Dance Dating: Method #4 of Meeting Men in Melbourne

Since moving to the city a few months ago I have done lots of interesting things, been interesting places and made interesting friends. For a while this method was unsuccessful in introducing me to many interesting suitors.

In the first few weeks I met balding journalists and sci-fi nerds at a writers group, sat next to drunk broad-shouldered men at a burlesque show and met a lot of sweaty middle aged women at Latino Jam. I probably danced with some free spirited hipster men at No Lights No Lycra, but it was too dark to see and I was in the zone anyway. I hung out in public libraries and strolled in parks. I joined beach volleyball and bushwalking groups, newbies in Melbourne networking, ‘Live Your Legend’ motivational groups and lunchtime meditation.

These are things I like to do anyway, and I really am having a very nice time doing them. I’m exploring my new city, having a holiday. I’m not purely doing these things to meet men, but….

In the back of my mind is a small voice, who generally pipes up gently when I’m getting dressed, that says “Maybe today’s the day.” When I’m dressed and where I need to be, I still do a little scan of the room for someone to catch my eye. When no one does, I’m not disappointed. I get on with writing, beach volleyballing, meditating.

There’s been one exception, one time I just wanted to leave. Dance Dating in Fitzroy. The premise seemed promising: dinner with a bunch of singles then a dance class, then a dance party. Dinner was a tasty and cheap tofu burger, and although there were no suitable suitors everyone was very lovely. However, when we got to the dance studio, I didn’t like the music, I couldn’t hear the teacher’s instructions, I was bored with the basic steps and got partnered with a bald guy. He told me I looked bored.

I looked in the mirror. I had my ‘Fuck Off Face.’ I perfected it on long train and plane journeys in Europe and between the desert and the city in Australia, so I wouldn’t get stuck talking to someone boring for ten hours. I’d rather be alone than in bad company. I’m not afraid of being alone, I like my own company and am my own friend. I still prefer solitude than shitty company, but I’m going to try and be less of a bitch about it in 2014. Live with a bit more grace.

When the bald guy selected another partner, I had to wait around for a male dance partner to become available and ask me to dance. Just when I was starting to feel like baby had been put in the corner, the dance teacher came over. “Come on,” he said, “Dance with me. I want to see you smile at least once tonight.” I cringed at my own transparency. He was a fantastic dancer, and I did smile, but my wing-woman (who I’d met at my writers group) and I left soon afterwards. Sitting around waiting to be asked to dance? Then passively be ‘lead’ around by your partner, who is probably twenty years older than you? Bugger that.

My wing-woman and I debriefed in a bar around the corner, which was chockablock full of babin’ hipsters. Now, I’m not a huge drinker, I’ve never been picked up or picked up in a bar, so I’m still learning how this game works. Do you just approach a group of guys and talk to them? Do you wait to be approached? Do you grind up against them on the dance floor? Do you just get so drunk you stumble into each others arms? I’m so out of the game. This became even more blindingly apparent a week later when I went to my first rooftop bar and nearly made out with a millionaire…

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