just realize that you look stupid. You look like you’re being bitten in the crotch. Donald Trump doesn’t dance. Neither does Bill Gates. You’re going to join a yacht club one day. Yacht club members don’t dance. They’re crotchety old upper-crest WASPS. That’s going to be you. You can’t dance. You’re not cool. Sorry.
Matt Dearborn is a Trinity sophomore. His column appears every other Tuesday.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.