Undeterred from the social media mockery that greeted a similar routine earlier this week, the British leader seemed to double down and go for it. As students of British politics know, May is not someone who gives up when things get rough. May has shown, time and time again, she’s not one for quitting.
And so it was that on Thursday, during a visit to the United Nations offices in Nairobi, that the normally private politician showed off her uniquely fancy footwork.
It was joyful, if not entirely comfortable, viewing. Her moves have earned her nicknames ranging from “The Maybot” to “Twinkle Toes Theresa.”
The British leader was in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya this week as part of a three-day trip to Africa where she hoped to strengthen trade ties ahead of Britain’s upcoming departure from the European Union. Britain is seeking to increase its investment in Africa, particularly in light of strong competition from the United States, China and France, and May announced plans for putting $5.1 billion into the continent.
During her visit, she talked about trade, aid initiatives and plastic recycling, but it’s arguably her “dance floor diplomacy” that garnered the most attention.
The Daily Telegraph called it a “hilariously clumsy attempt at dancing.” The Guardian said she was “an awkward if energetic dancer” and called one of her moves a “cross between a standing-up front crawl and a desperate attempt to hail a cab.”
Guests on morning television on Friday were given instructions on how to mimic May’s maneuvers. Really.
“Imagine that you’re on a farm and you're picking fruit,” guests on ITV’s "Good Morning Britain" were told.
Her latest moves once again lit up social media.
Susan Rice, the former national security adviser to President Obama, tweeted: “OMG. I’ve seen a lot of leaders go to Africa and get moved by the spirit, but this takes the cake. Somebody help her, please."
Others drew comparisons to May's Brexit negotiating skills. “After seeing Theresa May’s dance moves I am now fully confident in her abilities to negotiate a successful Brexit deal,” one user said.
Some said that the critics should ease up. May was clearly enjoying herself and had the nerve to give it a go. “I want to keep dancing as I get older because it’s such a joyful, inclusive, stupid thing and it shouldn’t matter how you look. No shame in having a bop. Keeeeeeeep dancing!” tweeted one user.
Others wondered if they would have done any better. “I make her look like Jennifer Lopez,” wrote one user.
During her trip May was, inevitably, asked if she’d consider competing on “Strictly Come Dancing,” the British version of “Dancing With The Stars.”
"I think the chances of 'Strictly Come Dancing' coming calling are pretty minimal,” she told Sky News.