Dancefloors: expressing yourself and social pressure

Dancefloors are often described as a place of freedom and somewhere you can let go of all your inhibitions. It sounds like the perfect place and a lot of the time this is true, for many people. However dancefloors can also feel like the complete opposite sometimes, making people feel more self conscious to express themselves and resulting in gaining more inhibitions.

When I go out raving, it’s quite obvious that I’m not dressed like everyone else, I’ve got my water bottles / hydration belt, leggings, goggles, headband and BGR top. I knew that the very first time I wore this outfit that there were going to be negative looks, that some people wouldn’t agree with it and not nice things would probably be said to me… Yes, there were comments. I knew this because I’m not new to this.. I’ve had years of experience and I am able to generally not care if someone thinks what im wearing of the way I dance is wrong for them, I have a mind set just to carry on because that’s what I like doing. However, many people don’t have that mind set and would not want that sort of attention, so they avoid it by not being themselves, instead fitting in as they have been told to, but don’t want to..

One common problem I come across when talking to people on the dancefloor is that they feel like although they want to dance, they can’t because the people around them will look and say that they look stupid or that their dancing isn’t good enough. The first thing I tell them is: “you don’t need to look cool or have ‘good’ moves, just move however you feel like moving, my moves aren’t really professional grade or complex either, if you look around you now, most of the room will generally be casually swaying from side to side and giving a little fist pump here and there, just move however you want to, just give it some energy and you will look amazing, for being you”. This always works and they feel great and I stay with them for a bit to get them into it.

I find a lot of confusion on the dancefloor when one is dancing and having a great time, especially early on at the event. One of the great benefits of the goggles I wear is I can usually look at people without making the eye contact, allowing me to monitor their true reactions that are unfiltered as opposed to when they realise I can see them, a typical example is this: a group of friends walk in, one of them spots a person dancing their ass off and loving life, the person who spotted gets the attention of their friends and points over to get a group opinion before knowing what to think themselves. They all huddle together staring, watching with dull emotion, as if what they are seeing something that is totally weird and unexpected on a dancefloor. Yet individually they are probably wishing to get involved and dance themselves but don’t want to as their friends may think they are weird. I think there is a deeper physcological reason to why many people don’t express themselves as much as they want to, it’s not that they want to look cool, it’s more of being afraid of being looked at in a negative way, and to protect that from happening, they go further and look down on others to keep themselves in check with the people around them.

Something I particularly find interesting is when people get attracted to events that are advertised as being weird and crazy, yet are the first to laugh at and give abuse to someone for being weird and crazy… it’s something that I have not yet been able to understand.

Lastly, what I am going to say is this: whilst dancefloors can be a place to be free and let go of your inhibitions, this requires the cooperation of everyone in attendence. If you want to dance, dance! if you want to look crazy, look crazy! if you don’t, fine and nothing wrong with that, but don’t put down someone because you they seem weird to you, you don’t know what they have been through mentally, or physically… the dancefloor could be their means of escape, and that shouldn’t be taken away from them. Respect that.

For those who are feeling insecure about letting go and expressing yourself but want to. My best advice is to just jump right into it. The first time it’s always hard, it’s as if you about to go parachuting out of a plane, but the moments before you jump, you are stressing over whether you should or shouldn’t. Once you get there, keep on going for as long as you can and forget about what other people are thinking. The nervous feelings go away soon enough, and the feelings you get when you are able to proudly tell yourself they you love life and don’t care what anyone things are the best feelings you can experience.



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4 replies

  1. Agree with you Bradley, just enjoy the music, feel it, let go and be free with it!

  2. Yes we have got to feel good!

    And when i dance i just want to show everyone how.good it feels..I feel.string when insee others watch on because I can move how one and and not care.. hopefully they will see that it looks really good fun and some time join in.
    I actually started my own conscious sober ecstatic dance class with great tunes taking them on a journey and it is so bonding when we all dance together and ride the wave, connecting through all being ‘in the same boat’ wanting to feel great there and just letting it all go.
    Thanks for your inspiration always!
    We love life and we dance to celebrate.

  3. Bradley you couldn’t be more right. Dancefloors can be places of expression for people and many of those people judging want to be dancing.

  4. You are spot on it’s about feeling music does to your soul FEEL the Music and let go.
    People get so hung up if it feel right get up and dance like no one is watching!
    Dancing makes me feel free and i adore to dance!!
    Keep doing what you are doing I hope
    To see you on a dance floor soon or even throw some shapes 💃🏼✌🏽
    Would love you to join us for hatchfest in Cheshire next year we are small heartled festival but growing.
    Keep on inspiring BGR 🙏

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