Is the following sentence correct:

The best way to get your sanity back is to settle a little party and dance it out.

Am I using the p.v. to dance out correctly in this context?

Btw. What to dance something out means? I have first encountered it in the following context:

You know what? If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s that donuts are delicious and that sometimes, you just gotta dance. You just gotta get up out of your seat and rock it, as hard as you can. Even if you’ve had a long day. No — especially if you’ve had a long day. You just gotta crank some music and dance it out. It might be the only way you get your sanity back. And it doesn’t matter where you are or if you’re surrounded by strangers. At least that’s the theory one guy had when he (wearing a tuxedo, naturally) started a dance party on a train in Perth, Australia.

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    I'd go with "throw a little party"; the "dance it out" bit seems fine. – CowperKettle Nov 13 '14 at 8:29
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    Arrange or prepare work here. Settle is a synonym of arrange, but not in this context. – user6951 Nov 13 '14 at 19:24

"Dance it out" is not, to the best of my knowledge, a common phrase. The writer likely invented the phrase here.

There IS a common idiom, "work it out", meaning, to solve a problem by applying sufficient effort. I think the writer here is playing on that idiom to say that a person can solve his problem by dancing. That is, instead of "working [the problem] out", he will "dance [the problem] out". The problem here is stress, so the statement is not irrational. It seems plausible to say that one could overcome stress by dancing or some other energetic but fun activity.

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  • Cool explanation! Tnx. – Denis Kulagin Nov 13 '14 at 15:02
  • By the time a phrase becomes a title in Scientific American, I think it's safe to say it is now in popular usage. – user6951 Nov 13 '14 at 19:35

Even if you’ve had a long day. No — especially if you’ve had a long day. You just gotta crank some music and dance it out.

As mentioned by Jay, to dance something out is not an established idiom, and hence has no commonly acknowledged meaning. (also see comments below my post)

I guess its meaning in your context is "to get the worries and the tiredness accumulated during the day out of your system". To get the weight off your shoulders by dancing. To forget your troubles by engaging in an activity that is not associated with your daily routine.

I guess the verb dance is used in the way a variety of other verbs could be, depending on the author's choice of anodyne to quotidian travails.

But I'm unsure if a drinker could say:

The best way to get your sanity back is to settle a little party and drink it out.

The use of the preposition out here probably calls for a verb describing a bodily exertion, like shake it out in the sense of shake it off.

Dance it out could also be used in another sense: to express the meaning using the medium of the dance:

Once they have written the poem, have them dance it out while someone is reciting it. Following this, take it one step further and have them dance it out, not according tothe words, but according to the emotions.
("Dance as the Spirit Moves")

One interesting find for walk it out used in a similar fashion:

God has spelled it out, but we have to walk it out.

So the meaning heavity depends on what is meant by it.

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    We cannot drink the day's insanity out. "Out" has the sense of cathartic purgation. youtube.com/watch?v=e2TbrRz8pLo – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 13 '14 at 10:35
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    @FumbleFingers: fixed! It's interesting that the comparison with "to work (smth) out" did not occur to me. I still see "to dance out" as "getting something out of one's system". I should be careful with idiom exegesis. (0: – CowperKettle Nov 13 '14 at 15:29
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    "But I'm unsure if a drinker could say: 'The best way to get your sanity back is to settle a little party and drink it out.'" No, that wouldn't make sense. The "it" in "drink it out" has to refer to something (it's not like the "it's raining" it) and the only thing it could refer to is "your sanity". So you'd be saying that the only way to get your sanity back would be to drink until your sanity leaves your body. – David Richerby Nov 13 '14 at 17:17
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    -1 Walk it out has a completely different meaning in the sample you link to. In addition, an answer that exhibits anodyne to quotidian travails is baroque. But kudos for showing dance it out used elsewhere. If @FumbleFingers had googled the phrase, they would have found that it has entered into common usage. – user6951 Nov 13 '14 at 19:41
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    I think, "Once they have written the poem, have them dance it out" is a different usage from "dance out the insanity". "Dance out a poem" appears to be another on-the-spot coinage, but this time taking off "write it out", as in, "Write it out in longhand", that is, put your ideas on paper, take the vague ideas in your head and write them on paper to make them concrete. Here, take the poem and make it physical by expressing it as a dance. That's not the same concept as either "get rid of it" or "solve it". – Jay Nov 13 '14 at 21:17

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