On Sleazy Blues Dancing

But first, a song I’ve been enjoying lately.

Oh. That vocal vibrato. It makes me melt on the inside.


Finally got my blues fix last weekend. I was talking to a friend who adamantly stated she didn’t like blues. “What?! I LOVE blues!” I said, in disbelief. She clarified that she used to really enjoy it. But apparently a lot of the guys in this local scene dance without any sense of personal space. ALL the body rolls. ALL the leaning/leading with the pelvis/crotch area. And it just made her feel extremely uncomfortable, which made her dislike the dance.

Personally, I love close embrace dances – which is actually somewhat strange if you know me, because for the most part, I shun physical contact with people and friends. It’s not that I don’t like close physical contact – I actually really enjoy it, but the problem lies in a couple of factors that inhibit me from expressing that kind of affection. One is that I have to actually like and trust (<-very important) the person to a certain degree, which I would guess is pretty standard for a lot of people. But maybe I’m slightly more suspicious and skeptical and distrusting than other people are. The other is that people can be so volatile, and some people are more physical than others, so it’s difficult to determine what contexts with what people would be appropriate for touching. So in a dance like blues, it’s understood that my partner and I will be in very close contact with each other – and it’s perfectly okay and acceptable…

…so long as I don’t do anything sleazy, like what my friend was describing. When she told me about her terrible experiences with blues dancing, I was horrified. Embarrassed, even, that other members of my gender group are abusing the dance as a means to rub up on women. And maybe some women are into that sort of thing. Personally, I don’t fall into that category of dancers – when I was just getting my feet wet in the dance, I was dancing with one friend, and she was grinding. all. over. my thigh. SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE. Not to mention very awkward to dance. I mean, blues dancing looks sexy from outside viewers’ perspectives, but the dance isn’t sexual (at least not to me). Despite the appearance that my partner and I are practically hugging each other (which, okay, sometimes does feel that way in close embraces) the genital areas DO NOT TOUCH. There’s still room for baby-hamster-jesus!

Dancing should be fun and safe – people should be able to enjoy themselves and the music and the dance without having their personal space violated by their partners.


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