Don’t Talk to Me, I’m Trying to Dance!

Invariably, when I go out to dance these days, I am always asked a lot of questions by the men I dance with, usually while dancing.

Most Tango men know better than to talk when dancing.  Most Tango men save conversation for in-between dances or when having a rest.  I am saying most, because there are some that don’t – I have heard you and I have seen you.  I am talking to you, and to all you dancers of other styles that insist on trying to get my life’s story in the first minute of being on the dance floor.

Here are my top 5 questions that I am usually asked:

1)  How long have you been dancing? – What do you mean?  Sometimes I have only just arrived or it could be about 10 minutes or more.  It usually depends on the time you came to ask me to dance.  Really!  That question is irrelevant, especially where I am dancing Modern Jive at the moment, or even Salsa.  In most cases, it is longer than you have, so what is your point? If you are unsure about my dancing skills, maybe you should watch me dance before asking me and make up your own mind.

2) Do you have a dance partner? – Is that a euphemism for ‘do you have a boyfriend/partner?’  If so, then it really isn’t any of your business.  I dance pretty much with anyone that asks me at Modern Jive.  I don’t when I go to a milonga.  I go alone, and I leave alone.

3)  I love your accent, where is it from? – London.  I’ve lived there for over 20 years.  (smile sweetly) Ha! (No, really I’m from New Jersey, but if I say that I get totally bombarded.)

4)  What other dances do you do? – My goodness!  Can’t you just focus on the one we are doing?

5)  I haven’t seen you here before, is this your first time? – Uh, actually no!

Guys!  The dance hall is not a singles bar, even if it may have  a bar.   A lot of single people go dancing.  Some just like a bit of company and some may be looking for a life partner, but basically, the dance hall is a place to dance and that is why most of the people are there.  If you ask a lot of questions because you don’t know what else to do or are being polite, well here is your permission to stop asking.  Just dance, as that is why you are there.  If you want to chat, save it for after or when resting.  I can’t concentrate on the music or what you are trying to ask me to do if you are asking me a lot of questions that I really don’t want to answer and are really none of your business.  If I want you to know more about me, I’ll ask the questions.

A lot of couples go dancing where I go on Wednesdays and especially on the Saturday events.   They also tend to sit together in groups.  The men look scared when ladies they don’t know ask them to dance and their women give the evil eye.  Puhleese!  Trust me, we are not interested in your men for anything other than dancing.  I know, that’s a bit shallow, but it’s true.  If I sit alone or near the door, it is because a) the music is not so loud near the door, b) I can get a good look at the dance floor, c) the men know where I am if they want to ask me and d) none of you in couples has ever asked me to sit with them, let alone tried to have a conversation with me (unless I danced with one of your men and then I got the 3rd degree on the dance floor).

I have done my own little survey of the women I have managed to talk to and the consensus is that it is OK to ask the other person their name after thanking them for a dance.  Other than that, just shut up and dance.

So, ladies, what are your opinions on this and what interesting questions (or not as the case may be) have you been asked?

Oh, and not to seem sexist, I am sure there are women who do the same, so if there are any men that can contribute, please do.

Coming out of Hibernation

I am not 100% convinced that spring has arrived, but the daffodils and flowering trees put hope into my heart.  This is one of my favourite times of the year where flowers are blooming on the ground and on the trees.  We have more daylight.  No longer do I wake up in pitch darkness or find it dark at 4pm.  I wake to the sound of seabirds and daylight.  The birds are doing all of their little mating rituals.  So are the fish in the sea (I just came back from another scuba diving holiday).  All of this activity has been getting me edgy and wanting to do things, like dance.

I have been in hibernation this winter.  Blame it on the weather.  I made a good start of attending the local Salsa and Le Roc events in November, but then we got snow and the cold put me off of my stride.  I haven’t been to a milonga since the beginning of December.  I no longer have the accessibility and choices of milongas since I moved (this is not a complaint, it is just the way it is), but that isn’t a reason not to dance as I also like other dance forms.  When I was living in London, nothing stopped me from going out in the winter cold for a dance.  So what was different that stopped me going out dancing for just two nights a week?  It took me awhile to work it out, but I think because my central heating had packed in at my old house and I was reduced to electric storage heaters, I made an effort to go out as my car was warm and  so were the milongas.   Since I have moved, I have been staying in a lovely centrally heated apartment.  I would be out in the cold during the day looking at properties, shopping or looking for work.  By the time I would get home in the afternoon, it would be dark.  I would come home to a warm and welcoming space.  By the time I warmed up, I wasn’t up to the task of getting myself ready to go out again in the cold.  I took up knitting again and read books or watched DVD’s with Amor.  Oh yes, I also didn’t have Amor before to distract me.  No excuse, I know.

Having just come back from a holiday of sea and sun, I feel energized and want to get back into the dancing swing of things.  I went out last night for a bit of Salsa dancing.  It was great to be back and see some of the people who I had become friendly with in such a short time.  The energy was really great and it looked like most everyone was having a good time.  I would have stayed longer, but I was trying out a new pair of shoes (Salsa shoes!) and they rubbed against my toes and I forgot to bring a spare pair.  I should have known better but I never have this problem with my Commies!  In spite of the pain, I did enjoy myself!  I look forward to going back again next week.

In any event, I am officially out of hibernation, and soon I won’t have anymore  excuses not to go dancing as my new home will be within walking distance to the venues.  🙂

So, if some of you have been in hibernation also, its time to get out and put those dancing shoes on.  If they are new, just make sure you break them in at home first!

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