What’s more fun than dancing? Not much we reckon. Social dance should be about inclusion, not exclusion, and we saw just that at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Sunday 5 March 2017.
People want to dance, it’s primal
The history of social dance wasn’t always about inclusion. There were some dances specifically arranged to put people in their place, literally. A dance of the 1600s called the branle, had people arranged per their social standing. The most highly-regarded couples dancing first.
Nothing like that exists now, because today, dancing is about including people. At the NGA, we saw The Social Dance of Versailles. Led by Dr John Gardiner-Garden, he and the members of Earthly Delights gave a demonstration of the types of social dances that were performed in a typical French courtly ball of the 17th century.
It wasn’t long before audience members were asked to come up on stage and dance with the Earthly Delights group.
People want to be included in dance
If you’ve ever been to a dance club, you will see the eagerness of people wanting to get on the dance floor and connect with others. No sooner had Gardiner-Garden asked the audience and he had more people wanting to be involved than he could handle. It didn’t matter if they had little idea how the dances were performed, they just wanted to be included.
There were mistakes, confusion, and a lot of follow the leader, but everyone had a great time. People of all ages got involved. For them, it was something new and different, and they just had to try it out.
Social Dance: Inclusion Not Exclusion
As can be seen from the pictures here, involving people in activities not only makes them happy but better connected. The audience at the NGA got a great kick out of watching them swing about. We bet most people wanted to be on stage kicking their heels up.
This free event was superbly organsied by the NGA, and we’re guessing it made people want to rush into the Versailles Treasures from the Palace exhibition.