Year of Aversion Therapy #1: I Dance
Someone challenged me to “hug people and dance” this summer, so I thought I’d get some practice in. So, while sitting at the side, clutching my empty wine glass, I resolved to dance if prompted.
By dance, I don’t mean ceilidh dancing, more’s the pity. I can do that (although I’m usually in the band therefore have a non-dancing wild card). Ceilidh dancing I ‘get’. I know what to do; I know what it is about; I even see the point.
All I needed to do was to transfer these things over to random ad lib dancing:
1. Knowing what to do
Hmmm…. tricky. Historically, the fall-back position was what we termed (ironically, y’understand) the ‘groovy two step’. It still holds good. Side together back together repeat to fade. Then you need to do random stuff with your arms – somewhere between nothing at all and anything obvious.
Oh, the joy when YMCA comes on! I could only dream of the Macarena. Then there’s always ironic dancing. Luckily my children weren’t there . (As an aside, when I asked my kids about how I looked before I went out, I got a withering look and told, sarcastically: “Wow, mum. You look like an orange.”) Never mind. I thought my dress was EXACTLY what I wanted to wear. I even had comfy sandals and if that isn’t an oxymoron….
2. Knowing what it’s about
Well. This is trickier. I usually have deep worries about the primal, social anthropological reasons for dancing. But on this occasion, I found a reason I could live with. I wasn’t identifying with a tribe or culture. I wasn’t finding or expressing myself. I was finding an aerobic way of putting in an hour when the music was too loud to have a conversation and everyone I knew (give or take a few) was dancing. I really would have had to sit at the side and clutch a diet coke. Either that or I would have to chitter in the rain outside or hang out in the toilet. So, it was generally expedient to be at the back of the dance floor having a laugh. And yes, it was “fun”, but I am still developing my appreciation of “fun”. I’m still not really into it.
3. Seeing the point
If the point of random ad lib dancing is to get people to do it and thereby tick all of the cultural boxes alluded to in point 2 – it doesn’t really work. Far more people get involved in the ceilidh dancing – and the random track DJ can really hit or miss with the choice of tracks. Having not listened to … anything in the last decade, I wouldn’t know what tracks were likely to be good for dancing – although I was pleased to feel my age when “Uptown Girl” came on. It was the first single I ever bought – except mine was Billy Joel and this was Westlife, but hey, I knew it.
I suppose the “point” of dancing is that it is something that people can do together in a time and place. Maybe it is a bit tribal. I don’t know. Tribal is the wrong word, I know. It is social. I think that is where I don’t get it because I have pigeonholed “social” as to do with verbal/written communication, rather than simply being in the same place at the same time doing the same thing. It is done, in this context, together. And I think that is the point. Maybe people can only eat and drink together for so long. Maybe dancing is just next on the list. Maybe some people just want to dance and don’t ‘get’ the eating, or don’t ‘ get the drinking.
But everyone eats and drinks. Not everyone dances. However, there is “a time to dance”. I get it. I’ve seen “Footloose”.
So, there we go. That was dancing part 1. I have more dancing scheduled for late July. I may also experiment with the phone thing. I am not touching the hugging thing with a barge pole. For a long time. I’d rather phone for a taxi. In fact, that would make me phone for a taxi…