I wrote a bit, before Arisia, about dancing without partners, all by yourself in a big crowd of people bopping and gyrating and generally having a madcap time of things. "Club dancing" is probably the best umbrella term for it, as it is indeed the sort of thing one does inside a club. (Or at least I assume --I've only ever done it at conventions, with blinky lights and a thousand geeks).
That's only one form of dancing with yourself, though. There's another way to dance by yourself, and that's to close the doors and draw the blinds and clear out a space of your very own. Put music on the computer, the stereo, the ipod. Listen to it, and dance.
There are similarities between club dancing and solitary dancing. The movements are oft the same, flailing arms and legs, shaking hips, jumping and bouncing and twirling around. But solitary...solitary I can shake off even that last pervasive edge of people thinking I look like an idiot. I can move by myself, and I can move for myself. That's important, moving *for* oneself. It means I'm not afraid to get a little silly.
I was doing it some last night, having a melancholy evening filled with Vienna Teng. Her song "Between" is actually an excellent waltz, or cross-step waltz.. I've danced it by myself half a dozen times since the last time I was lucky enough to have a partner. It's becoming one of those songs, where you know every line and note and chord, that you just don't want to share anymore. Cross-step can be adequately danced alone --you just have to not fear swooping a little more than intended.
I also danced to her song "The Tower", which I had never danced before. This is the really interesting part of dancing all alone, to random songs from my 10k+ collection. What kinds of movements get paired with what songs, and with what moods. It's not always the same, after all.
The Tower surprised me by being sharp. I found myself moving in ways reminiscent of the two years I spent doing kung-fu --no actual figures or forms worked into my dance, but the flow reminded me, the quick steps, the give and take of the arms. I'd like to dance it again, to see if that's always the case. Ah, but finding a space where I can dance alone is not always easy --sure the stage at school works, but not if the auditorium is locked, or full.
I always feel different after I do it. It heals, it stabilizes, and yes sometimes it reopens old wounds. Regardless of the mood in which I start, and the mood in which I finish, dancing solitary always makes me feel whole, feel like myself and only myself. Not too shabby for some made-up moves strung together on impulse.