She Just Wants to Dance…or Does She?



I was in absolute Nirvana, and so was almost every single woman in the room. Keb’ Mo’, a blues singer who writes lyrics that dance off the page and right into your heart came to a nearby venue. I would have sold my soul for a ticket, and I was able to keep it because I moved like a tornado that day in November.  I hit the BUY NOW button before I even had my morning tea.


A prolific writer, Keb’Mo’s  playlist goes on forever, but there is one song that will make me pull my car off the side of a freeway just so I can move…”She Just Wants to Dance”. I thought I was the only one who would risk life and limb over that song, but last week arriving at the concert, there was a line of women, most of them over 50 standing at the tee shirt table looking like they were at Filene’s basement the day after Christmas. What were they grabbing but tees that said, “She Just Wants to Dance”! What was happening? I wondered, is it more than the song that moves them?


The lights went down as those beautiful ballads rolled off his lips. The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop, and then…he started playing that chord that every woman in the room’s soul recognized as her song. Here are those lyrics but if you’re in a place where you can turn up the volume and move your body, listen to the video above!

“She Just Wants to Dance” Keb’ Mo’

When the music starts to playin
She slides out on the floor
Dancing without a partner
Swaying on the two and four

There’s a rhythm in her footsteps
And a flower in her hair
A smile on her face
Cause she’s in a place
Where she don’t have a care

She ain’t looking for no lover
She ain’t looking for a romance
She just wants to dance
She just wants to dance
Yeah, she just wants to dance
Ooo, she just wants to dance

Well, she’s moving kinda lazy
And it’s obvious to me
This little girl ain’t crazy
She’s as wild as she is free

She can feel it in her fingers
And it moves on down her spine
And when it hits her hips
She parts her lips
And you know she’s feeling fine

She ain’t looking for no lover
She ain’t looking for a romance
She just wants to dance
She just wants to dance
Yeah, she just wants to dance
She just wants to dance
Oh, go on, get it girl

She ain’t looking for no lover
She ain’t looking for a romance
She just wants to dance
She just wants to dance
Get out the way and let the girl dance
Yeah, she just wants to dance
Yeah, she just wants to
Slide along the floor

She wanna shuffle her shoes
And shake her hips
She wanna wave her hands in the air
She wanna shake that hanky
Yeah, but she don’t want no hanky panky
Yeah, she just wants to dance
Leave her alone and let her dance


Looking around the room at women swaying, dancing and moving their bodies as if nobody was in the room, I realized this song isn’t just about dancing, maybe not about dancing at all. It’s about the longing, women’s fiery determination, the trepidation we feel when we push so hard every day to be ourselves. Our sexual selves, strong selves, wicked and fun selves. Selves that love our kids, partners, our lives. Yes, we love nurturing and we care about the whole dang world so deeply. AND, we can feel trapped and burdened by the definitions and the “rules” that were given us very early on in our lives.


Women, it is said, are made to nurture, to care for others, to speak more softly than men, not to be threatening to men in any way, and never ever to dance provocatively on a ballroom floor or bar table lest they be seen as (fill in the blanks) and bring it on themselves when something happens.


Now, I am the last woman to say we ought to be taking off our clothes and dancing on a bar, but the desperation we can feel at times to show the world that we are not always soft, quiet, demure, and wanting to put others’ feelings first can lead us to that last drink, the one that gives us an excuse the next day. Oppression creates desperation. We see this today more than ever, in the continuing fight for racial equality, women’s reproductive rights, gender equality, battles waged by immigrants to be seen, heard and included in the fabric of what we call America.


So, when you hear this song, you’ll understand. Maybe we do want to find a lover, or we are lookin’ for romance, but most of all, we just want (to be allowed) to dance!


If you find this post helpful, others might too. Please post on your social media pages to share the joy!




  1. Christine Baumgartner on March 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Oh Donna another great topic. And your point about how oppression creates desperation (in all areas of a human being’s experience) is perfect.

    And it certainly opens the conversation up about what we can do to help ourselves and each other not get to that place.

    • admin on March 15, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      I wish we could all and always dance with joy like that song says. Alas, we have to make friends with the things that keep us in our seats. We need to dance a lot these days, don’t you think?

      • admin on March 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm

        We so need to dance more. I think dancing helps with making peace, and it says, “This is who I am! Fabulous, aren’t I?”

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