Rick Perry is going to be on Dancing With the Stars. No matter what happens on the show, we’ll all win. Except, of course, Rick Perry. He could definitely lose. In reality, there’s almost zero chance Perry is a better dancer than your average dad, but for the sake of discussion, we’ve examined his political career for some hints as to what his go-to moves will be. Here’s what we suggest for your Dancing With the Stars tenure, Perry, so commit this list to memory. Or, better yet, write it down. Yeah. Just write it down.
With all the legislative footwork he’s done over the years, the move to the ballroom stage should come as no surprise. But Texas’s longest-serving governor has a history of literal dancing too. Take, for instance, this throwback to 2010, when Perry danced among a ring of rabbis. No additional context is necessary. Just watch.
Here it is again, in GIF form.
But Perry may need something even more orthodox if he wants to sway the judges and audience enough to win Dancing With the Stars. First and foremost, if Perry somehow doesn’t perform the Texas two-step, then he will be doing his home state a disservice. Not only is it the unofficial National Dance of Texas, but it’s symbolically relevant for Perry, who is always better when things are limited to two:
If he really wants to bring the house down, Perry should crank out a faux third step, pause, look directly into the camera and straight into the hearts of the American public, hit ’em with a throaty “oops,” and pull the third step back.
Lately, Perry has been running, and running, and running for office, like some sort of self-imposed endurance test. Hence, the running man. It’s the perfect dance for a duo. The classic eighties move has recently experienced a resurgence thanks to a viral “running man challenge” craze. One can imagine Perry and his future dance partner getting pretty creative with this one.
Although it may not be a tangible dance move, Perry’s most recent waltz is his dance with the devil: Donald Trump. Now, obviously, we’re not saying Donald Trump is literally the devil. We’d never say that. But in Perry’s case, the metaphor fits. Consider how, a little more than one year ago, Perry said this about Donald Trump: “He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken—Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.” But in May this year, Perry endorsed Trump, perhaps hoping for a spot as the Republican presidential candidate’s VP pick. That particular dance move may be a little too sinister to pull before a national TV audience.
Of course, Perry’s dance history goes beyond politics. Ever since he put on a pair of ultra-hip, black-rimmed glasses a few years ago, Perry has morphed into a style and pop culture icon, much like Madonna, of “Vogue” fame. He could easily pull these moves off.
And, really, both the “Vogue” dance and the song’s lyrics may be the most perfect fit yet for Dancing With the Stars-era Perry:
When all else fails and you long to be
Something better than you are today
I know a place where you can get away
It’s called a dance floor
Isn’t that what Perry’s doing here? He’s fallen short in every post-gubernatorial attempt at higher office. Now, he’s running off to the dance floor. Again, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. It’s what Madonna said would happen.
If the music’s pumping it will give you new life
You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are, you know it
You know it, Rick Perry.
You know it.
Of course, it’s impossible to predict what dance moves Perry will actually attempt once the cameras start rolling. But if fellow Texas politician Tom DeLay’s 2009 performance as a contestant on the show is any indication, we are all in for a treat: