There are many conversations happening in contra dance circles about "bad behavior" at dances. I don't really want to get into a discussion about what is considered good and bad and what the rules should be, but it does occur to me that the source of most unpleasant behavior at dances is rooted in fear. For instance (no judgement here - just an example), people book ahead because they are afraid of being left out, afraid of getting a clumsy or creepy partner, afraid of not enjoying themselves.
I can't help but wonder what would happen if we chose to dance fearlessly? What if we chose to dance without judgement or fear of being judged? What if we danced with the assurance that we can have a great time with any partner, with the confidence that our needs will be met, and, more importantly, danced with the courage that we can help make the dance joyful for everyone we encounter?
Ever have a dance get all snarled up despite everyone's best efforts? I've seen dancers get cranky and even angry. But oh my lord what a difference when someone says, "It doesn't matter, we're excellent dancers and can have fun no matter what!" All of a sudden the room is oxygenated again, the smiles come back, the music sparks and our whole reason for being there settles back into place.
So I write this about dancing, but it's really about everything:
Dance fearlessly, everything is going to be ok.