Do you love to dance?
For some reason, dancing has been coming up this week in so many conversations online and in face-to-face too. Obviously I need to dance more and that’s good exercise. And it’s cold in the house so getting up to do some yoga or a little dancing is just a way to stay warm (praise all the gods, we haven’t yet got major snow unlike the folks in the west) because it costs a lot to keep a 200 year old house — well, not so much warm as not freezing.
So yeah, there’s a practical side to dancing. Whether you think it the first refinements of a polished society or the province of ‘savages’ dance has always been around. And it has so very often played exactly the role Shaw gives it in the image above: testing one’s sexual mettle. Years ago I berated a male friend for refusing to dance (as I often do). I told him, “A man who gets up and dances — however badly! — is miles ahead of the guy who sits at the table, arms folded, refusing to dance.”
My friend taxed the truth of that statement O.O (sorry, Howie, you know it’s true!) but he agreed eventually (cue that Footloose scene but ten times worse). Men will tell you all kinds of reasons they ‘can’t dance’ (most of them incredibly stupid and sexist and often homophobic). The real reason? To dance well you have to listen, feel, trust your body and respond to your partner.
Physical partnership with attention to details: well yes. As Christopher Morley wrote in Kitty Foyle, “Dancing is wonderful training for girls, it’s the first way you learn to guess what a man is going to do before he does it.” In other words, it’s a good predictor of sexual performance. You notice the way someone moves, how they take your hand, how quickly they get in sync with your rhythm, when they’re gentle, when they push you to do more. How do they use their hands or is it all in the feet? How do your bodies fit together? There’s no one right way to do it: but you know what makes your skin come alive.
Consider the Finnish tango: even in the snow, the people who often seen to be the least forthcoming about how they feel (trust me, it’s a gene that gets carried along!) go for the sexy heat of the tango. Say it on the dance floor even if you can’t say it out loud.
Please send me your last pair of shoes, worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter, so that I might have something to press against my heart. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Follow you dark dancing desires with Lady Smut. We’d never lead you astray — unless you wanted to go that way!