For the love of the dance

Many of my friends, and I’m sure several others don’t understand a certain concept: I dance because I love to dance and I love the music.

A lot of people, most probably, dance to meet members of the opposite sex. So when people learn that I go dancing at every possible opportunity it blows their minds. Seriously, if I could go swing dancing every day, I would. Of course, meeting girls is an extremely nice benefit. If only guys went swing dancing I obviously wouldn’t go. Girls, however, aren’t the only reason I go.

This post comes from the frustration I’ve felt from friends and others who don’t understand a few things. 1) How I can go dancing so much, and 2) How is it that people who are dating someone steadily or are married can dance with other people.

On Saturday, I met a bunch of friends at the University of Utah and we drove up to Logan, Utah to go dancing (1 12 hour drive). On the way home we were talking about a move seen in a clip where two guys are dancing together. The driver of the vehicle commented on the fact that the swing community is so much fun because you can do stuff like that and people just laugh. Guys dance with guys, girls dance with girls, married people dance with other people… and it’s all NORMAL!

One of the passengers in the car didn’t understand the concept of being married or dating someone steadily and dancing with other people. He said that if he were dating someone or married he wouldn’t dance with anyone but her.

That’s perfectly fine! I don’t have a problem with anyone feeling that way. I’d just like to clarify why certain people don’t feel that way. It’s not because those married couples don’t love each other or don’t like to dance with each other. It’s because they dance for completely different reasons than some of my friends. Many of my friends dance, it seems, to meet girls and have fun with girls. Myself, and most others highly involved in the swing scene dance because we love the dance and we love the music. It doesn’t matter who we dance with as long as they’re good at it and have a style we like. We even like to dance with those that aren’t good as long as that person is trying to learn. I dance with people who are married or dating someone exclusively all the time. When I had a girlfriend we still danced with other people. It’s not dancing-for-marriage. It’s dancing-for-fun.

I was talking to my mom about this and I was actually surprised she understood how I feel about it. She then explained why she understood. It’s because that’s how it used to be! The whole “your my date or wife and I’m going to dance with you and no one else because if I danced with anyone else that would be seen as something wrong” is relatively new. A lot of that is probably because the way our culture has changed. Or rather, the type of dances that people go to. 30+ years ago (or however long ago it was) the dances were more innocent, if you know what I mean. I believe that’s one of the main reasons that swing dancing has stayed the way it used to be. A lot more innocent. I’m sure other forms of dance are the same way… ballroom, some latin dances, etc. As long as it’s clean and people are dancing because it’s fun and not just to meet people then people are fine with dancing with those whom they’re not dating or married to.

I’d like to re-state/clarify one last thing before I end. I swing dance because it’s fun and I like the music. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t like the girls! It’s funny to dance with guys every once in a blue moon, but the girls are what make it worth it! Girls are fun! I like girls!

Does this make sense? What do you think? Please leave your comments!

Swing Dance, Lindy Hop, Dance