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She Said “Shut Up And Dance With Me.” Here Is Why That’s Not Okay

I don’t typically go out much these days. But last weekend, my D&D group/polycule decided it was time to go have some fun at a club. The first hour passed uneventfully. I was bobbing my head near the bar when Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” came on. The song sounds like if U2 never once gave a shit about a war-torn country; big, toothless arena indie rock, yet catchy.

A sultry woman in an orange dress sauntered up to me, and in perfect timing with the chorus whispered in my ear “Shut up and dance with me.”

What she didn’t realize is that her statement unleashed a whole host of dance-related trauma stemming from my early 30’s.

I turned 31 in the year 2011. LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was a behemoth of synthesized earworm madness storming the charts. I never learned how to dance beyond imitating one of the unnamed Peanuts kids in their dance sequences. But I always wanted to recreate the impressive moves I was seeing on the internet and on Ellen.

So I began practicing in my living room. I recorded video of my practices and uploaded them to my YouTube channel in the hopes of getting some encouragement. Quickly, I realized I wasn’t getting any better so I hired a teacher.

Linda was mean. Real mean. There was no positive reinforcement. She would point out my every flaw and misstep, which would cause me to start to cry because my parents never once told me anything I did was less than perfect. Anytime I made a whimper, she would yell “SHUT UP AND DANCE!” which made me cry harder.

But I thought I owed it to my meager YouTube following to keep uploading the videos, even of these ill-fated practice sessions. Soon after my last session, someone edited all the Linda + crying videos together.

Without going into too much detail, the video has been one of PornHub’s top “humiliation fetish” videos for years. Coworkers found out. So did family. Most people in my life left. The only ones who accept me are my fellow adventurers/polycule, mostly because their porn fetish choices are far more esoteric than simple humiliation.

I hope it stays that way.