Things that are Becca’s fault #14: I really love social dancing.
I’ve been going to dance classes with one or both of my roommates since I’ve been roommates with one or both of them: it started with West Coast Swing, but has really been mostly historical waltz (that is, not the boxstep waltz that is popular today, but a rotary style more popular in the Victorian ere) and Regency style country dances.
This is kind of relevant to my other interests if you bear in mind my interests include Jane Austen books and other stories that are set, say, in English society during the period of the French Revolution. As an example.
Also dance fic. Because there’s something particularly intimate and yet rigidly formal in the act of partner and social dancing. And yes, I have composed many a fictional scene while at a dance class. It’s also fun, of course.
I like to lead. There’s a few reasons for this, but part of it is definitely a subversion of gender roles. I’m pretty well feminine-presenting in everything else, but I’d rather be leading a pretty lady around a dance floor than having a gentleman push me around. Which isn’t completely fair, but hey, it’s a preference.
Also, my friends who dance are predominately ladies. Chiefly among these is Becca, of course, but she follows and it’s nice to be able to dance with her.
Sadly, there’s a little bit of social expectations around leading. I generally find that I have to come prepared to fight to lead – when there’s an equal gender balance in classes the ladies are always expected to follow, and this happens more often than you’d think, especially in Swing. I have only had the chance to dance the lead in swing classes when I went to a specificly LGBT class. Otherwise, I have to learn to follow so a man can learn the lead part he has a ‘right’ to.
With waltz, it’s less of a problem. I have been going to classes with the same teacher for a couple of years now, and she knows I like to lead. Though I’ve started dressing in pants for the class, despite my personal preference for dancing in obnoxiously twirly skirts for rotary dances. It makes it easier, even in small social circles, to be accepted as a lead if you’re all masuline-presenting.
Which I can live with I guess. I’d still rather lead in the swirliest dress I have.
This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.