The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer


It was a beautiful wedding. The cake, delicious. The bride, radiant. The bar, open. And you ... you have been very patient. It was their special day, but now the sun has set and the day is over. It's time to goddamn dance. You've even allowed the other wedding guests five full songs to reel around the floor, biting their lips and snapping their graceless fingers in the sky. You gifted them "Hey Ya!" and "The Cupid Shuffle," but they've had their fun. Now it's time to collect the kids and usher that grandmother off the floor, because you're about to light this mother funking Marriott conference hall on fire.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer
Ari Nousiainen

If someone were to glance toward Table 16 right now, they might mistake the loosening grip of your tie, the sleeves crawling up your arms, for signs of exhaustion. They might mistake the empty glasses scattered around you for surrender. Wrong. Dead wrong. In each of those glasses was a confidence that's now coursing through your veins and also staining your tie a little. You are a sex machine filled to maximum capacity. None of these poor people realize they're about to be obliterated into Hiroshima shadows by a weapon of mass dancestruction. None of them have ever hip-thrusted themselves into a heart condition before. None of them have been high-kicked into an epileptic fit of pure pleasure. They are all doomed.

You start with a bitchin' powerslide across the floor, and everyone is like, "Whoa, where did this guy come from?" Admittedly, it's a good question. You were invited as a last-minute plus one by a co-worker, but she had no idea that she was lighting the fuse of a powder keg. No one had told her that you are certifiably Hot Stuff.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer
Thomas Holton

Already the bridesmaids with their flushed cheeks and swimming eyes have locked onto you. They are looking to throw a bad decision in the face of love tonight, and you are the embodiment of bad decisions. You are the worst decision, in a rad way. You do your patented Get-Up-Off-the-Ground-While-Barely-Using-Your-Hands-to-Support-Yourself move. It's a big hit -- you can tell by all the space the crowd is now affording you. The other dancers are waiting to see what you'll do next, to see exactly how big your bubble of blistering white-hot sex will grow. You dust yourself off to the beat, casually, like a 15-foot knee slide is just how you get from A to B. Everyone is immediately jealous or in love with you and your zero-emission method of transportation.

You take a step as if to walk away, but -- what's this? Your leg no longer belongs to you, it is a slave to the beat. It swings and stomps effortlessly to the music. You use your hands to control it, to overpower it, but it's too late. It's contagious. A full-body pandemic. The other leg is infected now. There is no quarantine, the CDC has collapsed, and soon your whole body is a cyclone of sickly rhythm that catches and collides with everything in its path, specifically other dancers. "Hey" and "Watch it," they yell. This is going really well.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer
Nathan Mandell

The crowd parts wherever you move and surges to fill the absences you leave, like seas around a sacred staff, your sacred staff, the one you're plunging through the air on every 16th note, deep into the invisible butts of hypothetically consensual partners. Although your eyes are clenched for the sake of authenticity, you already know the other wedding guests are watching and nodding, like, "Yeah, we get it. We are following your narrative, new guy."

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer
Thomas Holton

Kick, spin, thrust, thrust, jump, the spli- the sentiment of the splits. Ten thousand hours. That's what they say it takes for perfection. Ten thousand hours or four weddings in a single summer. They are always saying that. This isn't a hobby, it's a way of life. It has to be to get this good. You know exactly how many A Little Bit Softer Nows are in "Shout." You always remember the So Goods in "Sweet Caroline." Your original translation of "99 Luftballoons" is unparalleled in sentiment. The crowd is ravenous, screaming at you, furious that they lived all these years having never seen real magic before now.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer

The sweaty knot of dancers seethes, the floorboards smoke and cinder. The band plays on, wearing faces that say, "Holy shit! And so on." But you will give them no reprieve. If anything, you only turn up the heat. Stimulation has to be tempered with suffering.

Power this great means nothing without fear.

As the last verse and your own vibrations reach a crescendo, a gust of wind originating in your genitals whispers through the room like distant thunder. A storm is coming. The mothers, daughters, bridesmaids, and meteorologists all sense the change. They spit out their smiles and prepare their mouths to scream instead. Your moves can kill and probably do. You speed up the tempo and the band is compelled to keep up. You are grinding, popping, locking, fox-trot box-stepping, and crip-walking. Just everything sewn together flawlessly in a tapestry of modern fusion.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer
Britt Erlanson

Excitement turns to terror as the lucky few with front row seats feel their eyes melt from their faces. The beams pull loose from their nails and the chandeliers quiver. The bride's mother faints, and her father makes no effort to catch her -- he is busy wishing his daughter had married you instead. Pulses pound, the lights crackle and burn, uteruses shatter, and just before the entire hotel collapses, it's over.

Nobody dances like you. Nobody. When the dust finally settles, the few men left with functioning eyeballs watch you with a combination of admiration and contempt as you come to a complete stop. They know that their wives and girlfriends will never be the same, that the post-traumatic orgasms will haunt them for years to come. One song is all it takes to lodge yourself permanently in the hearts of everyone like a wild and sexual hunk of coronary plaque.

The Thought Process of Every Bad Wedding Dancer

Also, you're pretty sweaty by now, so it's time to go. After ensuring that the survivors are stable, you choose a direction and powerslide away while the last flickering light explodes. Blackout. Don't forget to sign the guest book on your way out, though. It's rude not to.

Mikkel William Nielsen

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