beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Dancing somewhere in the middle

The thing that bugs me about dance is how gendered it can be. I mean, a song comes on, the DJ says girls on one side guys on the other, and even if he is clear we’re just choosing sides for the length of the song and anyone can stand anywhere, it’s still sides. I stay seated. Cause otherwise I’d be dancing somewhere in the middle.

I avoid partners dancing. I mean that’s mostly because all that touching and staring and breathing at each other, but, also, in theory, I would again have to choose. And it’s so seldom phrased lead or follow, it’s who gets to be the guy, even though every class I ever been in has been vast majority women.

I don’t know, I haven’t done that sort of dancing since school, maybe it got better.

The Bollywood dancing I’ve been doing the last few years has one guy in the class. In theory it could be two, but so far I have not seen them both at once. So. One. And only sometimes does he get different moves to do. And there’s one dance set up so he’s in the middle of a circle and everyone dances at him, which amuses everyone. If he’s not there the teacher has to be the guy for that dance.

So the vast majority of the time we’re all doing the same dancing, and even if partners moves happen it’s front and back or in and out, and everyone is encouraged to swap, because you don’t know who’ll turn up on the day. Feels grand, happy dancing.

But every now and then there’s a different move for the dude, and I’m like, nobody even asked which side we’re on, but I’m stuck here being a girl.

Performance would be worse. I mean no way am I volunteering to be up on stage, everyone staring at me, that’s the hardest thing. I walk in the pride parade and spend the rest of the year psyching myself up for the next one. That’s the limit of my bravery.

But. Performance clothes? Pretty, sparkly, and very very gendered.

Plus not actually meeting my personal preferences for modesty. Would it be too much to ask to wear sleeves sometimes? Ever?

So while we’re practising I wear my tunic-dress over trousers and feel as comfortably in between as I get, and casual women’s clothes or exercise clothes are pretty neutral these days anyway, but if I wanted to dress fancy for it? *sighs*

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes parties means corsets, sequins, and mesh skirts. I don’t restrict my range on clothing choices. I’ll get pretty if I feel pretty.

But if I happened to feel handsome, I’d be the only one. And I’d have to change sides on the dancefloor.

Parade of one is kind of harder.

It seems daft there’s not defaults for middle.

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Tags: dances, gender
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