Why I think it is a good idea to dance every now and then

When I was in high school, there was a lot of things that I thought I could simply rule out because they were simply things that I did not do. At some point I declared myself a non-dancer. This was a decision with some justification as demonstrated by the frustration of my teachers over the years of jazz ballet lessons, and it was not a decision that meant I felt as if I was missing out on all that much, especially while watching everyone on school camp disco nights.

One day I decided it was a little ridiculous to say I was a non-dancer and so over the years I have danced badly at school formals (I probably thought I was making some sort of nerdy statement), I have danced at weddings if I thought the bride was someone who measured the success of a party by the number of people on the dance floor, I danced at an inner city venue once because I thought it mattered to the friend who we were out for, and I even danced at ‘Martin Martini and the Bone Palace Orchestra’ gigs back in the day simply because I wanted to. Somewhere, at some time, I started to sometimes enjoy dancing… if I like the music and the audience. Not that this shift in mind set has translated into any great dancing abilities.

Recently I gave something else a go, I went to a VFL* game. Changes in the suburb I am looking at in my project are sometimes discussed with references in the changes in local football. This is something I identified very early on in thinking about the practicalities of my project, but I did not go check out a local football match. Deep down I know that I cannot just spend my time going to things that I think will be fun, so the other month I looked up the 2011 fixture and wrote down the first home game for the season in my diary.

I made it to the game, and even stayed until the end. While I did not have a profound sense of belonging, I found that I knew a few people there and was able to enjoy being at the game. Of course having fun is hardly a measure of how close I am to answering the questions in my project, but I think that being able to drop my barriers and be able to get a sense of what other people’s weekends might be like is what makes going to such events useful and enjoyable at the same time.

Generally I am comfortable with what I do or do not do/ like/ invest time in, but (and this may be a rather cosmopolitan thing to say) allowing my comfort to be challenged is a good thing when it comes to social research as well as when it comes to how I live my life in the social world. Perhaps the best way to take up this challenge is to stop thinking about myself so much?

Doing the door knock survey means not talking myself out of doing it simply because I am not the most charismatic person. Another test will be if I can summon the confidence, as a non-parent, to engage in a more significant way with parents of young children. So I resolve to spend less time wrapped up in who I am/ am not and more time just enjoying getting this project done.**


* Victorian Football League (I’m sure you can look it up on Wikipedia or something)

** Perhaps some sort of reference to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat could be amusing here, but I don’t really have time to work it in.



One Response to “Why I think it is a good idea to dance every now and then”

  1. ANON Says:

    I am ideologically opposed to male team sports for obvious reasons.

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