Dance Like No One’s Watching Instead Of Worrying So Much

Dance like no one is watching!

Do You Worry Too Much About What Others Will Think? Here’s why you shouldn’t give a damn. Instead, you should live your life like a dance and “dance like no one is watching.” Here’s my personal story of how it negatively affected my life.

Not Everyone Can Dance Like No One Is Watching

My greatest regret

For a huge part of my life, I robbed myself of experiences that could have been great because I was too afraid of what other people might think. 

Flashback: Let me take you back in time to my adolescence.

My First Dance

Imagine poofy hair, neon polo shirts, collars turned up, and loud 80’s music playing.

I’m a shy teenager, not yet 15, standing alone in the school auditorium. It is my first school dance in my entire life.  Everyone is dancing like there is no tomorrow, smiling and laughing and having a great time. I feel envious.

I should be dancing too…but I’m not.

It’s not that I don’t want to dance because I do.  I want to so badly. I feel my chest tighten up, and my heart skips a beat.

Despite my desire to dance and practicing in front of a mirror for hours, I stood there motionless, glued to the wall, deathly afraid and unable to dance.

I was afraid to dance. Song after song, I stood there petrified like a statue frozen in fear.  The best I could do was tap my toes to the rhythm of the music.

Afraid of What?

I was afraid if I danced, everyone would laugh at me, judge me and stare at me.

Big In Japan

Fast forward a few years— I’m about 19 years old.

After high school, I moved to Japan for what was supposed to be a gap year abroad but turned into 3 1/2 years. I lived with several female roommates doing odd jobs— teaching English, modelling, hostessing and travelling as much as possible.

One evening, my roommates and I decided to go to a club called Java Jive in a part of Tokyo called Roppongi, famous for its nightlife.

I remember this very distinctly because that was where I had my first hard liquor drink, a Singapore Sling, and immediately afterwards, I had my first cigarette, YUCK.

At the time, Java Jive was a happening reggae bar with a Caribbean theme. There was a mixed crowd of Japanese and foreigners in attendance, and everyone was dancing to the blaring music.

Then out of nowhere, the DJ played a song, which was everyone’s favourite at the time. Maybe you know it— “Big in Japan” by Alphaville?

God, I loved that song.

Blame it on the Singapore Sling. The next thing I remember is being surrounded by other people dancing. And then suddenly I was dancing too, feeling the rhythm, singing along and loving it.

I was completely oblivious to everyone else. It honestly felt like an out-of-body experience, and it felt good not to care because normally, I would be completely self-conscious about dancing in front of other people. 

This feeling of just doing and not caring was entirely new for me.

There I was, 19, dancing like a crazy person for the first time in my life, not caring who the hell saw me. It was FANTASTIC. 

I went home that night high as a kite from both the Singapore sling and the Euphoria of dancing like no one was watching.

But then it struck me. Why had I been so scared of dancing all these years? Why did I let that fear stop me from dancing?

What else had I missed out on because I was too afraid?

Becoming Less Fearful and More Adventurous

A lot has happened since my first fearless public dance. Too much to list here, but I still have that fear of dancing in public, and I still care what other people think; however, I don’t let fear stop me anymore, and neither should you.

do one thing everyday that scares you Eleanor roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You can say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Where do you start?

The magic happens outside of your comfort zone, and doing scary things helps you grow!

To eliminate your fear, you have to regularly expose yourself to things that scare you—ideally in a positive way.

Start small and gradually build up your tolerance until your physiological fear response declines, disappears, or is manageable.

Make a Bucket list.

Say yes more often, like when I was in Floyd, Virginia and spontaneously accepted a challenge to compete in a pig hollering contest, which you can read about here: How I Crushed My Fears By Screaming Like A Pig.

That’s why you should dance like no one is watching!

Please don’t listen to fear, don’t give it power over you and bully you. Face your fear. The more you do, the more control you have over “it.” Once you understand that and systematically expose yourself to the things that scare you, life takes on new meaning and propels you forward.

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Dance like no one is watching!

Photo of Annie André:

Annie André

About the author 

I’m A Bilingual North American With Thai And French Canadian Roots Who's Been Living In The South Of France For Over 10 Years. I Love Writing Weird, Wonderful, Interesting, Forgotten, And Fascinating Articles For Intellectually Curious People Amazed By France, French Culture, And World Travel.


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  1. Hahaha!! What a great video and an even greater message. Since I’m somewhat uncoordinated I can totally identify with the fear of dancing while people watch. Since it’s such a huge issue I’ve noticed that when I push through it and just let it loose, it loosens other stuck parts of my life too.
    I even participated in a big local Samba parade a couple of times, costumes and all – and lots of people were watching that, let me tell you. But it was just so empowering to say, well, if they don’t like what they see they can just look at something else!

    I’ve also noticed that if no one’s up and dancing yet, it only takes one person to get the party started. Sometimes I have the courage to be that person – others not.

    Loved this post Annie! Getting up and dancing like no one is watching is a key first step to a life of adventure!

  2. That is a funny video. You all look like you’re having a good time without caring what anyone else thinks. For me, I’ve never had trouble dancing like no one is watching. I’ve hit the floors and done some really crazy things. You should have seen my awesome moves on my wedding day. Had the crowd going crazy!

    Its other areas though where you could say I wasn’t able to dance like no one was watching. I’ve hesitated doing things and later regretted them. So in that sense I was too concerned about people watching. I’ve worked on that a lot though to make sure I’m as good off the floor as I am on the floor.

