I feel like in society there is a certain connotation to the word dancer. I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with it. First I think everyone should go read this post by Ruby Red. I have two things that I want to say about it, but the second can wait for another day.
But the first is directly related to this quote
Against this particular backdrop, dance culture appears rare and stylized. The rest of America sits and watches, observing, consuming, but not participating. The few of us who dance are outside the lines, a little strange, or perhaps specially talented. It’s like music culture. Done by ‘others,’ ‘artists’
Going through undergrad people in classes with me would find out that my hobby is to dance. I would spend time trying to explain my hobby. Time and time again trying to stress that what I did wasn’t very formal. That I danced with a partner. That it was social and I liked the people and the skills were secondary. Yet despite all my explanations I became the classes token dancer. I remember in a sport psychology class my teacher asided “you understand, being a dancer”. Sitting in that class, my teacher calling me out in front of all my peers who I knew had the same opinion; I wanted to say, but no, I’m not a dancer, not a real dancer. I’ve spent years trying to delineate what separates me. I spend most my free time dancing. Most of my entertainment budget is spent on dances and lessons and exchanges. Most of my friends are people that I dance with.
In my denial there is the complimentary dismissal by people who feel that they are real dancers. My school advisor said something along the lines of folk dances are so people who have no technique can enjoy music. He was lumping swing and salsa and blues all together in this. I have decided however, I will take the label if people want to give it to me. Everyone has their won abilities toward skill or technique. I don’t know the gate keeper, and I’m not going to become one. Lets all be dancers.