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Dancing

Maybe this is a disease caused by being a writer, or maybe I’m just a tiny bit cracked, but I find myself considering the broader ramifications of a game universe or the back stories of characters I really like in TV shows, etc.

It was Mass Effect 1 & 2 that got me thinking about dancing.  Bear with me on this.  Dancing styles change over time.  The Regency line dances and gavottes became square dancing, and the waltz led to ballroom dancing which begat the foxtrot, the rumba, the tango, etc.  Then line dancing came back to some degree with country/Texas line dancing.  So, it’s entirely possible that the elaborate dances we do at the Regency balls at Worldcons may come back in style.

Let’s say we’re in the Mass Effect-like universe, and the line dance is back in fashion.  You’ve got humans and aliens dating and marrying each other.  Same sex marriage is an issue that was settled long ago.  It’s legal and nobody thinks a thing about it.  (Will I be glad when that’s the norm in the real world but I digress.)

Point being that some of these dances, particularly the gavotte are really complicated with people moving in elaborate patterns, and who’s doing what depends upon the gender of a particular dancer.  For example, “ladies take hands and advance four”  Or cross on a diagonal, etc. etc.  None of this matters if you just have couples dancing.  One partner is leading the other is following, but in the line dances it really does matter.

If you’ve got same sex couples or aliens where it’s hard to distinguish their gender by sight your dances are going to end up in a terrible muddle if you can’t tell who is who or what.  So, I thought, there’s going to have to be a identifying object that you wear to indicate which part you are dancing.  I had thought a knot of ribbons worn on the left shoulder to indicate you are dancing the ladies part.

I brought this up at lunch, and my friend Sage Walker said, “No, it has to be a skirt or a skirt like drape.  A knot of ribbons is too hard to see.”  And I realized she may be right.  You need to see the sweep and swirl of fabric to really have a visual cue as you are frantically doing a hay.  (It’s an elaborate figure 8 movement).

So now you know the kind of nonsense my brain gets up to when I’m washing dishes or cleaning house, or listening to waltzes while I work out at the club.

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