Wild Dance Idioms That Will Get You Moving

Dancing to someone else's tune

When you’re willing to dance to someone else’s tune, chances are you’re not actually enjoying that Spotify playlist your roommate made. Instead, you’re swaying to another person’s will because you’re obligated to (boss’s orders) or because your girlfriend will totally kill you if you bum out on date night again. Powers that be . . . .

WATCH: Can You Correct These Idioms?

Horizontal dance

This one isn’t referring to practicing the worm. The phrase horizontal dance actually refers to getting busy under the sheets. So, next time you say you don’t know how to dance on a date, think about your word choice a little more carefully. 

Out of step

The phrase out of step might refer to your dance partner’s rhythm (Ouch! That was my foot.), but it can also describe when a group isn’t communicating efficiently, which can result in a lot of frustration and tension. You can be out of step in a relationship as well; this happens many times when a couple just isn’t clicking. May be time for a dance lesson? 

Tap-dance like mad

To tap-dance like mad refers to distracting someone with quick and clever actions (like creating a distraction in the kitchen so that you can grab the remote before your girlfriend does). Or, when you casually walk by the last piece of chocolate from the leftover Halloween candy that you’ve been eyeing, while pointing outside so your kids don’t see you take it. Sly.

Song and dance

The phrase song and dance describes someone who’s exaggerating or using little white lies to get their point across. Let’s say you’re trying to get an extension on a paper for your Sociology class. You give your professor a whole song and dance about how your dog had to go to the vet after a freak accident with a fire hydrant, which prevented you from completing your paper on time.

But in reality, you completely forgot about the paper and watched Netflix instead. Your professor knows what’s up, you don’t sing that well.

Leading a (merry) dance

Leading a dance or lead on a merry dance are phrases that aren’t quite what they sound like. Of course, you can lead when dancing with a partner, but if someone says this expression at work, they’re referring to the act of misleading another person into believing something that isn’t necessarily true. And, this isn’t just with the little white lies from your song and dance above. This is deceitful and contriving stuff. Be careful: The dance you’re joining may seem more merry than it appears.  

Takes two to tango

Sure, it actually takes two people to perform a tango. However, this phrase has very little to do with the Argentinian dance act. The expression two to tango is associated with a situation where at least two people are responsible for the results of an action.

Your dog peed in the house while you were at work . . . well, yes it’s your dog’s fault but also your’s because you forgot to walk him before you left. Had a massive breakup with your boyfriend? Well, you are both probably partly to blame . . . even if he is the worst!

To do a cha cha

As you might imagine, doing the cha cha means actually performing the Latin ballroom dance sensation. Off the dance floor, to do a cha cha can describe someone who’s a talented socialite that works smoothly with others. They can adapt quickly to changing situations and sweet talk with the best of them. This is someone you want on your dance team, for sure. 

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