swing dance

This is why I dance (and why you might want to as well)

nontaskar Personal Leave a Comment

The original article was published a couple of months ago in my Linkedin profile. The inspiration came after having spent 3 days dancing my ass off during a blues dance workshop I attended, and a few days before a big lindy hop festival that I anticipated so much. So, yep you get it. I was in the mood. Well, now I just came back from Sofia Swing Dance Festival, and I feel equally inspired. I am posting it here as well…

First things first:

For  your reference, I dance Swing. This includes Lindy Hop, Authentic Jazz, Charleston, Shag, Balboa, Blues. You name it.

Something inside me wants me to

Hearing music (especially swing music) makes me want to …do stuff. It’s a strange force that urges me to somehow express what I am hearing. I have been playing the guitar for 15 years now for the same bizzare reason, but honestly… it’s freakin’ difficult. I have had to endure lots of frustration playing the guitar and I have finally come in peace with the fact that I will never achieve this level of expression that dance gives me. So, yes, dancing unleashes my inner creativity and connects me with something inside me. That can’t be bad.

It’s easy for me

A body: This is all I need to dance.

No instruments, no props, no joystics, no screens, no apps. (Well, OK some speakers could help also… but you get my point) At first it wasn’t that easy, but the fact that I learned together with my dance partners during lessons and parties while enjoying the music I love, made me ease into it. Now, that it comes natural to me, whenever I hear music, the dancing comes out automatically. Oh, actually, sometimes even without music: Walking to the kitchen using the conventional left foot-right foot-left foot-right foot walking technique, feels boring to me lately.

It puts an inevitable smile on my face

I ‘ve been dancing the last 5 years and I’ve been going to dance parties almost every week since then. I remember only two parties that dancing didn’t do the trick. The first was the first party I attended after my dad’s stroke, when I tried -in vain- to force the smile out of it and the second was that-f******-party-last-month-that-I-couldn’t-enjoy-however-hard-I-tried-and-I-couldn’t-understand-why.

It is almost like a drug: You go to this party, alone, tired, with the shittiest mood possible, carrying all the bullshit you see and hear during the day and having a goddamn small black cloud following you every step of the way.

And then you go in, see everybody smiling and hear this.

Well, you have no choice but to forget it all for a while, clear your head of the negativity, be in the moment and connect with that inner child of yours. Life is short. I prefer to be smiling during the finite amount of moments left in it.

It makes me sexy

Well, I don’t dance to be sexy, but it sure sometimes makes me feel like a hell of a sexy mothaf***er. I admit it.

The sexiness comes from connecting with your own body and expressing yourself through it. The sexiness comes from connecting with your partner. The sexiness comes from the fact that you are not even trying to be sexy or impress someone, but rather just “be”. You rarely get to do that nowadays.

Going out has always been weird for me

That’s a biggie.

I always loved going out to bars. But something was missing. Now I understand what. Usually the music was too loud for a meaningful conversation to occur. People – including my friends – rarely danced and I felt stupid if I danced by myself. Also, meeting people was difficult because everybody around was so uptight.

You see the problem?

  • Want to be with your friends? You can’t make conversation.
  • Want to meet other people? Everybody is uptight (plus you can’t make conversation).
  • Want to at least enjoy the good music and dance? Nobody is dancing and you feel like everybody will start judging you if you do.

Bummer!

And then, someday, I discover that there is actually a way out of this insanity! I go to this dance party and everybody is mingling and dancing with each other. No loud music. No uptight people. No problem if you decide to just isolate for a while and dance by yourself. No judging. No expectations. (Also, no smoking allowed :P).

So, now when I go out, it is usually for dancing. That brings me to…

Socializing

There is a strange aspect to socializing in the dance community. A weird mixture of being extremely social and extremely antisocial at the same time, seems to exist in all these gatherings.

It is easy to see why being a part of a close community is extremely social: Because I get to know many people on the surface. This is the exact same reason why it’s extremely anti-social as well: I get to know many people on the surface. I rarely go deeper in a conversation, and when I do … just count to 3 and somebody will come out of the blue and interrupt us: “Would you like to dance?“.

Well, to tell you the truth, yes goddammit, I would like to…“. I can’t help it.

This social dynamic is surely sometimes pretty frustrating but still… I get to know loads of cool people inside the community. You can’t argue with that. And then, taking a relationship outside the community is still in my hands.

Contributing to the world and being an inspiration

Last but not least, there is a higher purpose to all this. It was not that obvious to me at first, but sitting down to write this thing, I realized that this is a way to contribute to other people’s lives and give what I have to offer to the world.

When I dance with someone, and I see her smile after the dance, I am like “Hey, cool! I just made someone happy!“. I did.

When I see someone looking at me dancing, or telling me that I dance good, I might just say “cool” or “thank you“, but on the inside I’ll be like “Hell yeah! The mostly-uninspiring Nontas has just inpired another person!“. Pompous as it may sound, I might have opened a new possibility in another person’s life with just my dancing… And that’s something!

That’s all folks!

I got it out of my system. I can go rest now 🙂