dance to tune


dance to tune


  • to do what someone else forces you to do
  • doing what someone else makes you do
  • always do what somebody else tells one do, whether he or she agrees with it or not
  • dance to your own tune means to do things your way, not the way others dictate
  • dance to a different tune means to change your behaviour

Example Sentences

  1. In order to keep the peace Peter has to dance to his wife’s tune.
  2. My new boss wants everyone to dance to his tune.
  3. My sister wants us to all go on holiday together. I am not going to dance to her tune.
  4. My husband is so grumpy when he doesn’t get his way. So, I danced to his tune and went with him to the car show this weekend.
  5. I have always been a bit of a free spirit. I dance to my own tune.
  6. I will not be able to work for a strict boss, I dance to my own tune.
  7. I hope that being arrested will make drunk drivers dance to a different tune.
  8. Powerful businessman seem to have the district officials dancing to their tune.


There is no clear origin for the idiom or the word dance, but it could derive from Old high German. “Dansjan” means to lead someone to a dance.

When people dance one is always in charge. They lead the other to dance their way. The other person has no choice but to be led by the person who is in charge.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

“Powerful businessman seem to have the district officials dancing to their tune.” Could you please tell me why not “officials’ dancing to their tune” I don’t really make sense of the structure “HAVE SOMEBODY V+ING” here. Thank you.

‒ Trang Tran May 23, 2020

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