Do you want to know what I did this week? Well…a while ago I had an idea that it would really good, right, if..instead of expensive gyms where there’s shouting and people seem to judge you – that there could be a dark place that played pop music quite loud. In that dark place, you could dance for half an hour and get your cardiovascular something or other sorted out by doing that.
In a local community page on Facebook I outlined the idea and I was deluged with comments and messages of support and hundreds of likes. Out there, on the streets, the mother of one of my kids friends also took me to one side and really encouraged me to set it up. So I did – last week.
A second Facebook post, publicising the forthcoming sessions got a similar frantic and positive reaction from the community.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I set up a loud speaker in a community hall and blasted pop music directly from Spotify playlists I constructed from 6am to 7am. A gold coin donation to NZ Kids charidee that my wife works for was the only requirement. It’s midwinter so everything is dark at that time.
On the Sunday night, I had a fitful sleep. What if no one likes the music? What if it isn’t loud enough? What if the hall is too small or someone hurts themselves? Thrash. Toss. Turn.
You can probably guess what happened next.
On Monday, 4 people came. On Wednesday, 2 people.
Between Wednesday and Friday the 2 people who came on Wednedsay really went to town online, publicising how great they felt afterwards, what a good cause the charity is and getting commitments from friends and acquaintances to come along. The Monday people also got active, publicising the initiative.
On Friday, the same 2 people as Wednesday came.
Now, this whole thing cost me buttons in terms of money. I got a licence to play music (50 dollars) and rented the hall (20 dollars for all the sessions) and bought some glow sticks (10 dollars). At the very least, I got three hours of dancing to pop music and it’s got me exercising again.
Thing is – I really enjoy the dancing-as-exercise thing. Compiling a playlist and dancing to it while it blares out of speakers in the dark is quite a thrill. I know it sounds insular but I don’t really have a need to make new friends doing this. If the hall only costs 20 dollars a week (ten quid in your money) why wouldn’t I just carry on doing it – simply as my own exercise “regime”? Much cheaper and 10 times more enjoyable than being barked at by an ex-squaddie or being given dead-eyed life/dieting advice by a six-stone slip of a thing who has never even heard of Sparks, let alone Racey.
To allow for the audience, the music was all mainstream pop – much of which I genuinely like myself, so that was good. However, it also appeals to me to listen to less accessible music while, er, dance-ercising – Marc Almond, Siouxsie, My Bloody Valentine. Without the pressure of fundraising, publicising, worrying if people might hurt themselves and all that.
My question to you is – would that be a weird thing to do? What do you think?