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Dancing is fun. Nearly everyone loves to dance, but all too many of us are scared to join in on the dance floor. The most common excuse for life as a wall-flower is lack of rhythm. But fear not! Rhythm, contrary to popular belief, can be learned by almost anyone, even the most inept of dancers. Once we've picked up solid rhythm, learning new dances becomes as easy as stepping to the beat. There are a few practical methods for learning rhythm.

Think about rhythm

While this step may seem obvious, to many people, it is not. Think about your heartbeat, for example. Unless you suffer from a murmur or similar heart problem, your heart should beat quite regularly. Find your pulse and just feel the steady beat. You have now found your own rhythm; it is time to find it in the music.

Listening to music

Put on something with a noticeable and steady back beat. Most rock and roll will do just fine. Pay attention to the drums. Though they are usually in the background, drums set the pace for the entire band. They will also give you a rhythm for your dancing.
Start tapping your foot or your hand (whichever is more comfortable for you) to the beat. Don't get discouraged if this is hard for you at first; you'll improve, just keep at it. When you get quite comfortable tapping that particular foot, switch to your other foot. Get used to tapping either foot, either hand, and even your fingers to the beat. You want your whole body to be able to respond to the music, not just one leg.

Count to the beat

Stop tapping to the beat for a while and try counting with it. Be sure to keep your body still while you do your counting. Feel free to count out loud, but this is a habit that you will want to break eventually; otherwise, you'll find yourself whispering, "one, two, three, four, oneā€¦" to your dance partners.
Almost everything you will hear on the radio is a four count beat. This means that you count one, two, three, four; and then start over again. From time to time, you will hear a song, for which a four count just doesn't quite work. In that case, you are, nine times out of ten, dealing with a three count. Waltzes are danced to three count beats, most other dances are done with a four count. Counting in your head helps reinforce your mental rhythm.

Make it more complex

Instead of just tapping your foot to the beat, try double-timing it. That means to tap your foot twice for every count of the music. If you are feeling especially adventurous, try tapping three or even four times to every beat. This gets tremendously difficult with songs that are already fast!
You can also try moving your body differently to the beat. Try twitching your shoulders back and forth to the beat, rather than tapping a foot or hand.

Practice often

Whenever you are listening to music (which you should do often for best results), think about the beat and tap it out. Regular practice will make your rhythm extremely good.
Don't get discouraged if you don't notice immediate results. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of time. Keep working at it and the rhythm will come. Rhythm is a learned skill and you can learn it even if you never did when you were young.

Go dance

Now that you've got the rhythm, you have no excuse for staying off of the dance floor. When you're at a wedding, or listening to live music, or just hanging out with friends, feel free to show that you've got good rhythm. Learn a dance or two and then share them with all of your friends. You're bound to have a good time.

Let's recap:
1) Think about rhythm
2) Listen to music and tap to the beat
3) Count the beat out loud and in your head
4) Practice more complex methods
5) Practice often
6) Dance and have a good time