Grammy Dance-Off: T.Swift versus Paul Mccartney

At the Grammys on Sunday, Taylor Swift's epic dance moves made an appearance, surprising no one. T. Swift, queen of awkward award show dancing, brought some serious heat last night but, alas, her reign was bound to be challenged eventually. Enter Sir Paul McCartney. In a moment of ELO-induced passion, McCartney danced his heart out, validating the dance moves of dads everywhere. McCartney's awkward dancing game was strong— until he realized he was, Robyn-style, literally dancing on his own. Despite McCartney's obvious embarrassment upon discovering he was gracing the world with a solo performance, he left us all (or maybe just me) wondering— has McCartney overtaken Swift as awkward dancing extraordinaire?

It almost seems unfair to compare the two; it's like comparing freshly-picked apples with a well-respected and very aged Cabernet. But we just cannot go on without answering the day-old question of "Who danced it better?" It simply will not do.

In such a serious debate, fairness and objectivity are of utmost importance. Thus, I will provide statistics on both contenders and then take key factors such as age, experience, and quantity/quality of dance moves into consideration before ultimately selecting a winner.

Taylor Swift: Defending Champion

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Age: 25

Dancing Status: Veteran

Experience in Music Industry: 11 years


Swift's young age gives her the edge in this category. Her spry, athletic figure is built for marathon dance sessions. Her stamina throughout award shows is impressive; just when you think she must have worn herself out, she shocks us all with her ability to persevere and provide us with more flailing arms and head bobbing.

Ability to Withstand Public Humiliation

Time and time again, T. Swift has proven her resiliency in the face of public criticism. She has been made fun of for her dancing in the past and has demonstrated an impressive ability to, ahem, shake it off. In an appearance on NBC's Late Night in August 2014, Swift said of her dancing:

I used to get really nervous at awards shows because, seemingly, they're a huge pressure cooker. And everybody seems to be sitting there trying to look more unaffected by being at this awards show than the next person next to them ... A couple years ago I just decided, 'No. This is the coolest concert you could ever go to. This is like all these incredible acts playing their biggest songs and I get to be front row and I'm going to dance during this because I feel like it—and not because it looks cool, because it doesn't.

Swift's ability to let the haters hate hate hate without taking it to heart wins her big points in this category.

Quality/Quantity of Dance Moves

As Swift herself admits, her dancing is awkward. Gloriously awkward. The sheer quantity of awkward dancing we have been privy to puts her ahead in this category, as we have a more complete understanding of her full repertoire of dance moves.

Paul McCartney: Challenger

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Age: 72

Dancing Status: Rookie

Experience in Music Industry: 58 Years



In this category, age is obviously crucial. Though McCartney is looking pretty nimble for a man of his age, his 72 years do not work in his favor when put in a dance-off type situation with T. Swift.

Ability to Withstand Public Humiliation

If McCartney's reaction to realizing he was the only person dancing is any indication, it is clear he isn't as comfortable with his dance abilities as Swift. If McCartney is going to be a real contender for this title, he will have to learn to own his dance skills and not let the haters get him down.

Quality/Quantity of Dance Moves

Given his recent entry into the awkward award show dancing game, McCartney has not displayed the diverse range of moves that Swift has. However, McCartney does demonstrate a distinct, reliable style that is true to his overall persona so I will grant him points for consistency. Furthermore, his recent collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West gives him some street cred, which works in his favor in this category by legitimizing his on-stage moves.

And the winner is...

Despite a valiant effort on the part of Sir Paul McCartney, I think it's safe to say that Taylor Swift will continue her reign as queen of awkward award show dancing. Her ability to put it all out there without fear of criticism, coupled with her endurance and her demonstrated experience dancing awkwardly at award shows, are really what makes this decision a no-brainer.

Should Paul McCartney desire a rematch, I would encourage him to own his groovy moves and to up his awkward dancing exposure. He might also be wise to utilize his long career to work in his favor, perhaps by reviving some of the dance moves he practiced back in his Beatles days.

To both of the contenders, you did an exemplary job. The gifs of your hard work and awkward dancing will keep us entertained for weeks to come. I only hope to see more flailing and shimmying from you in the future.

Images: Getty Images (2); Giphy (6)