Dancers Are Not Deaf (Yet)

en in dance • 4 min read

I wanted to write this post for a very long time. And by a long time, I mean BC, or before corona. But before I got to it, the global pandemic happened, and it was not a hot topic anymore. I had plenty of time but no reason to write it up. Until we got lovely summer and everyone forgot about the presence of a nasty virus. It took me some time, but I also went dancing a bit, and it was even more hot topic for me than before, and I still had time for writing!

Unfortunately, I did not finish my post. I wrote the first draft, and my wife told me that it was too harsh. I accepted the feedback and put it aside so that I could sleep on it. You guess it right: when I woke up, we all were in some kind of lockdown again. Many times even more strict one than the first one, and I had no reason to continue on the draft. Who would have guessed it would take another year to get back to it!

Anyway, after another year of no dance, Lenka and I attended the first larger salsa event in the past two years. It’s really delightful to see salsa friends and be on the dance floor again. Yet, there are some things I didn’t miss at all. And Lenka even more, because she told me right after the first night: no changes, publish it!

We don’t like loud parties. I have two main reasons for that. One is the need to shout at people when chatting when the music is too loud. That means voice issues day, or even days, after the party, depending on the ratio of dancing and socializing. Lenka talked to people on Friday a lot (she was curious about what happened in those past two years), and therefore couldn’t speak the next few days much. On the other hand, on Friday, I wanted to dance mostly, so I was fine on Saturday, talked much more later during the weekend, and ended up with a lousy voice till Tuesday.

The second reason is that loudness causes uncomfortable ringing in the ears. It’s a very annoying feeling. Sometimes even unpleasant. Mostly when I want to sleep, but I still hear it, and it doesn’t want me to fall asleep.

As I said, I wanted to write this post a long time ago. That means I noticed this issue already back then, even though I was kind of used to that. But thanks to unfortunate coronavirus and lockdowns, I had time to adjust to a natural loudness. Going to the party after months of being home was a bit of pain. That’s why my original draft was too harsh on DJs. Yet I didn’t know it could be even worse after a year without a party, or two without a big party.

Sadly, DJs are probably unrepairable broken. Even this pause didn’t help them to have a more natural feel of loud music. I understand it must be hard to be a DJ working so many nights at such noisy places. I do not envy that at all. But, please, do not think you need to turn up the volume. You don’t. We are not deaf, and we can hear it just fine.

Some sensitive dancers have to wear earplugs. I think that once the first person opens earplugs, it’s way too loud. This shouldn’t be the norm at all. Moreover, with earplugs, we cannot talk. And without talking, there is no social. And without social, what’s the reason to go out to salsa socials?

Sometimes I hear that the party is missing its vibe without loud music. I don’t think that. I guess disco clubs are about loud music. You don’t want to talk there; people go to a disco party to get wasted. But salsa party is different. I go to a salsa party to have fun on the dance floor and chat with friends.

During the last salsa marathon in Prague, I mostly danced and smiled only. Sometimes I didn’t even know to what I was smiling to. I didn’t hear it, and I find it awkward to ask to repeat something several times every single time. It’s sad. I would be much more curious about the stories of my friends.

I organized (yeah… maybe I will get back to it one day, but I don’t want to deal with dynamic covid restrictions) a salsa brunch, where I talked more than anywhere else. I could hear others, and it had no harm to the dance floor—people were dancing and having fun.

There is genuinely no need to turn the volume up.

Dancers are not deaf. Not yet.

DJs, please, keep it that way. Be respectful.

And dancers, please don’t hesitate to ask DJs to be reasonable when you cannot even hear yourself. It’s not OK.

You may also like

en Relationships and Salsa, August 5, 2018
en Why Do You Dance?, June 18, 2017
en What’s Wrong With Salsa Festivals, May 2, 2018
en Afternoon Dancing, September 18, 2018
en Dancers, Don’t Be Sorry, February 18, 2018

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