    1. That’s the one thing i never thought about when i was younger. All the regret i would have from NOT doing something because of imagined fear. Luckily, you are making up for it in spades with all that you are doing now..

      I wonder if you will be sharing your dancing with us anytime soon?

  3. I totally enjoyed the video! And yes, in college my sister and I shared an apartment; so at times we switched on the radio on high volume and danced in our pajamas till we sweated like pigs! Yes, no moves, no nothing and if any body taped us I am sure we would beat all the buffoons out there! ;)

    It is practically the best thing to be ever doing; we did the moves from 60s and 80s to “get in the groove”.

    There is nothing like doing things like there is no judge; we tend to be better oriented that way!

    1. Hajra,
      I laughed when i read that you sweated like pigs. And you are so right, we are better way to get oriented than when we just let loose without fear of judgement.
      thanks for stopping by.

  4. You had me at Dance. Love to dance, and have embarrassed my kids many a time struttin’ away. Did. Not. Care. loved the video…your son shaking his head had me in stitches…so have been there! ;-)
    Here’s the kicker…I care now…way too much…. and wonder when the tide turned with the worry of what others think. Needing approval can be utterly paralyzing, and I have had far too many moments with it. I am getting better, and with posts like this it helps me remember that life is for living…with joy!
    I’m a teacher, for heaven’s sake, and have zero problems standing in front of a room full of teens. So, go figure.
    Anyway, enough of my rambling….throughly enjoyed this piece, and look forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Cris,
      Embarrassing our kids, It’s the highlight of our lives isn’t it?

      I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. I love exploring and doing and inspiring others to step outside of their comfort zone even just a little is better than nothing.
      Now, i just need that dance video of you.

  5. Hi Annie,

    What a fun idea! Loved the video. The boys were definitely having a hard time when Mom was there……what else is a Mom for but to embarrass teenagers, or close to teens!

    Keep the great inspiration coming.

    My Best,

    1. Hello Stephen,
      You are so right! It’s my motherly duties to embarrass my children. Now they have that memory forever etched in their brains and everyone can see it too. Thanks for stopping by. glad you enjoyed the video.

  6. very cute!! Maybe David and I will have to make a “Dance like no one is watching video”. I love the theme of this post. It makes me smile. :)

    1. I will be waiting for that video of you and david dancing. You could do a dance in every new place you visit. I know it’s been done before but not by a couple.

  7. awesome Annie :)
    sorry i coudn’t see the video either… but i think, we start to care less for what others think of us when we take ourselves less seriously, and also when we can laugh at ourselves :)

    1. Noch Noch,
      I am sad that you can’t see me swigning my arms around wildly while my kids cover their faces. It would have made you laugh.
      It is hard not to take yourself seriously. But you are right, when we do that, we tend to have more fun and laugh at ourselves.

  8. So what are these guys on? Guess they just need a pole in there somewhere Annie! I thought the video was great and so much fun.

    I know what you mean. I know you know I live alone and I go out alone a lot. So when a song plays and I want to dance, guess who doesn’t care! Oh yeah, I may be the only one out there but I could care less. I think I’ve been like that for a good while now although I didn’t start out that way.

    I learned throughout the years that I’m here to enjoy life and do what I want. I don’t really care what people think. They can just “get over it”. lol… Ah heck, some usually end up joining me. They just needed someone else to take that first step.

    Love your posts Annie, you bring the fun into this. Always a pleasure to see what you’ll share with us next and I bet you have a great time doing it too.

    1. I would expect no less from you Adrienne. You don’t go against the grain, you are the grain.
      Thanks for stopping by. i always love it when you do. I think we would get on famously in person too..

  9. Hey Annie,

    You made me laugh today thank you!

    I have no problem with dancing. I dance more or less on a daily basis with my daughter Evie. I have no choice in the matter, but I do love it!

    I also often get told by my friends for break dancing, playing the air guitar and on occasion when i have had too much to drink swinging my shirt around my head.

    Will I grow up? Never!

    I am however a naturally shy person and worry a lot about what people think of me and my work. I know peoples opinions shouldn’t matter but they do to me. I would say this let’s me down a little.

    Thanks for the fun video Annie and the tips for building confidence.

    Dan :-D

    1. Dan I love that. And i know what you mean about dancing with the kids. My 4 year old daughter Catherine loves it now, but my teenage boys, NOT SO MUCH anymore.

      I’m not surprised that you say you are shy. I’m finding that the people who i think are extroverts seem to have some hidden shyness or shy past? It’s hard not to care. I get that.
      Glad to make you laugh. wait till my next trick.

  10. Uh oh, we may come back and find a video of Stan Pole Dancing.

    Actually somewhere there is a video of me and a pole, then me trying to avoid security.

    You are right about the need to just live without concern for what others think. Live life and have fun- makes such a huge difference in what we do.

    1. I would love to see that video. I’ve never seen a guy pole dance yet. the closest i have seen is Indian Pole Gymnastics. You should check it out here. It’s kind of disgusting and cool and weird wrapped up into one. You have to see it for yourself. Here’s a link to one video on youtube.

    1. One Pole dancing video coming up. No guarantee who will be in it though. Be careful what you ask for Stan.

  11. Hey Annie,

    not bad. Someone should have told you though, you need a cat in there somewhere if you want to hit #1 in YouTube (ideally playing a little mini organ).

    beats a box of chocolates…

    1. Patience Alan,
      I’m working my way up to more adventurous videos. Shall i also have puppies in for the mix.

      1. OMG Allan, that made me pee my pants. I want to do one of my kids. Just wipe out what they really are saying and dub over with what they are thinking. It would be hilarious.

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