Let’s be real: not many of us are actually very good dancers. For the most part, our dancing skills do not need to extend beyond swaying back and forth at parties and shimmying from side to side in the car — no one is really judging, even if we tease each other playfully. When I find myself in a situation where I have to dance, or other people around me are dancing, I usually stick to the basics and play it safe because I’m terrible at all bodily movements. But there are certain things you can do to make yourself appear better at dancing than you actually are, or at least not completely mediocre. Next time you’re hittin’ the town, make sure you follow these steps:
1. Follow the beat.
This one is pretty basic — just make sure you’re even remotely on pace with the music, and you have a good start. Even if every other part of you is a little awkward and unskilled, no one can fault you for not droppin’ it low when Flo Rida says you should.
2. Swing your hips.
According to actual science, girls appear better at dancing if they just move their hips a lot. In a study conducted at the University of Northumbria, girls that “displayed a high level of ‘hip swinging’ wowed the crowds far more than those who kept their hips still.” This requires almost no skill and is basically a free pass to looking good, so take advantage of it, ladies.
3. Appear confident.
It is a well-known fact that if you pretend to know what you’re doing in a convincing manner, you will most likely fool some people around you. Keep your head up, smile, and look like you’re having a fun time and don’t care about how you look. At the very least, you won’t attract negative attention, and you might even grab some positive glances as well.
4. Step from side to side.
If all else fails, stay in the comfort zone that generations of human beings have established before you and just step from side to side. It’s probably the most ingenious move ever, because it requires even less skill than hip swaying (see above) and it works in almost any circumstance. If you’re feeling brave, tuck your arms up to your side and move your shoulders to the beat — now we’re really in business.
5. Learn the hot moves all the kids use.
This one is a little bonus round: if you’ve completed all the above and think you’re ready for a little more spice, learn a dance move that all the hip kids use, like dabbing or the Juju On Dat Beat dance. Remember, dancing is an art — just give it your all and hope no one captures it on Snapchat.