Last friday evening, Charlie and I went to Chicago dancing. The main thing we were after was to tango, but there were other dances to play with as well, such as Salsa and Lindy Hop.

Queer tango is, according to the lovely teacher Charlotte, is really the original stuff, from before it got sexualised into men being the "leaders" and women being the "followers", and in that setting, I spent most of my time being a follower, which was quite an experience.

When I've danced before (free dance setting, individual or with someone), I've never found myself in a defined role of the dance, it's been mostly that both try to follow each others movements, or that I've danced with myself only. I've been uncomfortable with leading as well as following. Having started with tango has opened up a new world for me, as I discover I can take a lead in my life.

However, the little experience I've had dancing tango with Charlie, it's been as a leader, and as such with no other experience, I've wondered from the start what it is to be a follower in the dance, how that feels and what freedoms you still have. Last friday I got to experience it, and I loved it!

The evening itself went like this:

  • an hour of queer tango instruction.
  • a couple of hours dance, some tango, some salsa, some lindy hop.
  • an hour of Lindy Hop show followed by Lindy Hop instruction.
  • more dancing.

As part of encouraging dancing, there was a dance bingo. We got a 4x4 sheet on paper with different statements (such as "Doesn't have a blog"), and after each dance, we could check if that dance partner had something that fit one of those statements and then cross it. Quite fun, really! And I ended up getting a row :-).

So I ended up dancing with a few people, sometimes as part of the instruction (we were encouraged to switch partners all the time, of course), but also as part of the dances themselves. I will never forget being asked to dance by this marvelous guy, asking me if I wanted to lead or follow, and after I said the latter and that I was entirely new at this, he swooped me off my feet. I have never before felt like I could just lean in to someone else, close my eyes and simply let my body do what it could do without thinking about it to such a deep level.
It was simply marvelous.

I danced a few times with Charlie (did I say she looked great for the evening, mainly dressed in black pants and a grey vest?), and we revelled in how well we got it, although being so new to these dances.

You know that bingo I meantioned earlier? Well, there were a number of people who'd gotten a row and there were only 5 prises to get.
Someone was called as first winner, I don't remember what prise she chose. The second winner was... Charlie! (she chose a copy of "Femmes of Power")
The third winner was... me! (I chose a black sleeveless T-shirt with the message "Redo för en kärleksaffär..." [eng: "Ready for a love affair..."] in white, which was really an ad for KLM, but I thought it would be perfect to wear in the poly section of the parade if I blackened the KLM logo and URL)
I can't recall who the other winners were, only that the two remaining prises were another T-shirt and incense.

blog comments powered by Disqus