1) Lean in + cringe. This move says: "wow it sure is hard to hear in this place, and this seems like a bad time to talk, but okay I’ll try."
2) Nod + neutral face. This shows that you’re intently listening to the sounds the other person is making, even if you have no idea what they mean.
3) Make quick eye contact. Make sure the person is still there, is still trying to talk to you. If yes, I have bad news: you’re now in a conversation and will be expected to contribute soon.
4) Initial contribution. Choose a phrase that will be relevant for any story at all and say it loudly. Good job, you said something and now you are on the conversation scoreboard.
5) Listen for emotional keywords. When you hear an emotion described, show with your face that you too have that emotion at times and you know exactly what that emotion looks like.
6) Synonymous response. When you hear a phrase you recognize, it’s good to show solidarity by repeating similar words, all the while maintaining the aforementioned key emotion .
7) General observation. At this point just say something vague-but-true. This is your way of offering a valid point to consider and will probably be relevant to whatever good/bad/neutral news is being discussed.
8) Overall shock. Just assume the best part of the story is here at the end, and even if this is not the end of the story, act like it is the best part and hopefully it will end because you are so sufficiently impressed.
9) Ambiguously concerned face. As the other person finishes their story, make this wavy mouth face. It’s your way of saying “wow, I'm not happy or sad, just give me a second, that was a lot to take in.”
10) Create plausible deniability. End the conversation with a indirect request for a do-over. Just in case you just accidentally committed to something with an errant nod, this will allow you a way to escape said commitment.
And that's it. You're done. You may have no idea what you just discussed, but you successfully completed a conversation. You may now resume dancing.