The Dark Side of Dance Culture

Damian Gordon/Staff writer


Dancing has been a form of expression since humans could walk upright. It has been used to communicate ideas or tell history; but it’s also a prominent call sign for creepers at concerts and clubs.

There is a generalization about guys at music venues and how they’re like dogs in a puppy chow factory when it comes to women.  Well, that’s not accurate. Dogs get hungry, while these specific guys who don’t know when to quit are just plain thirsty.

Dance culture has many great aspects about it, such as the atmosphere or the music. But, it also has some less favorable sides to it that need to be discussed.

Recently, the Life in Color music festival took place in Miami Gardens, attracting all kinds of characters from far and wide to participate in its paint filled cavalcade of rhythm and bass drops.

I was one of those in attendance throughout its 12 hour run, and if there were a couple people I didn’t want to dance with, I would politely decline or moonwalk away into the seemingly infinite crowd.

Male or female, if you don’t want to dance with somebody then declining is as simple as saying “no, thanks” or moving away if necessary. In a perfect world, nobody would have to move, but anyone that’s been on this planet for a minute has realized that this world isn’t perfect and some people just can’t take a hint.

During those 12 hours, I didn’t see many cases of women being harassed by men, which is a rare sight for anybody familiar with Miami’s club scene where males leer at women all night from across a dimly lit room.

One of the attendees from Life In Color, Jennyfer Gomez-Franky said, “It’s worse at clubs. Everyone was pretty respectful; I think the raver moto is PLUR at events like this. Peace love unity respect.”

Now, if someone goes to a music venue of any kind today and expects to dance alone, that’s an unreasonable expectation. They might as well stay home playing Spotify if they wanted to dance privately. It’s a social event, and being social might come into play at some point.

A part of dance culture that is confusing to both guys and girls is on what dancing is. This happens with twerking and grinding, which aren’t really dancing. Both were loose aspects that have become ingrained over the last decade or so, maybe around when tight clothing became a thing again.

There’s no concrete guide on what dancing is because it’s a bunch of made up movements that sometimes happen to go along with different songs.

The thing about dance clubs is that it feels like there’s probably more guys lined up against the wall than on the floor itself, whether it be out of fear of not being accepted or trying to remember a pickup line from a movie they saw.

Most clubs let women get in free to attract male clientele who will then spend money buying drinks and get charged double at the door. This can create a sense of entitlement in some guys towards women as if they owe them something, when in reality they’re owed nothing.

To the fellas,  It’s okay to want to dance with someone you find attractive at a club or concert because there’s a likely chance that somebody else feels the same way and wouldn’t mind a partner to step with. What’s isn’t okay is treating them like a piece of meat in the wild and pouncing from behind out of nowhere.

To the ladies, just because someone wants to dance with you doesn’t instantly categorize them with Jack the Ripper.  Not everyone is a scumbag and treating every man like one helps nobody.

When it comes to dance culture, the experience is supposed to be freeing, fun and most importantly mutual. Like other activities, there are dark areas; but it’s about learning to take the good while dealing with the bad.


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