Will Milner is in a mood to dance, but his neighbours are not quite so sure.
I like to dance. Not any particular type of dance – it would be generous to say which style I am butchering at any given time, but I can tell there are elements of hip-hop, swing and flamenco. Plus a lot of vigorous pouting, pointing and moonwalking thrown in for good measure.
Regardless of the song being played. My pioneering disinterest in adhering to the tune’s rhythm is part of a dawning realisation that I might actually be not very good at it. I thought I was, I really did. Not actually dancing with somebody and not performing a routine of rehearsed moves as such. That has never been my forte, but in terms of dancefloor-busting grooves I thought I had moves. I have, however, been told otherwise.
Unsure of the true depths of my arm-flailing inadequacy, I’ve taken to practising at home. Flicking on the radio and turning up the volume, I boogie around the bathroom, I cha cha through the kitchen and I sway past the settee. The old confidence came flooding back and I really started to let loose recently when a favourite song came on. A quick drop of the shoulder, a flick of the head and a full body spin later and I found myself leaping, with the casual elegance of a ballet dancer, onto my coffee table. Normally this is where the story would start to unravel. It might be funnier to tell you that I misjudged the distance and stood in a bowl of corn flakes or that I forgot the table was made from glass, but none of that would be true. Because I landed perfectly and, if anything, the dancing got better up on the makeshift podium.
Time to take it to the next level, I thought. Perhaps you are familiar with a little move I like to call the ‘lasso’? It has long been a Dubai favourite. You know the one – an imaginary rope is twirled, cowboy-style above the head and flung into the crowd, or in my case against the double doors leading onto the balcony. It lands on a prospective dance partner and all that remains is to slowly pull your catch closer. If they know what they’re doing there is no finer sight on the dancefloor as, in perfect time, you draw them closer with each pull of the rhythmical rope.
Looking at myself in the reflection of the double windows, I decided I had been right all along – I can dance. And that is when the horror hit me. I had not lassoed my mirror image. In fact, the doors were not even closed. Staring back, slack-jawed and slightly alarmed were my over-the-road neighbours. I’ll never know how long they had been watching, or what the grandmother I had just lassoed thought was happening, because they wordlessly drew the curtains before I could explain. I haven’t seen them since.
Maybe this is a metaphor, a sign to draw the curtains on my dancing career. But I’m not ready yet, so look out for me on the city’s dancefloors. I’ll be the one twirling a lasso.