A Time To Dance
Dance worries me. I don’t like it.
If you are at a function of some sort and people are dancing, they want other people to dance. When you are sitting, nursing your diet coke, you generally just want to sit there, doing just that. And maybe talking.
But the music is so loud, you might as well go and sit in the bar.
Of course, after a while, you feel obliged to dance. It’s rude to the host, and to the person inviting you to dance – and then you get the sense that you are standing on the brink of some socially anthropologically interesting phenomenon: dance is important, in some primal sense.
Once you are up and away, you look around at those still sitting at the sides. Surely they want to come up and dance? You wouldn’t want them to be left out, now, would you? Better ask them.
Oh, come on, come and dance with us. They shake their heads, looking as if they’d rather sit there, or be in the bar. But your pleading pays off and they reluctantly join the pulsating throng in the middle of the floor. And sure enough, they’ll enjoy it. Sure they will…
They say that dancing is aerobic, and so the release of endorphins makes you enjoy it. I don’t think it works that way for me. I’d rather do an aerobics class with someone shouting out the moves. But this random ad-libbing, with ungainly swaggers, shimmies and staggers – or, to be on the safe side, the “groovy two-step” – all fill me with horror. What is the point of standing/moving about to music? Faced with the absurdity of the activity I think… oh yes, I was going to go to the toilet, or go back to the bar, or – oh look! – There’s someone I haven’t talked to in ages…
If I must dance, let it be a dance with rules. Ceilidh dances are great and are unashamedly related to identity and community. The Macarena even has its merits, dare I say.
It is comforting to think that somewhere in our human nature is the desire to include, and to want to express a feeling of community. I just worry about that. Why would I rather sit in the bar talking than boogie on the dance floor, entranced by the music? What’s up with my need to belong?
I have a solution. I play in the band, on occasion. Smashing.
But what disturbs me is that deep-seated desire to get the dance-floor filled…
Come on everyone, take your partners please!