I have fallen in love with hobbies that are, shall we say, “unconventional” for people of my body type. I could write a whole blog about why that is bullshit, but that’s for another day. Even in this age of body positivity and role models like Tess Holliday and Whitney Way Thore, I still do not see a wide variety of body types on the hiking trails or the dance floor.
Last night, I was invited to a social dance by a friend. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t really planned on going at all. I’ve already heard how “I’m not a dancer” and “I wouldn’t understand.” Dancing anywhere but my normal floor is always uncomfortable for me. I’ll be honest, even my normal floor makes me want to run home and hide under my blankets sometimes.
But, I also have promised myself to stop letting fear get in my way. Being afraid of other people’s opinions is a fear I need to conquer.
As soon as the social dance started, I noticed right way that the friends I came with were being asked to dance. Even though I was closest to the dance floor, these men would reach across my face to ask my friends to dance with them.
As if I were invisible.
I admit I could have been more assertive, and asked leads to dance with me. But, I can’t help but feel like part of it was being the only big girl in the crowd. While the other women I was with were getting asked to dance consistently, I was not.
When a lead would come close, looking like they were looking for some to dance with, I would flash my best inviting smile. I noticed multiple men make eye contact with me, look at their phones, and put them away as soon as they passed me. Maybe I’m paranoid, but after awhile it starts to look like an excuse to look busy. Especially when they ask a woman two tables down to dance.
Or, maybe my eager, excited, face reminds people to check for notifications.
Of course, a few of the leads at this dance were also very willing to dance with me. Some of them were even able to look past my lack of training and my body type, and have a good time. These leads introduced me to improvisation and having fun with musicality.
I know I don’t look like a “dancer,” but how many role models have to come out of the woodwork before people start realizing that every body type can dance. Just because I am an island in a sea of palm trees, doesn’t mean I am unable to sway with the wind.
Tonight I will strap my dance shoes back on, and step on the dance floor. I with bath in the camaraderie and mutual support of my friends. The moving meditation of dance will clear my head of the negativity, and of society’s bullshit standards. When I leave the floor, exhausted, sweaty, and out of breath I will be home.