I’m so sick of this stigma that theatre geeks’ favorite musicals can’t be High School Musical or Les Mis or Wicked or Phantom or Hamilton or any other popular musicals. Like. There is a reason it is popular, and that’s because it’s good.
So, I was looking through the comments on the I Don’t Dance video from HSM and some people were why asking why it’s a metaphor for gay sex and bisexuality and stuff (besides the blatant gayness of the entire scene), and also saw people saying it’s not at all about the fact the are hella gay for each other. So, putting together some of the comments along with my own observations, here we go:
In the song, dancing (typically attached to women and gay men) represents same-gender attraction and baseball (typically associated with masculinity, etc.) represents heterosexuality.
Ryan tells Chad; “I’ll show you that it’s one and the same.” - being gay is just as valid as being straight, and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Ryan is clearly proud of being able to dance.
“I wanna play ball now and that’s all, this is what I do. It ain’t no dance that you can show me.” Chad is unsure of how he feels about his own same-gender attraction and emphasis his opposite-gender attraction by saying that nothing Ryan ever ‘shows him’ will change that.
Ryan encourages Chad to ‘swing like him’. Bearing in mind that Ryan is strongly implied to be gay and the word swing is often used with regards to sexuality, i.e. “I don’t swing that way.”
Chad displays stereotypical masculine bravado, he is clearly trying to impress Ryan, he tells him; “I’ve got what it takes… so you better spin that pitch you’re gonna throw me.” While reasserting his definite heterosexuality he adds; “I’ll show you how I swing.”
Chad also implies that he experiences gay feelings but represses them when Ryan tells him; “You’ll never know if you never try.” Chad replies; “There’s just one thing that stops me every time.” This shows his fear of social rejection and his own internalised homophobia.
As the song progresses this becomes more obvious. Chad goes from saying he doesn’t dance to saying that he can’t even though it’s clear he’s actually a good dancer as well as being skilled at baseball.
From this scene we can gather that Chad is bisexual and Ryan is either bisexual or gay (the producers originally wanted to make Ryan canonically gay, so I’d go with that one).
On top of this there is the obvious underlying sexual tension running throughout the song. They switch between confrontational and flirty; there’s a lot of smiling and eyebrow action going on, and when they do dance they get all up in each other’s personal space.
The song ends with Ryan falling on top of Chad. In the following scene, they have switched clothes.
Didn’t think I’d spend my summer obsessing over a Disney movie but here I am rewatching music videos of chillin like a villain and what’s my name like a crazy Bïtch at three am reacting like I haven’t seen the movie twice now