Five Questions

Five Questions About… That Horror Video of Theresa May Dancing

Genuinely quite horrible, this. Like watching a video of a murder.

by Joel Golby
Aug 28 2018, 1:26pm

(Image via ITV News)

Uncomfortable thing to have to do after a Bank Holiday Weekend where we're all feeling pretty tender, but listen: I had to watch this video of Theresa May dancing like a pile of twigs got haunted to live an unrhythmic human life, and therefore so do you:

Feelings you may be experiencing right now after watching this: a sort of cloying, rising feeling, like your throat is closing up behind you; you may be flushing warm with second-hand embarrassment, possibly some mild cold sweat has broken out on your forehead; perhaps your toes are clenched into tight foot-fists; the blood is pulsing audibly in your ears. Theresa May dances like a villain in a 1960s children's movie creeping up on a child who is about to go missing, and that's quite hard for anyone with a heart or a soul to watch.

Do I have some questions? Friends: I have some questions.


Listen, I'm no May advocate – she’s headed up a government that’s abolished the Climate Change department, reduced the benefits cap, overseen a prisons crisis, spent £1.9 million on an anti-migrant wall in Calais while piloting a scheme to make pregnant women produce passports at hospitals when they arrive there to give birth, plus she's run through countless wheat fields, shattering our farming economy, plus fucked up Brexit at every possible turn – but also, like, who on her team is watching her dance, there, in front of cameras, May dancing like a skeleton being held at gunpoint by a fanatical rogue tap teacher, and going: yeah, no. This is good. Let’s not stop her doing this. Let’s… keep letting this happen, even though it looks like what I imagine happens to human bodies at the exact moment they enter Hell. If the people around her are letting her dance like this, unchecked, what else is she getting away with? Does this not make you worry for the direction of the country? Why are advisors not stepping in? Why is no one helping?


Look, listen, yes: there is something intrinsically dangerous about: i. allowing politicians naked attempts at humanising themselves in an effort to make them appear more frail and humble, and using that energy to hide all the bad stuff they are doing, like fucking over the poor and the disabled and the fundamentally unprivileged; and ii. over-analysing aforementioned attempts at humanity instead of actually holding power to account (i.e. this entire article), which sort of feeds into wider distraction tactics, not to sound too "your first-year boyfriend who smoked slightly too much weed" about it; and finally iii. any attempts at empathy or recognition with aforementioned cynical humanity attempting MP should be ignored and crushed.

That said: fucking hell, do I look like that? Dancing? Do I? I only dance when I’m medium-to-heavy drunk. I fundamentally cannot bring my body to dance without it. I cannot remember the dancing. I’ve never seen myself dance. Is that what I look like, when I’m dancing? Like a scarecrow collapsing in a strong wind? Like an ostrich sprinted through the M&S skirt-suit section and is crying for help to get out of the clothes it’s been bound into? Like someone commissioned an interpretive dance to emulate the exact feeling of being waterboarded?


Thing about dancing is that it's a free and limitless form of expression without borders, and sometimes near-impossible to categorise, and also thing about dancing is barely anyone can do this, in this country – I think there is something hard-baked into British social discomfort that makes true pure physical movement something so agonising it might as well be a spinal tap or a casual trepan – but also, the thing about dancing is that we all try to do it after four to six pints, one shot, one Bacardi Breezer, for some reason, and one loud enough play of "Work" in a blue-black darkened room. So you see where this sort of thing happens.

Types of dancing, an un-exhaustive list: that sort of jazzy slouch-walk thing your dad does to the dance floor at a wedding when someone plays Fleetwood Mac; the moving-without-moving hard sway your mum does around a handbag in a tight little knot of all her friends; you and every lad in England, pointing at the floor and jumping just a half-beat out of time with "Chelsea Dagger"; trying to get low but overestimating your thigh strength and ultimately having to push yourself back up to a standing position with your trailing hand.

There are dances of joy and dances of sorrow and horny dancing and romantic dancing, and then there's Theresa May, who dances like a prototype robot that gets crushed and put in a skip because it moves too eerily that research into it gets discontinued and the funding pulled, and someone ends up losing a billion dollars because it tried to clap at some children.


This is more a question that goes out to my direct line managers here at vice dot com, because I think having to watch Theresa May dance the number of times I have had to to write this – she moves like a strange French film run backwards through a VHS player – is psychologically so jarring I might ask for some time off in lieu just to get my mind back on a level after it. I’m talking weeks off work, here. Play this video on a loop to a tricky terrorist cell you’ve got held for questioning and watch them weep and confess anything. It’s truly so unwatchable it’s something more, something chilling.


Not to limb-shame, but our Prime Minister dances like she's trying to clean a whole bottle of ketchup off a kitchen floor by standing on two paper towels and just skidding around in it, and yes dance capability is not exactly up there on the list of priorities for a PM or even an MP, but come on. Come on, man. Come on! She dances like someone who’s had "flossing" explained to her via telegram! She dances like an unsecured spade sliding down the back wall of a garden shed! She dances like haunted bones! Dances like the puppet in a movie about a puppet where a young family – mum, dad, strange mute girl – move into a new house on the edge of town and, as soon as the puppet is discovered in the attic strange things start happening! Loud wind at night! Doors creak open! Things weren’t where you left them! Suddenly the face in the mirror doesn’t look right to you! High sudden violin sounds! Blood creeps out of the walls! Technology starts emitting a piercing shriek and backfiring! A pigeon is found decapitated on the porch! The dad starts sleeping next to an axe! The kid keeps talking backwards! Theresa May dances like she’s trying to summon a daemon through an ancient series of movements and curses! Our country deserves better!


This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

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