Dancing and Why It's Important

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just a quick look at what dancing has meant to us and what it means to us now. Have things really changed all that much?

Submitted: December 30, 2011

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Submitted: December 30, 2011

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Ok, so I suppose, in accordance to my summary of this little rant I should start talking about the dancers of the past. Back in the day there was a dancer called Fred Astaire. If you're unfamiliar with the name, I want to assure you that he has not sprung from my imagination and before reading on, I urge you to look him up on youtube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFabjc6mFk4

The man was incredible and was known first and foremost for his fancy footwork as well as his talented voice for singing. He clicked and clacked away with his special tap dancing shoes and sailed, almost apearing to float for the speed of his footwork, from one side of the room to other, using stomps, mid-air clicks, steps back and forth to make different rhythms. He could even do it up and down stairs. Hollywood noticed him very late on his career but he had not lost any of his flare as youtube will likely prove. So, with his bringing of dancing to forefront of many men's minds, there was a sudden renaissance of dance where every man and woman felt that the ability to dance was as crucial and socially binding and small talk or asking a girl out on a date. Men would sit down and watch Astaire amogst other professionals of the time and observe with the utmost concentration. Then, when people went on a night out, they would try and put the odd fancy move into practice to see if they could pull it off, but more importantly to see if they could get the girl at the end of the night. Everyone had done their dancing homework by watching it on this amazing new television invention and couldn't wait to impress one another with it. What helped in a big way was the kind of music they danced to. It was rhythmic, melodic and encouraged graceful movements and even romance as some dances involved kissing as part of the routine. Undoubtedly men attended most of the time for exactly this reason.

At least they knew where they stood! These fortunate men had an established code within the unspoken rules of their social circles...And they knew where they stood! Today, I go to a club for yet another night out. Don't get me wrong, I can go to this club countless times and always consider it to be the provider of an excellent night of intoxication, unexcpeted events and sometimes even fornication! Ah, but the music in this establishment has changed since the days of Fred Astaire and one would rarely stop to think that this might, just maybe, perhaps would affect the people in it. We don't have orchestral music anymore or people who approach you on the dance floor offering to do the Charleston with you. What we have now are electronic melodies and huge amounts of bass and what seems to sell right now, is catchy repetition. Again, don't get me wrong. Like any other youth of my age I listen to plenty of music that makes my parents say 'What the bloody hell is that din you're listening to?', and sure, I wouldn't expect them to understand. However, when some of my favourite 'dins' pop up in the clubs they are not quite as socially lubricating as the older tunes from Fred's day or indeed, the booze everyone needs. Thats a point. Binge drinking didn't used to be such a problem so perhaps people do it now because mainstream music simply doesn't appeal to the senses of romance and intimacy so much as promiscuity and suddenly sordid affairs. So to get to know one another, intoxication is perhaps important. I mean, how the hell am I going to keep up conversation with a stranger for about four or five hours? Yes that was sarcasm.

When I said 'at least they knew where they stood', I rather meant it in relation to what us men have to work with today. Now we have to dance up to a girl we like, and manhandle her, hoping it goes well. If it does go well, she's probably so drunk it's nothing to get excited about or in extremely rare cases you will actually have fun all night with the girl. But these are extremely rare cases and actually, I have experienced it once and you can see that experience about a third of the way through 'Love and it's Everlasting Puzzle'. Alas, I digress. On the other more negative side of the manhandling scenario there's a far wider spectrum of things to expect. You could get a slap or she could turn and laugh at you or she could look at you like the village idiot and edge slowly around her freinds asking someone she knows better to pretend to dance intimately with her. Or in my case she could hold your arms around her, spin you around and push you away! I respected her integrity I suppose, and I guess I wouldn't have known if I didn't try. But back in the day, pairing up and showing off your moves was the convention despite whether or not you would 'bang each other' in the parlents of our times. Me, I actually like to dance. I've always enjoyed doing it flamboyantly and openly. I don't usually care what other people think so I dance my arse off if I hear a good tune irrespective of whether or not I'm drunk. Of course people look at me wierd because apparently openly expressing yourself is frowned upon. People are afraid now, to move their limbs around and really dance. I think this is because of the emotionless catchy repetition thing I said about earlier. Theres no bang for your buck in this kind of music and so people do the generic thing in clubs now (Something I find hideously boring). And that is to stand in a circle with the people you know with your arms at a ninety degree agle to your hips and bounce sheepishly up and down your toes. C'mon guys, that not really all that fun is it? Of course I can't ask them that when we're out because the music is so loud. So they sheepishly jiggle away while I shake my stuff and small clearings develope behind me as all the people need to give me a little leeway or they'll get hurt.

So us men, unfortunately cannot use the medium of dance anymore to pick up the beautiful lady of the night that we've been eyeing up all evening. Except that beautiful lady is now becoming more and more of a pipe dream as the night goes on as she becomes more and more wasted.

What should we do girls? What can we really do that you are going to find attractive? Because we can't tapdance up to you or do the Charleston anymore, your freinds will think we're wierd! What should you're modern day dancing stranger really be like? Drop me some comments ladies, because I, and a fair few other guys, really need your advice on this one


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