We had a great connection and I felt safe in his arms as we danced and laughed and worked up a great flow. The dance lasted for almost 1,5 hours and I felt so alive and happy afterwards. The next day we had a similar dance for one hour, playing around, having fun. He challenged me but never made me feel bad when making small mistakes, on the contrary, we laughed together and just expressed ourselves to the music. And the next day the question comes. Or rather an expressed will: I want you. I say I wanna stay just friends. And after that we don’t dance anymore.
This is sadly enough the reality many times in this world, and something I reckon was extra clear in Rovinj this year. There was an unusual strong sexual atmosphere over the whole place, and don’t get me wrong, I understand sex is part of it and not a bad thing – go and explore and have fun, but when it is the thing determining who you are dancing with, it’s not nice.
This is also something used in the hunt for a dance partner I’ve noticed. I’ve received offers to become someone’s dance partner or teach with a person, with a quite explicit expectation that I sleep with them. Because “the connection is so much better once we’ve had sex”. Might be, or might not. I don’t know. But I do know it’s a strong expression of an old-fashioned notion that men possess women’s bodies. By all means, sleep with your partner if you want, but don’t use it as a requirement when entering a partnership or choosing whom to assist your class. If it happens it should happen “organically”, naturally, unconditionally, but to put it into words as a very clear expectation is not nice – and certainly not 2017. And just to be clear, the ones I have ever taught with and assisted never asked that, but are respectful people and friends of mine.
I want to emphasise that this problem is not necessarily representative for the whole community, and for all festivals, but in Rovinj I got the feeling that many guys had one thing on their mind, and once again, it’s not the sex itself that’s the problem, it’s when it’s used against you as a dancer. It’s when you are not chosen because of the signals you send out are pretty clear “you can dance with me but don’t expect more”. And now, all men who are thinking well the girls hunt for sex too, yes I do understand that. But I rarely hear of girls stop dancing with guys because they know he’s not up for sex.
So the guy who stopped dancing with me also stopped talking to me after my no thank you, which made me feel sad, to be honest. Not only because we were already friends and used to talk but also that we clearly had a good connection and we had fun on the dance floor, and suddenly that was just gone. Maybe it will change next time we meet in another context that is not Rovinj, who knows.
However the week in Rovinj was also lovely in many ways, the lazy days at Mulini beach, the socials provided by our Swedish DJ Paluxe, my lovely friend and partner in crime Sofia by my side. And I can’t emphasise enough that there are so many gentlemen and good people out there. I had wonderful dances with for example Albir, Papelini, George and Micha. And one of the best things this festival had nothing to do with dancing, but writing. Multiple people from different countries said they read my blog and appreciate what I do. That meant a lot to me!
Much much love to you all <3
PS here’s a FB live session where Sofia and I share our feelings about this festival after the last party (mostly in Swedish but some parts in English)