Home Blues Drinking and dancing? Good or bad?

Drinking and dancing? Good or bad?

This is an blurb about drinking in public, so the usual disclaimers apply:  no driving, moderation, know your limits, don’t mix with medicine, etc. 

A wise man once said that life is always better after slightly less than two drinks.  Ok, it was actually the leader of the Inibriatti (from That Mitchell and Webb Look), but the point still applies.  A drink or so can ease nerves and act as social lubricant.  More than two drinks and, boom, apocalypse, again, according to the Inibriatti.

The Good (ah, there’s that swaying feeling)

Some dancers dive right into the social dance floor with remarkable ease; take to it like fish to vodka, I mean water.  Others, me included, not so much.  For the later set, it may take a while to relax, find the groove, and let out the good dancer in them.  Having a drink beforehand can go a long way towards nudging hoofers towards their comfort zone.  Blues, more so than most other dances, needs that relaxed look and feel to generate blues aesthetic and fluidity of movement.  It is also the dance for which I have the most trouble relaxing, especially in a new, unfamiliar setting.  So a drink or so help me dance the way I would within my comfort zone.

The Bad (that one guy every scene has)

Starting with the obvious, drinking can lead to too much comfort.  Being such an intimate dance, blues really relies on understanding of boundaries, which alcohol is great at blurring.  The close embrace topic also leads to a heightened importance of personal grooming.  Use plenty of breath mints unless you like to exhale dragon fumes at your partner.  Also consider more frequent shirt changes while drinking.

While drinking, aerials and complex drops might not be the best idea.  Alcohol does impair coordination, and while it will not really impact dancing while in close, all it takes is one misplaced drop to ruin someone’s night.  Similarly, floorcraft could also become suspect.  When drinking, it’s important to pay special attention to density of dancers in the room, and, perhaps, minimize long ballrooming moves.

The Ugly (i.e. Conclusion)

The same rule of thumb applies as to any social drink.  If you get more chill and friendly after drinking, go ahead and have a shot.  If you get handsy, morose or belligerent, skip it.

Pavel is currently residing in San Diego, where is he pretends to Lindy Hop and dance Blues/Fusion. His current mission is to promote the love of Blues throughout the region, and assist in growing the blues scene. When he’s not dancing, he’s busy teaching beginner/intermediate lindy, and DJ at local dance events.


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