18 June 2015

I Won't Dance (But Still Ask Me)

I LOVE to dance.  Always did.  When I was in my early teens I used to have dancing lessons, learning the Latin American dances of the cha-cha and the tango and the classics like the waltz and foxtrot. I got up to my second Gold Bar before I stopped.  Looking back, I cannot actually pinpoint why or when I decided to end my lessons.


I started to go out to clubs when I was 16 and loved dancing with my friends.  We would stay out way into the small hours, dancing until our feet hurt.   We all had an active social life at the weekends for many years, but gradually, my participation on the dance floor lessened.  Again, I cannot pinpoint the exact time that I stopped, around my mid twenties I think, but this time I do know why; I got scared.  

The stares, the laughs; the comments, the ridicule at the fat girl dancing.  It did not happen all the time but regularly enough that on each night out I started to wait for it to happen.  

The fear of other people's ridicule grew greater than my love to dance.  

I stopped dancing and instead, I was the one stood on the sidelines, watching my friends happily dancing away.  Occasionally, fueled by enough alcohol and the combination of a brilliant song, I would join them; only for the fear to return and I would be back to standing at the side.

I do not want to be this way.  I have improved every aspect of my life through my growing confidence; yet my ability to go on to a dance floor still eludes me.  

The "dancing man" was recently in the headlines.  Ridiculed on Reddit for daring to dance whilst being fat (typical for the cretins on Reddit) his story went viral and only a couple of weeks ago he was thrown a party with thousands of people in attendance and with Moby as the DJ.    He has since been on numerous TV shows and appeared at a LA Dodgers game.

Would this happen to a woman?  It is perhaps a controversial question but somehow, I doubt it.  I have been fat shamed by many a fat man who does not seem to see the irony in this.  For some reason, it is more "wrong" for a woman to be fat than a man, in society's view in any case.

That said, the experiences of the dancing man warmed my heart.  It gave me courage that not all people in this world are horrible people,  That, with my new found confidence, it may be safe to once again go back onto the dance floor.

That is my mission to myself this summer.  Dance.  Without a care of who is watching. 







5 comments:

  1. Your statement, "the fear of other people's ridicule grew greater than my love to dance," really resounded with me. I think many plus-size women, including myself, could replace the word "dance" with most any verb and that statement can become so personal to many. Sing, swim, exercise, eat, walk down the street, etc. Over the years, I've found myself standing on the sidelines in so many situations just because I was too damn afraid of the possible ridicule, because like you said, you were just waiting for it to happen. Even if you're not actually being ridiculed by anyone, you still missed out on the pure joy of that activity, simply because you're on edge just waiting for someone to point out that you don't belong. I've missed out on so much joy because of that anticipated fear over the course of my life. I was seen as the "Debbie Downer" of the group, simply because I was just scared and anxious. But my friends couldn't understand what I was feeling, no matter how I tried to explain it. They didn't experience it, so they couldn't get it. And I get angry when I think about it how much I've missed out on life because of that fear. But, when you're fat, it feels like the world doesn't think you deserve to be "normal" and you don't deserve to just participate in life. And that gets ingrained into your subconscious and it does effect you. I'm in my 40's now, and life is going by fast. I'm trying to get over worrying about what others think. I'm getting better, but it's a work in progress. I'm trying to say "yes" to more things, trying not to worry about what others think, because quite frankly, it doesn't matter. Yes, the mean comments hurt. You just have to start trying to remember that their opinions don't define you. Everyone on this planet deserves to exist and to do the things they love. Some days, the anticipated fear does still stop me...other days, it doesn't. I hope to be at the point one day in my life when it's like that 100% of the time. Not sure it ever will be. But, I hope so, because I deserve to exist in this world, and I deserve to just be me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really love his post. I think sometimes we stop doing the things we love just because other people don't approve which is ridiculous! I love dancing and frequently make a complete tit of myself on the dance floor, I spent my Dads wedding dancing till my feet bled last year and felt exhilarated and not ashamed for one moment!

    I do completely agree with the comment about it seeming to be more acceptable for a man to be fat than a woman ... so many men point out the flaws in women that are slimmer than them. It's like being male gives them a superiority which really gets on my nerves!

    C xx
    http://curvygirlthin.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post Vicky. I agree that if it was a fat woman it would've been passed around the internet in an endless feedback loop of misogynistic bullshit.

    I have had people point and laugh at me when I was dancing, most memorably on my birthday night out last year. Some people are just scum. Like the song says 'I hope you dance.'

    ReplyDelete
  4. it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity.. Jaxson Riggs I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for commenting. I may not reply to them all but I read every one and it is very much appreciated.