Dancing and Popular Music


Dancing and Popular Music

God dang. As someone who absolutely loves dancing, I’m finding less and less music that I could actually dance to in public without people thinking I want to go home with them.

I love dancing. I try to do it well, but mostly I just like dancing because it’s fun. Depending on who you ask, I’m either fabulous or I’m a complete and total loser. I’m okay with it.

I love God. I love maintaining a sense of personal control and comfort, and with all things, doing certain things while dancing makes me feel pretty awkward. Generally speaking, unless I offer, I don’t like people to touch me unless they know me alright. Hugs are something that have to be earned, and that is absolutely necessary. I like my personal space. I like have the choice.

So let me break this down. If I want to dance, I have very few options. I can go to the bars. People will get up all in my personal space and consider touching me and I will have to project the attitude of a ready-to-attack-at-any-moment porcupine. I don’t want to drink. I’m there for dancing. Until I’m not there at all.

But yeah, that’s a pretty shoddy solution for this dancing debacle, to go to the bars. What are my other options?

There are a couple dancing groups on campus. We have a step team. Lol. Me stepping, I’d be the white girl self-proclaimed laughingstock of the century. It’s beautiful, but I get the feeling I’d get some serious shade if I tried that.

I could do hip hop. Which would be great, except it requires a lot more time than I have to give.

I could learn to swing dance with the KU Swing Dance Society. I went to one meeting at the end of last semester, and it was the bomb diggity. I liked it but it is a little weird to go alone. There is absolutely no problem, but a lot of the people go there with dates, and I’m not looking to date or steal people’s dates. I probably will again at some point next semester if I can convince one of my guy friends to take me. But that is also tricky. Some of that stuff is dancing fairly close. I really don’t want my guy friends to think I want to date them. I love them to pieces, but no. If they asked me, that would be even more of a debacle. I could dance with some of my male gay friends, but I’m pretty sure most of them don’t want to be around me for matter of differences in personal beliefs, and I respect that. So mostly that is out of the question.

Apart from that, there is really not all that much. There are different forms of traditional dancing. There is a lot of cultural stuff at KU either way. I don’t want to try to join the dance team or anything. I might be able to, but those girls have years of training on me, and I don’t do it for the art. I do it for my soul.

So yeah, that’s why I decided to take a class about dances from around the world. I took a Traditional Dances of Chile class while I was abroad, it was super chill and me and my friends mostly just danced with each other. It was nearly all girls and most people never showed up, even though we had a class of 30. Our teacher was a goof ball. For the equivalent of the final exam, we ate homemade empanadas made and fried in the classroom by his parents who were visiting from the south of Chile, drank wine, and chicha, a hard apple cider drink. I wish my finals were that baller here, but they aren’t. But yeah, at that point I had a lot of room in my schedule and 2 of my classes got completely cancelled due to under enrollment (class size of 4 or less lol) halfway through the semester, and I just picked out two random ones. One was a Political and Social Change of Chile and Latin America class. Another was a written Spanish course with my most baller teacher. The last class I had already had, it was a 3 hour long Social Psychology class with Chileans. Dang. I’m still a little impressed that I did that. That’s not arrogance, that’s acknowledging that listening to young Chilean slang in an academic setting for 3 hours on a Monday afternoon would be the challenge of the century for most people who are not from Chile.

But anyways, dancing is more about an attitude. It’s about conveying some sort of message. That could be flirting. Or even re-enacting some kind of human biological process. Or it could be to have a good excuse to feel people up. Regardless of how you view it, what makes me comfortable or uncomfortable dancing is not what “dance move” (lol) I choose but who is watching. It isn’t my responsibility to have people get their minds out of the gutter. I cannot enter your brain and make you decide to stop looking at me like that. If I could, there would be absolutely no problem to any of it. I don’t like that kind of attention, but I love dancing. I want to do it for fun, I don’t want to be some freaking professional dancer that has to sacrifice any of the other dreams I have. Hell no. But I would really love to be able to dance to music that people don’t talk about sex like, all the time.

First of all, there are other things to talk about, and at this point, it’s boring. If people want sex, they can get it a lot easier thanks to Tindr than going to the club. I don’t want to deal with people grinding like, right next to me if y’all are just going to do what you do anyways. You should probably use a condom, but what the hell ever, please do it more than three feet away from me or in a place I can better ignore you.

Second, if people don’t want to listen to good music that is currently made about other things, we should probably make that music suck less. Have them make the music they want. Hell, the only reason I still listen to Hillary Duff so much apart from really loving Hillary Duff is the fact that my pickings are rather slim right now. I like Taylor Swift, I guess. I like a lot of music. I would listen to just about anything if it was fascinating, and apart from Heavy Metal, I really do mean that. I think some of the best hip hop is no longer in the US. That’s just a fact. Music is pretty great wherever you are. Maybe I should just export my musical interests?

Actually, that is not a bad idea. On the one hand, all music talks about sex (as a genre) at some point or with some amount of euphemism. It may not say “YEAH W’ERE DOING IT”, but what the hell do you think “Wouldn’t it be nice” by the Beach Boys was about?? The intercourse. In marriage. In a bed. Lol.

If they did talk about things I’d rather not hear in graphic detail, the best part is that most of it will not be in English (or Spanish) if I pick the right countries to listen too. Hmm…those are pretty good odds. A lot of good music is from other countries. It’s a lot better than ours right now, thats for sure. Ehh! I’ll figure it out! I’ll probably make a new playlist next semester like I always do when I’m trying new things. See what sticks. I do like music and I even like Ke$ha, so it’s clear to everyone that I’d be pretty ok with any level of “culture”, in terms of quality. Sounds good to me.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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