The beat moves fluidly and extends through her core to her chest to her shoulders and out through her hands. Each movement seemingly a natural part of the hard pumping music being played by the DJ. Modern dance done to Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein. She doesn’t care about anyone around her – just the music and the movement. She is transported to another world. More and more people join the dance floor, all with their own unique styles of dance. The colours of bruises (as my goth friend put it) – reds, purples and blues – plaids and lots of black fill the dark space. I have never seen anything like this and it is mesmerizing and absolutely beautiful.
I am in love with goth dancing. I want to do more of it. The fluidity. The beats. The beauty of it. And so accepting of everyone. No one trying to pick you up. You can just dance. Just feel the music. There’s a lot of crossover from the rave scene.
Last night a friend of a friend (who is now my friend) took me to the Velvet Underground for their dark retro, synthpop, electronica, industrial, goth night. I made such an effort to dress in black and wear black make-up. I didn’t want to stand out too much. I was a little nervous. When I arrived she was in a purple t-shirt and black shorts, with her blond hair in a ponytail. She says she dresses to dance. I was slightly embarrassed I’d gone to so much trouble to “fit in”. I didn’t need to try so hard. It’s all about acceptance, she says. And it’s all about the dancing. “There’s a misconception about goths, that they are dangerous. But it’s actually one of the safer club nights to go to in Toronto. No one is stabbed or shot at a goth night.” She goes on to tell me that goths tend to be outcasts from high school, so you never have to feel like you’re with the “cool” kids who will make fun of you. I feel so much more comfortable here than at the nightclubs where the girls are expected to wear almost nothing, step-touch to the music and look cute, and the guys try to grind on you.
What I love about this month is how much I am surprised every day. My preconceived notions and stereotypes are challenged. People are afraid of what they don’t understand or that isn’t what they think is “normal” or safe. But really it’s all about being able to get over that and see the true beauty beneath.