Three guys. One cramped dance floor space. A smooth moves battle royale to catch the attentions of the two girls with their backs turned to them. Who will take home the gold?
(Happy dude holding drink is Wayne Brady, providing humorous color commentary.)
Guy in the V-neck steps up first and does the robot. Not bad, but girls are unimpressed. Judges score: Backs still turned.
Guy in the fashionable “I Adidas DC” T-shirt immediately follows him and goes old school with a break dancing routine that causes people walking by to be extra careful stepping over him. Judges score: Girls briefly turn around to watch because they got bored with the guys talking to them.
Fan favorite “really tall guy in the sack-crushing capris” takes the floor and does… something really GHEY. And yet I cannot look away:
Judges score: 10.0 for the joyous shirt, 9.0 for look of concentration, 0.0 for capturing female attention. As you can see, the girls remain unimpressed with the action, prefering to focus on their beta suitors. One girl did point and laugh.
Capri guy sat down with the judges later for a post-contest interview and it turned out he was actually kind of cool in a warped way. He admitted being bisexual (read: 100% gay).
At least he had an excuse. What were the other guys thinking? No man dances for personal enjoyment; he does it either to get close to girls already dancing or to show off his moves for girls watching. The man dance-off is like the perfect storm of gayness and toolness. As far as male status competitions go, it’s lower than drinking games.
On the streets of New York this kind of thing works because there are usually lots of girls watching to take social cues from each other that it’s acceptable to get caught up in the excitement of the status displays. It was closing time when these guys squared off and there were only a few girls nearby. Male mini-status displays don’t work as well when there aren’t lots of admiring girls to give the warriors social proof of their skills. Girls often look to other girls to gauge the alphaness of men doing questionable activities. If one girl looks over at the other girl in attendance and sees she is not paying attention to the frenetic dance-off, she will remain aloof.
You could have two dorky guys playing PINBALL and as long as there is at least one horny admiring girl in the crowd to inspire the other girls, the winning pinballer will get laid.