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Showing posts from June, 2018
I've been getting some interesting reactions when I tell people I'm still talking to the Eccentric. They range from, "Oh, really?" to "You can still run, you know." Currently leading in popularity, mainly among people who encountered him in the show where we met, is "yipe."

I asked around, and there doesn't seem to be any community conflict or feud driving the difference of opinion. When someone is widely considered to be weird, there's usually a reason. It's not always a good reason, but it does exist. I think it is just that he is very much himself, and this is not everybody's cup of tea. The Eccentric is, well, eccentric -- he really only has one setting, which is fairly intense, and has cultivated such colossal bunny ears I'm not sure how he manages to pack them into the car with the rest of his gear. When I first met him, I wondered if his English was kind of wonky, as he still has an accent. Later, I concluded it was prob…
I am beginning to get annoyed with the fundamental sexism of ballroom dance. It's up there with figure skating, except the ballroom people freely admit that a plurality if not majority of the male dancers are gay. I went to a "gender-free" ballroom workshop this past weekend. This should not have to be a specific thing, and yet it is. When even Ye Ballroom Instructor, a dude who won titles dancing with other dudes, has to consciously remember to say "lead" and "follow" rather than "he" and "she", the gender essentialism must be pretty fucking entrenched.

I lead whenever I am given the choice. I am not making any kind of political statement or asserting any kind of gender identity. I lead because it's easier for me, and I have more fun. There are so far three whole people on planet Earth that I can follow to any useful degree. With everyone else, it is a long frustrating sequence of having to tell my brain to cut that shit out, …
I have been chewing on the philosophical question of why I can usefully follow a whole three people out of seven some-odd billion in ballroom dance. And I mean that both in the sense of, "Why am I so godawful at this in general?" and "Why am I not godawful with these three specific people?" The second thing is an interesting matter of Venn diagrams and pattern-spotting, as all three of them have radically different styles, while the first is mainly a matter of frustration. I'm still not sure if the awkwardness is a solvable problem or just the nature of the beast, and if it is solvable, whether it's my problem or the lead's.

Among the people I can sort of follow, a lot of the divergence seems to be "American" vs "International". There's apparently a dissertation worth of stylistic differences, but the big one as it was explained to me is that in American style, you are allowed to let go of your partner and do separate footwork on…
I was having a conversation with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and she asked the question of whether straight people were "allowed" to wear rainbows during Pride Month.

I have no idea. I do, but it probably depends on where you are. I'm in Greater Boston, where they swap out four of the five American flags on the façade of the public library for rainbow banners in the month of June, and work in Cambridge, whose mayor, last I checked, was a lesbian. Pride stuff out here is more "warm weather festival" than "angry defiance", because it doesn't need to be. I'm sure there do exist bigots in Boston, but it's considered indescribably rude to voice that. They are under considerable pressure to keep it to themselves, which is really all civilized society asks.

The Dancing Queerly month of events that I'm working or otherwise involved in is specifically open to self-identified queer artists and friends, so I can devote the time I might otherw…