Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shaking It Off

Is there any where good to go dancing around here?

This is a question I've been asking for years, ever since I left California and headed east (and ever "east-er"). I've rarely received a satisfactory answer to this question and truly fun dancing experiences have proved exceedingly elusive. A club that was fun one weekend would be dead the next, the house party that rocked until the break of dawn last year turned out to be a total fluke and even consistently fun places (like the old Bulgarian Bar space in NYC where every Thursday Hutz from Gogol Bordello gets drunk, break stuff, and DJ to a truly international crowd) change ownership, move spaces, or simply close down. I won't even get into all the One Day Only incredible festival events (like last year's incredible Boa Drum event in Brooklyn, see pics & pics). So all this to say that, no matter where I go, a good and consistent place to dance has been a fleeting fantasy... until now.

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about Five Rhythms dancing and -- while I listened intently as she talked -- the whole thing sounded, frankly, too hippy dippy for me. Just the sort of thing I should do, but utterly disdained. However, despite this feeling, I still went home and googled it anyway, scanning through the website and reading about the events. Judging from the pictures, people seemed to be having a genuine good time. Nonetheless, I probably would not have gone save for the fact that I have been trying to renew my promise (inspired by my dear friend Jenni) to go places where I wouldn't expect to find myself. I mean I'm all the way in Slovenia, there's no need to get shy and cowardly now, right?

So, against my usual troublesome kneejerk snob reaction, I emailed the group leader who was bright and friendly and super inviting. I told her I would come, a few weeks passed, and I finally found the courage to goyesterday. Last night, I hopped on to the train and nervously headed into Ljubljana. Despite all my googling I was still unsure what I'd find and how it'd find me, whether I'd jump in and start shaking it or run crying from the room. I had to jsut head in and find out.

It turned out to be two full hours of free form movement in a safe and inviting space. Unlike a nightclub, there was no drinking or having to swat away pushy men, people were naturally free and uninhibited. Everyone was nice, and because there was almost no talking it really calmed me down. It was one of the few times where I could be out without worrying whether I could communicate; I didn't have to wrack my brain searching for words or translating sentences from English to Slovene. It was a relief. It felt like almost any one from anywhere could walk in that room and just jump in. Of course, you do your best to respect each others space and be respectful but besides that everything was open. Feeling nervous, feeling stressed? Put it in the dance, see what comes out? Falling flat on the floor, leaping across the room, stomping your feet, go for it. Wow wow, just what I needed! I'm glad I took the leap.


Tina. said...

Sounds great!

Chickenscratches said...

wow,.... those artist are crazy... the holocaust memorial is completely disorienting.. it really messes with your head.