Last night I went to Bluesy Tuesy, one of the local blues dances! This was about my third time ever making it to that event, and only the first time I actually made it at the starting time, instead of wandering in half an hour before close to wave at friends and kidnap the DJ.
I was in exactly the right headspace for Blues last night --kinda depressed, kinda broken, and in desperate need of something a little dark and sexy to help prop me up and face the rest of the world. I meant to get there in time for the lesson, but decided that it was more important for me to eat something before going dancing, and so strolled in about ten minutes before the open dancing started.
And it was...really good, actually. Blues can be a bit of a craps shoot, in that any dance form predicated on not leaving-space-for-Jesus can easily turn into a nightmare for my prickly "you do not have the right to my body" brain. Because for all that I am friendly, and cuddly, and even sexual with my friends, it's just that: friends. There's a lot of ways in which I do not like being touched by strangers or people I don't know well, and I am strong and loud and self-assured and will *not* let you touch me in those ways.
But it turned out to be a completely unfounded fear. Every dance I had started out with plenty of space between me and my partner, whether I was leading or following, and in only very few cases did I have to do any subtle pushing away. No one tried to force me closer, and at the break, they actually announced that the dance floor was a safe space and if anyone was feeling uncomfortable, they should _please_ go talk to the hosts, who would speak with the perpetrator and remind them of the social norms.
(This is not to say I did not have any sexy close blues dances. There are definitely people with whom I'm willing to sidle up against and press my crotch to their leg and vice-versa as we dance. But they're usually people I've known a while, who I've observed dancing and learned their foibles, and who I trust implicitly to keep the sexy to the dance floor.)
So I had a wonderful time, and was able to do a lot of really good leading and following without anyone feeling uncomfortable about it. Being as I don't do blues much, nearly everyone I danced with was a stranger (though there were a handful of "oh yeah, I've seen you around the dance scene...", and like I said, at least a few friends.), which made it even more impressive that no one tried to push boundaries in any unpleasant way.
Summation? 10 out of 10, would dance again. Maybe next week after my house meeting, if there's time. One of the nice things about Bluesy is that it's a _long_ night --the dancing officially runs from 8:30 to 11:00, but often goes for a half hour beyond that if the DJ is feeling keen and the floor is still hopping. So there should be plenty of time for me to stop by and dance