Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dancing Dreams

When I was a little girl, I always said that I would grow up to be a dancer. Even though I let go of my ballet dancing dreams early, and have set my self on the path to become a professional modern dancer, there is another kind of dancing dream I have that Brazil is giving me a taste of...

Latin ballroom dancing.

Ever since I discovered that I liked to party and dance socially, I longed to go someplace where couples dance. Dressed in high heels, hand in hand, feet following feet, whirling and twirling around the dance floor. There is just something to be said for dancing with a partner, that grinding at the club will never fulfill. Right Courtney?

Since being in Rio de Janeiro, and more recently in Sao Paolo, our group has taken lessons in ballroom dance, in particular, learning various styles of samba. While our classes in Rio involved us just learning the basic step and a few variations of samba no pe, Sao Paolo has found us dancing with partners learning how to be led around the floor, turned, and a few steps of fancy footwork. These lessons have been interspersed with trips to a couple of Gafiera Houses (sp?): essentially nightclubs where all this partner dancing happens.

I cannot tell you the joy that it is to really dance with a man... and to dance for the joy of dancing. The last time I have had this much fun out dancing is... I can't remember when! Unfortunately, there seems to be this terrible mental block among (black) American men about dancing. In many cases, it seems that any hint at the enjoyment of dancing questions your sexuality. If it's not hard core hip hop/breaking, or standing back bopping to the beat while watching the girls, it's not cool.

And that my friends, is one of the stupidest things that I have ever heard of.

What is more masculine, than having complete control over a woman and manipulating her every move? Twirling her as you please... keeping her close to you as you please. The job is bold, aggressive, power-filled... It actually fits the prescribed male gender role quite nicely.

If my prayers are answered and my dreams come true, I'll become a fantabulous ballroom dancer and fall in love with a man who dances. Then we'll live in Brazil (New York or Miami might have to do) where we can dance together all night long.

But besides my romantic dreams, how do you feel on the issue of men dancing? Does the American man's aversion to dancing bother you? Are there any men reading who could shed some light on the issue for me? Why does it seem that partner dancing, particularly in my generation, only appeals to us women?


Helen said...

I think it's the same in my generation, too... sigh

Sydnie said...

Helen, if you don't mind me asking, what generation would that be?

Stan said...

Sydnie, you probably don't remember helen, at least not as helen. You remember her as Judy Catalfo. She and her husband and family have been to our house several times for dinner parties and we've been to their house as well. Her husband's name is Lou and you may remember their two children, Meredith and Chris. I met them online thorough the old BBS they used to run and that I was a member of as well as Uncle Paul called MemoryPrime, (I think.) Just for the record, she's a few years older than me, I believe. Maybe around the age of Uncle Eddie.


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