A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 23, 2012
“If you can’t dance, don’t blame the dance floor”

"A bad workman blames his tools” is an old proverb that has many variations. “If you can’t dance, don’t blame (it on) the (dance) floor” is a modern version of the “workman” proverb. “If you can’t dance—don’t blame the floor” has been cited in print since at least 1996. The source of the “dance” proverb is unknown.


Wiktionary: a bad workman always blames his tools
Alternative forms
. a bad carpenter blames his tools
. a poor workman blames his tools
Proverb
a bad workman always blames his tools

1, It is not the tools we use which make us good, but rather how we employ them.

Google Books
A Dictionary of Proverbs
By John Simpson
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2008
Pg. ?:
A BAD workman blames his tools.
CF. late 13-cent. Fr. mauves ovriers ne trovera ja bon hostill, a bad workman will never find a good tool.
1611 R. COTGRAVE Dict. French & English, s.v. Outil, A bungler cannot find (or fit himselfe with) good tooles.
1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 67, Never had ill workeman good tooles.

12 February 1996, Brandon (Manitoba) Sun, Living, pg. 16, col. 2 ad:
“If you can’t dance—don’t blame the floor.”
(Forman Motors Ltd.—ed.)

GamesBids.com Forums
BABYLON
Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:18 PM
(...)
“If you can’t dance, don’t blame the dance-floor!” That’s what we say in my hometown about losers who just don’t want to face the fact that they lost and it’s over.

Bike Forums
banerjek
10-12-07, 05:53 AM
(...)
This is one of those situations where the old adage “if you can’t dance, don’t blame the floor” applies.

Quotes & Phrases
Alvin Tham said...
If you can’t dance, don’t blame it on the dance floor
May 25, 2008 11:17 PM

Twitoaster
iDefineTruth September 9, 2010
If you can’t dance, don’t blame it on the dance floor

PaGalGuy
maucom1
Reply #2888 03:15 PM, 24 Sep ‘10
If you can’t dance, don’t blame the dance floor.

last.fm
Shawn Colvin
If These Walls Could Speak (3:01)

Christien67
July 2011
If you can’t dance , don’t blame it on the dance floor !!

icononemusic
If you can’t dance, don’t blame it on
Posted on March 11, 2012
If you can’t dance, don’t blame it on the dance floor ~ Day 71

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 23, 2012 • Permalink