Picture this: I'm at a class interstate, about to pace out a move, when the lead I'm partnered with turns to me and says "so do you like swinging or are you just here for the dancing?" Ok, so I'm sure he meant it as a joke, albeit a fairly dag one, but if it's the first thing you say to someone as you pull them into closed, with a classic grin and raised eyebrow, it can come off as a little creepy. Once I'd gotten over my shudders, it made me think "hold on, do I say or do stuff like that? Surely not!" But alas, I think we are all guilty of being slightly creepy during a dance. Sometimes there is no filter between our brain and mouth (or body).
I've pulled some classic creepy moves on leads. For example, at CCB this year I blurted out "wow your hair smells really nice!" (well it did!). My other favourite actually happens fairly regularily, which I'm sure the leads in Adelaide will know well. When a guy is swinging me out from open, as he's bringing me back to closed I tend to place my hand too low on his right arm, so I just slide it up (which in itself is creepy), but the worst of it is that my hand always ends up inside his shirt sleeve. Urgh! At late night dancing, especially to mid tempo or blues, I get the totally spaced out zombie look, staring into space but actually seeming like I'm boring holes into my partners eyes.
But I'm not alone, I've had many many creepy moments from leads. For example, especially during the closed dances like blues and balboa, the heavy breathing right down my neck disgusts me to no end, or, what's even worse, humming or softly singing right in my ear! I'm not sure why that creeps me out, but it really does. The deep staring in the eyes is not uncommon. The worst thing I've ever had was a guy leading me in swivels from a double hand hold, but feeling the need to pull my hands into his crotch. Literally. I actually ended the dance early (he'd already reverse beaver clamped me three times). Most of the time though creepiness is unintended.
So as MLX is less than 2 weeks away (girly scream!) here are my top tips to avoid being known as the creepy follow at every exchange:
*Utilise good hygeine practices. This is a must and will decrease your creepiness level a whole bunch.
*When someone introduces themselves don't reply breathily "I know..."
*Avoid staring into your partners eyes. It's nice to look at them, but this is not the time for gazing into their soul.
* Deactivate your crotch. Thrusting is not required.
*If you want to dance with someone really badly, try to avoid stalking them too obviously. Walking right behind them and softly whispering their name is right out.
*Talking loudly and candidly about your sex life ("So we're facing the mirror, and all I can notice are his socks"), or health issues ("I've got this rash on my neck...") during a dance is not always the best tactic.
*Finally, allow your partner to leave gracefully. Following him as he's walking into the bathroom saying "I really enjoy dancing with you" is scary.
Happy MLX everyone! Hope you rip up the floor and dance with a gazillion people. If you see me (and know who I am, hehe) come and ask me to dance! I can't wait!
Next time: double edition! CCB and MLX reviews.
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