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I just want to dance, I just want to fucking DANCE

In clubs (and before that, school discos- St Dominic Savio RC Primary School’s junior hall was where it’s at), I used to shuffle from side to side doing a classic step together, step together. I didn’t want to look stupid. I didn’t want to stand out. And I certainly didn’t want any boys to think that I thought I looked sexy. 

Even though I’d been taking dance lessons since the age of four and could thus be presumed to be, if not a good mover, then at least not a terrible one, I just couldn’t connect the two things in my head. One was a dear hobby I worked hard at with my friends, the other was something the beautiful people did, normally the ones who were doing a lot more snogging than I was. They didn’t really dance with each other per se, it was more at each other. But what they were doing was dancing the way that you were supposed to, when you weren’t at the barre with your hair in a painfully severe bun.

I don’t know when exactly it happened, but at some point I slowly morphed into someone who dances like a joyful eejit. Birmingham’s premier indie spot Snobs (RIP) might have had something to do with it. It was the sort of place where sweat literally dropped from the ceiling, you could get a £1.50 spirit and mixer, and ‘dancing’ constituted jumping up and down screaming along to Sex on Fire amongst the sea of identikit indie boys in checked shirts. As the years passed I became more and more a fan of throwing shapes- the bolder the better, and now it hasn’t truly been a night out until I’ve done the splits, no matter how questionably sticky the dance floor is.

Give me a few rums and I’ll flail my limbs around like there’s no tomorrow. Give me several more than a few rums and I’ll spend New Year’s Eve teaching my friends pirouettes in the living room- an activity that will inexplicably lead to me repeatedly yelling ‘TURN TOWARDS YOUR GENITALS’.

Letting go of the need to look sexy was very freeing. My milkshake does not bring the boys to the yard, and that’s fine. Except my actual peanut butter milkshake, but that’s a different story. My particular brand of dance is less Beyoncé, more David Brent- ‘I’ve sort of fused Flashdance with MC Hammer shit’.

The sheer abandon, not of dancing ‘like there’s nobody watching’, but of dancing like everybody’s watching and you couldn’t give a shit what they think about it, makes me deliriously happy and if I’m lucky enough to live that long I’d love to be an overenthusiastic octogenarian, bopping at a wedding and in genuine danger of putting her hip out.

Now I want to spread this attitude to the rest of my life, where quite frankly I care way too much about what people think way too much of the time. I’m still feeling anxious about some flippant dicky drunk comments I made at a show a few nights ago, because I’m convinced those people must now think I’m a total arsehole. The rational part of me hopes that they would see them as out of character and give me the benefit of the doubt, but the rest of me is still a bit worried about it. So maybe I should resolve to dance through life much more often. Because, to quote a character from one of my favourite books, ‘to hell with anyone who thinks you’re a damn fool’.

‘If 2018 has taught us anything so far it’s to always turn towards your genitals’ – Kieran Lawrence, 1st January 2018

 

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