ARE YOU A DANCE-AHOLIC?
by Loui Tucker
to Dance Writings Menu
appeared originally in the August 1997 issue of The Grapevine, and has appeared in many publications and website since that time. It has been translated into several languages, modified for use with other dance forms, and was even abbreviated and printed on a t-shirt. Enjoy!
Is dancing taking over our life? Have you heard whispers that you're becoming
addicted to dance? Are you afraid that you or a loved one is becoming a dance-aholic?
Take this simple test, or take it on behalf of someone you care about. However
painful it might be, it's time you faced the truth. Count 1 point for every
- You listen to dance music at
times when you cannot possibly dance - i.e. on your car stereo, with headphones
while taking public transportation, on airplanes. Give yourself an additional
point if you have actually taken your hands off the steering wheel while driving
in order to clap your hands or snap your fingers at the spot in the music
where you would clap if you were dancing. And give yourself another point
if this activity has ever caused you to miss a freeway exit.
- More than 50% of the t-shirts
in your wardrobe are dance-related. Give yourself an extra point if any of
them are no longer the right size or are too worn to wear, but you keep them
anyway for sentimental reasons because they remind you of a special dance
- When you are debating whether
or not to buy a new article of clothing, a chief factor in the decision is
whether or not you can wear it dancing.
- You go to non-dance social functions
with other dancers but you cannot carry on a conversation for longer than
15 minutes without talking about dance. (This includes gossiping about people
at dance class!)
- You have to explain at least
once a week that you missed some over-hyped television program, a business
function or social event because it conflicted with dance class.
- Your dinner menu is influenced
by whether or not you're dancing afterwards (nothing too heavy, no garlic
- Even though you are an advanced
dancer, you drop in on beginners classes at least once a month just in case
they are doing a beginner dance you've never learned.
- At least once a month you phone
or e-mail another dancer to find out whether he/she is going to a dance class.
Give yourself another point if, when you find out he/she is not going dancing,
you go anyway.
- You subscribe to more than one
dance-related magazine or newsletter - Rokdim, Let's Dance!, The Grapevine,
Nirkoda, New Zealand Israeli Folk Dancer, etc.
- At least 2 gifts per year (received
or given) are dance-related -- clothing, music, video, money for dance camp,
- The photos on your desk at
work include at least one of you at a dance-related event.
- You plan business trips and
vacations so as to avoid missing your favorite local dance classes, i.e. leaving
the morning after the class and/or arriving the afternoon before the class.
- You get information about dancing
in the area of your vacation or business trip, and pack dance clothing so
you can dance while you're there. Two extra points if you pack extra dance
gear on business trips just in case your returning afternoon flight is delayed
and you have to drive from the airport directly to class instead of going
home to change clothes.
- You passed up a promotion because
one of the job duties involved a meeting that conflicted with your favorite
night of dancing.
- Your company offered you a
promotion in another city, and you checked out the folk dancing scene before
deciding whether or not to accept the position?
- Your car is adorned with (1
point for each)
a. Dance-related personalized license plate.
b. Dance-related license plate holder.
c. Dance-related bumpersticker.
- You use your computer for dance-related
activities. (1 point for each)
a. You have e-mail relationships with other dancers in which you write about
b. You have bookmarked websites that provide news of dance events.
c. You subscribe to a mailing list organized around dance-related topics.
d. You use internet search engines to find dance-related websites.
e. You maintain a dance-related website.
Give yourself and extra point if your e-mail address is dance-related!
- If you have pets, at least
one of them has a dance-related name -- a cat named Debka, a dog named Tango,
a bird named Polka.
- You don't know the last name
of at least five dancers, but refer to them descriptively instead as something
like "David Who Dances with Tammy" or "Hannah The Tall Blond
Who Wears Leggings and Long T-shirts."
- You have, at least once in
the past year, spent more time driving to a dance event than you knew you
would actually spend dancing, i.e. one hour each way commuting to dance less
than two hours.
- It took you two extra semesters
to get through college or graduate school because one of the required courses
was offered on the same night as your favorite night of dancing.
- Was a celebration of a significant
life event -- wedding, house-warming, graduation, etc. -- a folk dance party?
- Have you left instructions
in your Will to have folk dancing at your wake/funeral/memorial service?
15 POINTS OR MORE
Mayday, Mayday. Houston, we have
a serious dance problem. Don't be surprised if your friends organize an intervention
to confront you with your addiction. You can deal with problem directly by checking
your phone book for the local 12-step-hop program in your area.
You're a borderline dance-aholic.
With some effort on your part you can take back control of your life without
outside help. It may be enough to cut out dancing between dance classes.
Not to worry. You're one of those
social dancers. You can take it or leave it. You can walk off the dance floor
anytime. Dance-aholics view you with suspicion.
Are you kidding? Are you taking
this test as a joke? You probably don't know a step-hop from a pivot. Get outta
here -- you wouldn't even watch dance-related television programs!