Dance-perate times.

On a scale from one to Britney, this week is 2007.

Me.

I know I’m not supposed to flaunt my disasters on The Internet, so while I think we passed propriety when I decided to talk about excrement, I’mma stick with second-person narrative today. Just know it’s been one for the books. Or blogs, I suppose, once the wounds aren’t so fresh. I’m okay, but I think the universe is trynna give me some perspective. Oh, universe. Always trynna.

I’ve been chanting clichés like it’s my job. All’s well that ends well! Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel! Funnily enough, tweeting these vague, “inspirational” statements actually was my job when I worked in women’s empowerment. I’m not big on quotes, myself – I’d prefer that my words derive their significance from me alone – and I’d sooner turn to YouTube than Chicken Soup for the Soul. Because when you’re minutes from losing faith in humanity and yourself, you don’t want to hear that tough times don’t last, but tough people do! You want to do the adult thing and pour whiskey into a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. At 11:42am.

And dance.

Somewhere amidst my high highs and low lows, I perfected the art of the Desperate Dance Party (henceforth referred to as DDP). My DDP habit saw me through heartbreak, all-nighters, heartbroken all-nighters, and more Jason Derulo choruses than I’ll willingly disclose. This is The Internet, after all. I have a reputation to uphold. (Ridin’ solo, ridin’ solo!)

Any halfhearted hand jive will release a few endorphins, but not all DDPs are created equal, and nor are the divas who inspire them. Before engaging in any DDP, you must answer a few questions: How desperate am I right now? Do I feel shaving-my-head insane, or just a little bit plastic baggy? Have I taken any mind-altering substances? Is my roommate home? Are my neighbors home? Do I want to punch a wall? Would a person do the trick? Is this a feasible alternative? Just how many bottles of Mike’s do I have on hand?

Once you evaluate, choose your soundtrack, and don’t hold back. Also, lay off the combo high-knees-one-two-punch. That’s my move.

The Emma Aubry Roberts Scale of Dance Party Desperation

Or, Top 40 for those who feel hopelessly, spastically lost in the world.

Level One: Beyoncé. What? you cry, outraged. Beyoncé, at the bottom of this list? Here’s the tragic thing about Beyoncé: Nothing. She’s a perfect specimen with no place in your pathetic life right now. A BDP is a beautiful thing, but save it for Keg night with your gurlz.

Level Two: K. Perry. Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? I do, and it’s a specific, schizophrenic strain of desperation. Katy kills it for capital-M Moods where you don’t know what you’re all worked up about, but your teenage dreams have been crushed and you need to do ponies/grapevines/angry bicycle crunches until you feel like a firework again. Go ahead, get hot ‘n’ cold. Unleash your inner extraterrestrial. And next Friday night, do it all again.

Level Three: Robyn. Now we’re talking. If your desperation stems from romantic troubles, “Dancing on My Own” is an obvious choice (see one of the most iconic scenes from Girls’ first season), but don’t underestimate the healing power of “Time Machine” and “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do.” This is some next-level, feeling-all-the-feelings shit. Move your body in ways you never thought possible. Then call your girlfriend. It’s time you had the talk.

Level Four: Gaga. Say what you will about Lady G, but know this: She gets it. She gets caught in bad romances with men named Alejandro (I mean, really?), then puts on her poker face and marries the night cuz she was born this way. Whatever awful, destructive thing you did, Gaga did it first and probably better, so quit whining and just dance. It’s gonna be okay. You’re on the edge of glory. And everyone knows you like it rough.

Level Five: Britney, bitch. Forever stronger than yesterday, no one can dance her way to a comeback quite like Brit. She’s the ultimate symbol of resilience; the queen of white-walled, windowless dancehall glory. Motherhood has only taken her music from slutty to sluttier, and jazz squares to “(You Drive Me) Crazy [The Stop Remix]” are as timeless as mountain climbers to “Womanizer,” which prove no less satisfying than moonwalking in circles to “Piece of Me.” Scream, and shout, and let it all out. Keep dancing till the world ends. It gets better. Your hair might even grow back, too.

* “Starships” gets an honorable mention (I recommend it for those at the Katy level), as does any intersection of Sia and D. Guetta (“Titanium” and “She Wolf ” are the move here). Remember, though, a DDP candidate must satisfy different needs than your Sweaty Gym Jamz and Songz 4 Puttin’ Mah Sequin Topz On (yes, these are real playlists, as are Feeling Sry 4 Myself and ~*~SeXiiTiMe~*~). The juvenile punctuation is optional, but the anguish is not. Work yourself up. Dance your way back. Beyoncé will still be there when you return.

** Yeah, I listen to pretentious indie shit, too. These is desperate times.

And on that note, I’m off to Chicago for a soul-soothing weekend with some of my favorite people. If experience is any indication, Katy, Robyn, Gaga and Britney will still be there when I return. Oh, divas. Always trynna.

Do you DDP? What’s your jam? Your signature move?

4 responses to “Dance-perate times.

  1. Oh girl, if I was around and in on your desperate times, I would DDP all over the place with you! First, I love this. Second, Britney all. the. way. But if I want to get more of a disgruntled sway on, I go with Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch.” Ok, truth: I listen to this every day. SHE JUST GETS IT. We are allowed to have vastly different moods and personas, WE ARE WOMEN. And sadly, you’re totally right about Bey. I vow not to listen to “Countdown” or “Run the World (Girls)” until I can do that half-lip snarl thing she does. Should I give up Lady Bey for lent?

    Have a wonderful weekend in the hood! Maybe I’ll run into you when we’re mutually (and publicly) dancing out our feelings Friday and Saturday night!

    • emmaaubryroberts

      I’mma have to add “Bitch” to my DDP reportoire! When it comes to the ’90s, La Bouche’s “Be My Lover” is the song of my soul. And I know, this post is so LiveJournal (fitting for 2007). All will be revealed in time, I’m sure.

      Thank you! I should be so lucky to back that thang up into you around town. Rawr.

  2. I forgot about “Be My Lover”!!! Thank you, Emma, thank you!

  3. Pingback: Three cheeries. | BITE

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