The dance floor is a dangerous place. You have to watch out for untrained but enthusiastic fly-by-nighters. Professionals can get thrown off their game by the unorthodox moves of a keen-bean.
I figure there must be so many stories out there of dance floor injuries.
And, well, here’s mine…
I’ve been known to cut a rug from time to time, sure. And not often in shapes you would recognise. I am a Happy Feet kind of guy when the mood strikes (and the red wine used to strike). I am never going to win any awards, put it that way. Well, that was until that one time at a wedding, where I deserved the award Dance Floor Goon. You remember Dancing With The Stars? Well, one minute I was dancing, next minute I was seeing stars…and not the two-bit Kiwi TV kind.
Having played in bands in pubs and at private functions I have seen a few spills on the dance floor; been witness to some rather nasty injuries – sometimes involving people spilling into the band’s equipment (never a good thing). But mostly, as a player, you are concerned for people’s safety in these environments. I also never wear shoes when I play – and have done some rather stupid things (like carrying my snare drum into the middle of the room to play songs) – so I have had more than my fair share of broken-glass splinters.
But there was one time, a decade or so ago, that really took the cake; nearly took (and bowled over) the wedding cake, in fact.
We were celebrating a good friend’s nuptials and after dinner and speeches the drinking continued and the band started up. I was rather low-key on the dance floor that night. I had other duties at one point, so was taking it fairly easy. But then I started to gather a bit of steam. A bit of momentum…maybe it’s not that wise that someone of my stature gathers momentum in an actual, physical sense…but don’t worry, this was no murder on the dance floor; more a case of near-suicide if anything.
I had a move (actually, the only one; just the one move) where I did a full body slide, Penguin-styles. It’s…how do I describe it? Well, it’s awesome! Pretty, pretty, pretty awesome.
But then, it was not awesome.
That damn non-slip floor did me no favours. And here I was thinking that Gloria Estefan had tipped me off so well. But no, it wasn’t the elusive rhythm that was going to get me (though, in truth, rhythm was pretty elusive that night). It was me – just myself and that stupid non-slip floor.
I tried to slide –and really it was more of a flop and a crash than any kind of slide. I face-planted; my glasses smashed – but not before they had smashed into my face, cutting my eyebrow, gushing blood and resulting in a shiner that the nurse at the A&E remarked was “one of the better ones” she had seen. Of course meaning one of the worst.
At the hospital my wife, playing the dutiful role, asked them for possible pain relief and the nurse said, “well, I think you’ll be okay. You have been drinking…” I am not sure what could have possibly given that away? It was most likely me walking in after midnight in a shirt and tie with blood everywhere and writing on an ACC form, Location Where Injury Occurred:dance floor. It could also have been the fact that I had to take the form off my wife and fill it in myself while holding a towel to my head and writing in my indecipherable scrawl because my better half’s attempts had resulted in her spending three minutes spelling out our surname and asking, “how many strokes in an ‘E’?”
I grabbed the form to make a better fist of it – the double “E” in Sweetman that my wife had meticulously crafted resembled two combs.
But there was only one idiot in that A&E waiting room. If you could see me now, I’d be saying, “what’s got two thumbs and writes a blog?” And, erm, yeah, then I’d be pointing…
To make me feel better (I think) someone told me just the other day that they had had a rather nasty dance floor injury. He had leaned over to whisper something into a girl’s ear and before she even had the chance to slap him he was caught hook, line, sinker: his nose, her earring.
So they were having that dance – regardless.