Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Dance Scene in my Head

For me, dancing has been a true source of joy.  For three minutes at a time I get to be someone other than the shy fat girl. For three minutes at a time I get to be beautiful, awesome and joyful.  This is the experience that makes me recommend swing dancing to other people.  The joy of dancing is what makes me go out dancing even when I am physically or emotionally exhausted.  The local scene feels like home to me.  It saddens me to find out that this too is part of my personal privilege.

The privilege of being young, female, christian, relatively hetero-conformative and neurotypical.

That last point is the current impetus of this blog post.  Although, the pair of young men that used to come out and dance primarily with each other?  I haven't seen them in awhile either.  Apparently, if one repeatedly demands that their right to not have a seizure at a dance be respected it gets you banned from the dance.  Because after a year or two, it is still too hard to enforce a ban on flash photography that might kill a dancer.

At first, this revelation made me angry but that reaction is quickly giving way to sadness.  Not just because for the foreseeable future, I won't be able to dance with my friend but because this means that the dance community isn't what I thought it was.  Or maybe it just isn't what I wanted it to be.

The Dance Scene in my Head is:

  • Welcoming to Everyone 
  • A Safe Place for Creative Expression
  • Accepting
  • Fun
  • Enthusiastic
  • Eager to Learn from Each Other
  • Willing to Teach
  • Sharing the Joy of Dance
This is what I want to see from the local dance scene.  It isn't there now and I don't see it moving that direction either.  That makes me sad and disappointed. To know that the things that make dance special to me aren't being offered to everyone is a terrible thing.  I know it will make me more hesitant to recommend going dancing.  And that makes me sad too.

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