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Cut ’N Paste: How’s My Dancing?

Zechariah Saltman

Once you’ve stepped on a considerable number of feet, you can simply repeat the same exact steps over and over to your heart’s content

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

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N ot everyone loves to dance at chasunahs. For people to get up and dance in public without worrying the least bit about their dancing skills, they usually have to be quite confident. Or as some mental health professionals like to call it, “fully intoxicated.”

In an effort to enable more people to join in chasunah dancing, I’ve compiled the most common dances at weddings (on the men’s side), along with clear, step-by-step instructions how to master them.

The Happy Clappy Backwards Step

(best performed with both eyes closed).

This dance (done immediately after the kabbalas panim and the chuppah) is fairly simple, consisting of a constant happy clapping motion, while simultaneously stepping backwards away from the chassan. Prior to executing the actual stepping part, it’s best to make sure you’re fully aware of where there’s open space behind you and where there are feet. All clear? Perfect. Now, carefully step back on those feet.

Once you’ve stepped on a considerable number of feet, you can simply repeat the same exact steps over and over to your heart’s content. Unless, of course, the people behind you have chosen to improvise the HCBS (Happy Clappy Backwards Step) with the modern twist, most popular among all rows of dancers (sans the first row), and known as “The Almost Accidental Forward Kick.”

In the event you happen to wind up in the path of TAAFK your body will instinctively know what to do, and will begin moving effortlessly. While you’re engaged in this fluid-like motion, other dancers will appear slow and klutzy and even seem to stand still as you become one with the energy inside you. Most dance teachers haven’t been able to fully comprehend this freestyle dance move but are now referring to it with the term “Running for Dear Life.”

The Private Chassan Dance

(a personal dance of just you and the chassan, and 15 other people).

Since this dance involves two people (the chassan and the chasunah guest), each with a very different role (baal simchah and mesameiach), there are separate instructions for each person that may slightly vary.

If you’re the chassan, the actual dance you do with the wedding guest isn’t that important; you could briskly stroll with him, as long as he has no doubts that you’re fully aware you’re briskly strolling with him. And he instantly will, because wedding guests possess a very special ability to pick up on this feeling just by looking at your bright smile. This is pretty impressive, considering you never spelled it out, and your brain currently has the same discerning abilities as a wooden spatula and you honestly have no idea who he is. You’d smile just as brightly if you were sharing a private dance with a malnourished crocodile.

If you are the chasunah guest, it may be difficult but try not to get too emotional over the fact that although the chassan may have a few other things to think about today, all that’s on his mind right now is little ol’ you. You’ll need to stay strong and fight those tears. The chassan’s smile is only getting brighter.

As far as how long each personal dance should last, there’s no set time. It’s really up to the specific chassan, the specific guest, and the specific five other guests who joined the private dance exactly one second after it began. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 671)

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