Saturday, June 16, 2007

I went to my friend's ceilidh last night. It was grand indeed. The hall was bigger than I had expected but we had enough people to make it look alright if a bit sparse. The band was excellent and the band leader was part of my department and is very good at what he does. I got to talk to all my friends and the beer was good and cheap.

I just wanted to go for the music but I always seem to get bullied on to the dance floor. If you know me, you will know that I hate formal or set dancing. I hate it with a vengeance. I have a couple of friends here that I will dance with but usually I just refuse. It does not make me especially popular at ceilidh but I just go for the music and the chat.

I think the biggest reason why I hate dancing (and country music in general) is the fact that my school in second grade forced us to do square dancing. When I say forced, I quite literally mean that. They also forced you to dance boy-girl, which is highly inappropriate for that age group and, as I found here in Scotland, not at all necessary. I found the entire experience a waste of time and no fun at all. We used a record player and none of the teachers ever danced at all so it seemed to me like we were herded in like cattle and made to do what they wanted with no thought as to what we would have liked to be doing or anything that seemed like it would have been useful like math class or something like that.

I think it would have been less traumatizing if my area (or honestly, the entire West Coast of the US) had a tradition of square dance or any kind of formal dancing whatsoever. I never saw my parents do it and I never saw any other people do it. We never did it at the grange and it was just not apart of the general culture. Thus having to do motions and "traditions" that were essentially foreign made the entire experience horrible. This was the beginning of my deep abiding hatred of formal dancing (and country music).

I just want to state here that I have no particular hatred of dancing in the abstract. If you like to dance, go and have fun. I have no feelings about a person based on if they like to dance or not (I had an ex-girlfriend who liked to dance and I would dance with her even though I hate dancing). It is just that I had a bad experience and it stuck with me throughout my life. I also do not mind the epileptic fits that pass for modern dancing. If we all look like fools together, it is fine but something that requires skill always reduces some to "bad" and raise others to "good" and I hate sorting people based on some arbitrary and useless metric.

posted by Chris  #12:20 PM | 0 comments |