"The Universal Dance" is a song that was lyrically inspired by the song "Strange Overtones" by David Byrne & Brian Eno. In "Strange Overtones", the narrator sings about a person he hears writing music in the next door apartment and how that person is trying to put together a song. The narrator basically knows that eventually the song will come together and all the pieces will fall into place.
I thought, what a neat storyline. "The Universal Dance" plays along the same lines. There is a person living in an apartment and the female neighbor above is a dancer who is trying to figure out a dance routine. Our narrator is a retired dance instructor who has not danced in years but knows that he can help the struggling neighbor with this very difficult dance number. Throughout the song he works with her and helps her develop the routine until it's ready to be performed on stage and this is very gratifying for him.
The title of the song comes from a friend of mine, Ross Podgornik, who coined the term. I have this ridiculous, flamboyant dance move that I'm known to bust out from time to time and when we were in college Ross started calling it The Universal Dance. Eventually I realized it was the perfect title for this song.