Friday, September 26, 2008

Dude, I just wanna dance...

Sorry for the Dane Cook quote... I know it's terribly passe, but it's relevant here.

Last night we went out in the city again. Our goal was to go to this girl bar our fabulous gay boyfriend had told us about. I've been trying to meet women here for a while, but queer women are more invisible here than usual. Just in case it wasn't tricky enough already. Ugh. Anyways, I was really excited... And my roommate had agreed to go with me, albeit grudgingly. We just barely made it on the last Metro (on a sidenote, considering that this city's clubs don't close until at least 6am, the fact that the Metro stops running at 1:30a is kind of bullshit.), and had to get off a few blocks from the gayborhood we were headed to.

After getting rather lost and having some substantial trouble finding the bar, we finally found it. We got to the door, and the bouncer told us it was 8 Euro each. Hmm. My roomie and I contemplated not going (we generally make it a habit to avoid paying covers, since we know we can have a good time without paying just to get in), but eventually concluded that since I'd been looking forward to this for so long, we might as well give it a shot. We could hear music thumping on the inside, but couldn't see how crowded the place was. So I paid for both of us (she didn't have any cash with her) and in we went.

Into a tiny, long and narrow space. There was modern salsa music playing, and the lighting read green, for the most part. It wasn't crowded, but it wasn't empty either. But here's the problem. Everyone was at least 20 years older than us. Now, I've written about my changing perception of age before, so the fact that everyone appeared to be in their mid-40s wasn't categorically a problem. But we felt out of place. Not to mention, there were at least as many men as women. And most of the women were dancing with men. Really dancing, not just standing in a circle while everyone dances by themselves. Aside from a couple of women making out in the corner, you wouldn't have guessed that the club was in the city's famed gay neighborhood, or that this club was a supposedly esteemed "disco de mujeres" (women's club). The roomie and I decided we'd have more fun dancing with gay men (who were, for the most part, our age at the club we were thinking of), so we left. We thought we'd try to see if we could get our money back, since we'd literally spent 5 minutes inside. I thought it was a longshot, but it was worth a try. It turned out the bouncer wouldn't give us our money back. I thought maybe we'd go back inside and get our drinks (I'm still not sure if our entrada included a drink or not), but my roommate ripped up the tickets to be defiant. Or something.

We ended up walking around the city for the next hour and a half. Which would have been OK had it not been something like 40 degrees (F, obviously)... and we were in sleeveless shirts. We eventually met some random guy from Guatemala, who walked with us for about an hour and we finally found an open bar. Our gayboyfriend happened to call the roomie right as we were headed into the bar... and told us that we were two blocks from his apartment. He met us at the bar, and the Guatemalan went to the restroom. Gayboyfriend suggested we ditch the Guatemalan... why I'm not entirely sure, but the bar was really crowded, and we'd been waiting a solid 20 minutes to try to get a drink. Also, it was Gayboyfriend's 27th birthday, so we were bound to do what he wanted. He hailed us a cab and we rode back to the neighborhood we'd been in an hour ago, near where Gayboyfriend works.

And then he got us into a really. damn. swanky. club. There was a line around the block, but Gayboyfriend knows the staff, so we walked in through the VIP line, and didn't have to pay the 15 Euro cover. (See? This is why we don't bother paying cover... we know the right people!) The music was a mixture of Latin songs, including some Puerto Rican tunes that Roomie and Gayboyfriend knew, US club hits, inlcuding Britney Spears (ugh) and finally, techno. The songs would go in cycles, basically, playing four or five songs of each genre. While Roomie and Gayboyfriend danced some serious Salsa to the Latin songs, and we all bounced around to the US club hits, and then the techno came on.

I. Love. Techno. I know Essin' Em often talks about how she doesn't really dance traditionally, and I guess I'm similar in that respect. The only kind of dance I really know how to do well is Swing and Bellydance. (I know, that's a really random combination. Such is my life.) The bellydance, especially, makes it easy to carry over to dancing at clubs, because, well, I can do all sorts of cool hip isolations and stuff, and at least in the States, that's all you really need to do to attract attention. I'm amazed at how many women can't (or choose not to when dancing?) move their hips... Anyway. Techno is what I actually prefer to listen to. I love the layered beats, the trance-y notes, and the way you can't help but move. At least, I can't.

So when the techno (or trance, it was a little of both) came on, I was just ALL ABOUT IT. Usually I don't dance much at clubs, especially when compared with the friends I was out with, who were absolutely showing off their moves, but I took over at that point. I wasn't drunk at all (I'd had ONE cocktail through the course of the entire night), but I danced like I was - meaning I didn't give a damn who saw me. I moved with the music, closed my eyes, my hands traced an invisible ball of light between them. It was a really freeing experience. It felt like I was lifted above everything... almost like I feel when high (not on pot. that's a major downer for me, one of the many reasons I don't smoke), a little detached from everything around me while simultaneously being hyper aware of my body.

And the best part about all of it was that I wasn't intoxicated. It was, if nothing else, an excellent opportunity to realize that I CAN, in fact have fun without any chemical substances. That's a good thing to know. And I think last night helpd me get over a good deal of my self-consciousness at dancing. I'm not going to waste time being a wallflower, if that's how good dancing feels. I like feeling so good - I think it's something I'll strive for more often. Who knew moving could be so intoxicating?


Amalthea said...

:D I love dancing. I hate going dancing alone, though I love to actually dance alone. I go into a zone just like you said. I really like you, and I could almost feel and see this in my head. Thanks for sharing!

Lilly said...

It's weird, I love watching people dancing...but I won't participate. I haven't in years. Since...well....this is embarrassing but Jr High and HS. *blush* the era of MarkyMark, and Deelite and that stuff, lol.
I feel unsexy now when I dance, like I have no rhythm (I do), or I look unsexy (my weight?) or I just don't know what I'm doing.

So I don't. And I watch girls like you, in awe.

Wilhelmina Wang said...

Hey, completely with you on the bellydancing and techno. =) I wish I could dance tecktonik!