So last night I found myself in a club. This was a) sadly a very rare occurrence of late and b) completely unplanned; the result being that I found myself surrounded by all manner of ‘grizzly ghouls from every tomb’ (this was Halloween night might I add, I’m not that harsh about people’s appearance generally), whilst being dressed down in more ways than one.
The very same day I had attended a symposium on popular dance here at the University, within which there was a paper on club dance, in particular to Drum ‘n’ Bass music. The presenter carried out her research by attending Drum ‘n’ Bass events, and studying the club cultures that were present there. This fascinated me, as when you think about dance research, you normally imagine going to a stuffy theatre, surrounded by a sea of grey heads and watching a piece of well-honed ‘dance art’, whilst getting a numb bum and crick in your neck.
So with this fresh in my mind, I entered the club scene; pulled out a few moves, threw a few shapes, and, as I glanced around the room I realised, with this new ‘dance researcher’ hat firmly in my mindset, how much I take pleasure in seeing other people completely enjoying the moment of the dance. A little like improvisation, club dancing involves the expelling of emotion, a joyous response to catchy rhythms, sharing an experience, and yes, a little alcohol. Even the creepy guy on his own at the back of the dance floor (there’s always one) dancing a little like an amputated squid and giving everyone the eye, is having (I think) the same delight at moving his body in response(ish) to the drums and the bass; the pulsing backbones of most club anthems, in drunken exultation that this is the only place where moving in that way is socially acceptable (again, ish).
I believe the power of this type of dancing must not be underestimated, or at all taken for granted. Through acknowledging the intricacies of a kind of emotive therapy that this can offer people, is perfect grounds for it to be studied, much like any other social dance form. So I ask you this; are you dancing? Because really, I think you should be.