Dancing is fun and healthy, but older members like me are often looked down on and ridiculed.
Christmas means a temporary escape from the ban on dancing over 45. There will be family gatherings, office meetings, cleaning of the kitchen area and carpeting, maybe a few tents. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be standing up, considering the risks, feeling the power of music, caring about it, and letting the world see us move and rock. We were cautious at first, with self-deprecating eyebrows on our faces, no matter what. But when we’re sure it’s safe, we’re free again and able to go in ways we wouldn’t normally be allowed to.
The age discrimination in the club is undeniable. A recent survey of when people stop dancing shows that we retire at 37. I was 25 when I stood in line at a club in London. I cringed at the thought of the humiliation of standing there in ’58, refusing to think the janitor would check.
“Dad dance” and “mama dance” are mocking terms – implying that we can’t do it right, we shouldn’t try and it’s funny if we can. We can salsa, tap and zumba, we can take private classes and fitness classes, but it’s no longer acceptable to walk into a big, dark room with strangers and feel gutted. boils when listening to the bass.
However, dancing is a very useful activity for adults. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing was the best physical activity to reduce the risk of dementia. Sure, it’s good for the heart and lungs, but it also helps reduce depression, improve balance, and improve self-esteem.
The rhythmic feel of unexpected turns and jumps is unlike any other. You lose yourself in a state of flux. According to Dr. Peter Lovatt, author of Dance Therapy, dance helps free the mind from everyday worries and breaks negative thought cycles.
A brief experience of freestyle dancing at Christmas and at a wedding reminded me that I really am a member of the club. Beneath my hard, supple appearance that contrasts with my age, are hips that move in rhythm. As a middle-aged professional, my parents, my husband, I am a club member, I have always been a club member. I learned how to keep a secret. At 58, only you
I started working in difficult places in East London when I was young. I should have been looking for a romantic date, but I went with the flow, immersed in Chic and Tom Brown, closing my eyes, relaxing and feeling confused. I have found my true self.
I was lucky enough to be a student in the mid-’80s when London club life exploded with gay and multi-racial nights, as depicted in this sinister series. It was a heartwarming sight for those who had fled elsewhere. On election night in 1987, when Margaret Thatcher won a second term, I remember feeling resigned but safe with my people. I turned away from the sad news on the screen and went inside.
In the 1990s, I frequented clubs like Smashing, where Pulp shot a video of their Disco 2000 and artist Leigh Bowery whirled around the dance floor, an animated sculpture that was both scary and fun.
At every stage of my life, I remember feeling so peaceful while moving. Glance, look away, blend in with the earth, but where I am happy.
Then it stopped.
I feel like it’s the wrong party and I’m not at home anymore. There are several refusals – politeness, respect, kindness. I don’t trust my clothes and actions, my contemporaries are ready to go out. All bursts of joy ended.
Have you ever seen a sunbae allowed to move in again? Our bodies go back to a time when this was part of our lives; We move as before. Most of the time I dance like I’m in the basement reliving the mid 80’s. My husband is indecisive like “Golden Fool”. If we can do this, we will be young again. It is a journey through time and space. I know people who know how to dance like this are fun, but I encourage you to start over. It’s good to see the human body resonate with music.
I also want to lift the spirits of the club members: Maybe this Christmas is a new beginning for us? Maybe we can find a way to change the culture and ways of the club, challenge the system, remove doubts and negative opinions. Maybe if we all go, they’ll accept us.
Above all, we must win this battle with confidence and introspection—stop being self-deprecating, mix sarcasm with dance. Time to get back to music.