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Earlier | Later

you should be dancing

In the 40 T/D/Y series, I wrote about how I used to like going out dancing at the local goth club in Boston, and for over a year went regularly once a month. After moving to Seattle, I wanted to get some friends together and continue to go out dancing regularly, but that never happened. Some of my new friends were interested in going out dancing, and some of my new friends were members of a local private goth club The Mercury (though none of them really bothered to go anymore), but everyone was kind of noncommittal about making plans and I never pushed hard enough to make it happen.

Last September I covered the Decibel Festival for KEXP, and had a blast going out to the clubs over the weekend, hearing great music and doing a lot of dancing. I enjoyed the showcase put on by local DJ/promo crew Sweatbox, so I started keeping an eye out for their events. But it wasn't until this past April, when they had their two-year anniversary party at Electric Tea Garden, that I finally went to one of them. Once again I had a great time, and so I've been going to their monthly events at ETG since. 

Things that I've liked about these events:
  • Dancing is fun.
  • It's additional exercise that I wouldn't normally be getting.
  • it's an opportunity to meet new people and hopefully develop some new friendships or find romance.
  • I actually have been meeting new people and making new connections.
  • The Electric Tea Garden is a decent venue with cool friendly staff.
Things I haven't liked so much:
  • Although it's not too hard to meet new people—helped by the fact that I already knew a couple people connected with the scene—it's not really a place for extended conversation, so it's a hard and slow process to develop any connections beyond just recognizing and knowing people in passing. Furthermore...
  • Since it's a monthly event, I'm not seeing any of these people very often, and there's no particular guarantee they'll be there each month, making opportunities to develop connections even more difficult.
  • Because these are afterhours events—starting at 10 pm, yes, but running until 5 am—hardly anyone even shows up before 2 am, when the bars all close, and most people clear out by 3:30 am. 
  • The notably higher proportion of men to women.
Things that puzzle me. I understand of course that this is a social scene—after all, I'm hoping to make new friends myself—and that people aren't just there solely to dance, they come to see their friends and maybe just to be seen. Still, I'm puzzled by:
  • The people who show up dressed to the nines, only to stand around on the floor talking for a bit, maybe shuffle around a bit, and then leave.
  • The people (more women than men, that I've observed) who spend five minutes out on the floor doing some amazing dancing and then disappear for an hour. 
  • The people (more men than women doing this) who come out on the dance floor in a cluster and stand around talking instead of dancing, being in the way of everyone else. (There was a particularly egregious instance of this at the May event, when this dude just stood right near the front staring at the DJ while his girlfriend and the rest of us were dancing, but at least he didn't have a crowd of four or five other dudes standing there with him.)
Last night's event was the least-attended of the four I've been to so far, and none of the people I've met (or knew beforehand) were there, so although I still enjoyed myself dancing, it just didn't feel as much fun as the previous events. It was disconcerting to show up last night at 12:45 am to find maybe a half-dozen people there, and to be the only one dancing much of the time for most of the next hour. Still, I plan to keep going whenever I can; it's not that different from going out to concerts by myself, and better in that since it's specifically a dance event, I've got something to do right from the start instead of standing around alone, awkwardly waiting for the show to begin.


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