Beware of Your Surroundings

A bit of a tongue in cheek look at obstacles on the dancefloor. Seemed appropriate considering the facebook video thats been kicking around the last week, see bottom of article.

Beware of your surroundings

Ever seen two followers heads thunk together as their leaders dip them into each other? Ouch.. it’s such an uncomfortable thought, and unfortunately I’ve seen it happen.

Social dancing is so different to classes, it’s very intimidating for beginners. All those people moving around so dynamically without bumping into or stepping on each other, how does it work? Clearly from the above example, it doesn’t always, and frankly it’s often a mess. There are many obstacles on the dance floor.


Here’s a list of static objects you might have to avoid:
  • Walls
  • Columns
  • Tables and chairs
  • Bad quality floor with holes, or gaps or tiles.
  • Cables
  • Split level steps
  • Spilled drinks
But the most dangerous obstacles are other humans

Non Dancers

Found sitting or standing on the sidelines, walking around, or through the dance floor, arms laden with drinks, they travel by themselves or in groups walking single file, and sometimes gather to form clumps of stationary people right on the dance floor itself.
These people are in abundance, they might be there because the venue is a restaurant, or a pub at other times and they get caught up with the social, they could be dragged there by friends, partners, family, or they could be randoms off the street delighted to have a look in on the social dancing scene. Most of these people probably think to themselves that they could never dance, which is like saying you aren’t flexible enough to do yoga. They are of course wrong and should get to classes posthaste.

Drunk Enthusiasts

God bless their souls, these are gregarious people with an abundance of joy and energy, and if encouraged would make a delightful contribution to the dancing scene. However they do dance their own style with movement that can be hard to predict and avoid, so depending on how big their movement is will affect the distance you keep.

Drunk Pisstakers

Usually a couple of insecure blokes who if they could escape the shackles of toxic masculinity might actually feel good about enjoying dancing instead of having to turn it into a parody just so they can laugh it off later. We can see through your insecurity!!! Its sad, but there it is. Avoid these people like the plague, because their movement is a parody it will be gigantic and brutal. Pray for them instead.

Staff

The hard working hospitality workers who facilitate an environment that we get to dance in, should always be treated with utmost respect. To the point of stopping dancing if they need to get through.

Now onto actual dancers:

Big Steppers

These people are living in a lovely naive world in which they have never had their feet stomped on by someone in heels. At some point they will learn their lesson and, if they are decent folks, will take it upon themselves to never take large steps on a crowded dance floor. Alas reality is not so straight forward, some people just step large and find it quite difficult to change their ways. If you think this might be you, a handy tip is to never put weight into your heel when stepping backwards, it will avoid the worst consequences of this action.

Flashy Dancers

At some point in my dancing career, I figured out how to use my flashy partner as a weapon and I’ll teach it to you now:
  • Step 1: learn which moves they like to throw their arms out in a flashy stylistic way.
  • Step 2: pick your target
  • Step 3: perform the move so that their hand/arm will collide with the intended target.
  • Step 4: Laugh, and laugh and laugh..
Seriously though, if you can do the above, you can also avoid the above.

The Gamer

Ever played the video game frogger? Well I do this on the dancefloor, my goal is to get to the bar for another drink. If done well, you never noticed me, if done poorly I appear to be a non dancer walking across the dance floor. It’s a fun game, but you lose if anyone touches you or they have to swerve to avoid you.

The Teacher and the Student

I’ll probably write a whole article about why teaching on the social floor isn’t recommended unless you have no other option. But in general a mix of the drunk enthusiast and the big stepper apply here.

The Acrobats

Thankfully I have never seen anyone do a lift on the social dance floor, I’ve certainly been tempted to do it a number of occasions, but good thing I didn’t. I can just imagine the mistakes that could happen, people falling on top of other people, or the hard floor, legs and arms flailing about, makes me think of ice skating and fingers. Certainly I would never do lifts with someone I haven’t done lifts with before. And never on a packed social floor.

I might add to this list later on, but here's that video I was talking about: