Dance Floor Psychoanalysts
by Nancy Green
At the milonga in Union Square Park, I danced with a handsome Indian gent. During which he asked if he could give me a few pointers. I said–and always say–yes.
Perhaps I should rethink that.
“Don’t look at the ground. Keep your head turned this way, not that way. Focus on my chest. Wait for my indication to move, do not anticipate. Take a deep breath and for god’s sake, relax.”
Well who could relax at that point?
He then asked if I was an unhappy person. And that he could tell by the way I danced that I was a depressive. Also that I was backleading and therefore must be in a “bossy job.”
I burst out laughing.
Backleading can be likened to back seat driving. When the Follow executes steps contrary to the Lead’s lead. A major faux pas.
I believe I had been misdiagnosed. After all of his scrutiny and adjustments, I had become quite nervous. I did my best to keep up and to not disappoint. This resulted in my anticipating his every step. Incorrectly. How very bossy of me.
I asked if he were a therapist or philosopher by trade. “My dear, we are all philosophers.”
After the therapy session ended I sat down next to a man who was deeply, deeply involved with his phone. He looked up for a moment just as a woman danced by in her follower role, that is to say backwards. Without a partner.
He turned to me and said “Only in New York.” Okay, granted she had a distinct air of…sanatorium about her. But content.
I said that the up side to dancing a partner dance without a partner is that you are never in need of one. He said “The danger of dancing alone is…”and I interrupted and suggested that perhaps one can appear a little nutty? He said no, that wasn’t it at all. That by dancing solo, one can run the risk of ending up lonely and remaining alone.
Another dance floor analyst.
Just then a man came over and asked me to dance. I left my seated neighbor with his phone, alone.
Copyright © 2012 Nancy Green