I really and truly believe that the first step toward creating a safer space in our community is making sure everyone knows that it’s okay to say no to a dance they don’t want.
When I started dancing, my local scene had some bullshit rules about how you had to say yes whenever someone asked you to dance. No matter what. If you were about to pee on yourself and you absolutely had to say no, you had to explain that before you could go to the bathroom and then you had to come back immediately and find that person for a dance. Seriously. Anyone who said no was branded as a snob and people wouldn’t ask them to dance again and they would find a partner if that person approached them, so they couldn’t be asked.
This meant that I endured a LOT of really uncomfortable situations because I didn’t think I was allowed to say no. I wanted to make friends and I wanted to be cool and I wanted to dance, so I said yes. All the time. These are just a few of the really uncomfortable dances that I wish I had said no to:
I had watched this particular lead fling some other follows around the floor so I had just avoided his area because I didn’t want to dance with him, but after I finished a dance with someone else we happened to be in the same area of the floor and he asked me to dance. I said yes because I felt like I had to and he led one really harsh turn where he tried to get me to jump and it didn’t work. I felt my shoulder pop and then start throbbing. Thankfully it was almost the end of the dance, so it didn’t last much longer. But it hurt so much that I didn’t get to dance again at all that night and I had to take it easy the rest of the weekend.
I was in a class and there was one man in particular that I really didn’t want to dance with. He honestly just made me uncomfortable and he didn’t look like fun to dance with. Class rotation lined me up with him about half-way through, so we danced because it had never even occurred to me that I could tell someone no in class, even though I felt like it should be okay on the social floor. We were doing a turn and his hand slipped and he punched me straight in the glasses and knocked them off. (Accidents happen right?) So my nose is bleeding and my glasses are on the floor and I’m trying to let go of his hand now that he has grabbed my hand again to keep dancing but he is clenching and telling me that we need to practice the move. I yank my hand out, find my glasses, and leave the room crying. I miss the rest of the class and as I’m walking away, I hear him trying to find another partner. No apology, nothing.
We had a guy in our local scene who made a lot of people uncomfortable. Most people refused to look at him when they danced with him, they made it pretty clear with their body language that they weren’t having a good time, or they would magically already have a partner every time he approached. I got caught off guard once and he asked me on a slower song. I couldn’t snag another partner in time, so I said yes. He kept trying to make everything sexy and either didn’t pick up that I was uncomfortable or didn’t care, and he pulled me into Blues-level closed position with a raging boner, which he pressed into my body while he held me so tight that it was difficult to break free. That was the first dance I ever walked away from mid-song, and people in my scene told me I was rude and tried to get me to apologize to him. That was when I started speaking up about being able to say no to a dance and I said no to him every time he asked me after that.
Sometimes I say no to a dance because I’m hot or tired or thirsty but sometimes I say no because I do not want to dance with the person asking. I shouldn’t have to explain myself either way. When our community starts teaching people that it’s okay to say no and supporting them when they do, we make the space safer for everyone because we make it possible for them to protect themselves, even when an organizer won’t.
I sure do!! Now, we’re a pretty tiny ship (only 66 works on AO3, wow!) so honestly if you wanted to set your mind to it you could just go read the whole relationship tag (…like I did. I’ve also read all the bittyparse).
But anyway, I can rec some of my favorite works from the ship!
Rentboy AU! <3 So fun fact, depending on the order in which you read these two fics, you either get adorableness + backstory (impulse -> catalyst) OR angst -> happy ending (vice versa). I personally recommend the second bc I love suffering :^) Also Allie’s writing is awesome read everything she’s written ever bye
Lovely series! Parts 1 & 3 tell the same story through different POVs, and it’s so cool to read both of them :D Part 2 has a bunch of coming-out stories that are often hilarious and touching all at once.
Camp counselor AU that owns my heart to this day. Bitty’s characterization is really interesting and well-done! His rivalry with Kent is perfect and I love everything about it bc I am bittyparse trash okay.
[Lol PS- @pbj-epifest is a thing that will come bearing (hopefully) many new works in December!! Sign-ups are still open if anyone is interested in joining as a writer/artist/both!]
Why did you specifically freak out over the 3x14 dance scene ?
Oh I just thought it was really intense, haha. You know, Stefan and Elena didn’t have many good moments in the past few episodes, Wickery Bridge was either 3x11 or 3x12 then she told him she kissed Damon, things are leaning one way, she’s spending more time with one brother than bam! she collides into him at the dance, all the feelings are rushing back, he makes her smile, they have some serious eye sex, he trusts her to make her own decisions, and it’s like STELENA. I find it one of the most STELENA scenes.
did johnny and keira ever had an affair? would you like if they dated?
Jesus no. There hasn’t ever even been any rumours of that lmao. Actually, in the COTBP commentary he said how uncomfortable and pervy he felt during their island dancing/drinking/touching scene because she was so young! I forget what his exact words were but it was hilarious hearing how uncomfortable he was lollllll. And no, I wouldn’t really like it TBH. Jack and Lizzie are one thing; Johnny and Keira individually and as themselves just don’t really seem like they’d be good together, idk. Also I just don’t even want to THINK about him dating anyone right now, that could be it as well lol boy needs to chill out and not get swept away into anything!
Harry+Hermione | I once was blind but now I see. [Dance Scene] by KiwiiChann
•J.K.Rowling : When they were in the tent together you thought something was gonna happen as you read the novel. •Steve Kloves : Yeah, I did when I read the book. •JK : And I as I was writing it, felt a real pull between them. •SK : I remember you saying that. That really in a sense gave me the license to do the scene because I knew that emotionally it was true then. •JK : Yeah! Completely true to the character!
•Emma Watson : You know for a very very long time, it’s just the two of you and.. you get along very well and, there’s always kind of that awkward stage in a friendship where you wonder wether it could be more, and this is kind of that scene for Harry and Hermione.
•Daniel Radcliffe : Me and Hermione just sort of… start dancing to this song. •Q : Together? •DR : It’s a slow song- together.
•David Yates : You can almost feel when they’re alone together that it could slip into something that was more than just friendship.
•Emma Watson : It’s just not what you do in the middle of the forest, in the middle of a tent, in the middle of the night.
•J.K. Rowling : Why wouldn’t it happen? You’re alone. You might die any day, and why wouldn’t you look for comfort? I think it’s more likely than not. It’s just on the edge of ‘where is this going to topple over into?’
•Emma Watson : They very easily could have kissed that night, because they were so miserable, and they kind of wanted, some kind of intimicy to cheer them up.
•David Yates : In the middle of that dancing, they get very close, and it starts to get complicated. And that tension, I think, is really interesting.
•J.K. Rowling : In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit, and I’ll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn’t told [Steven] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point. And actually I liked that scene in the film, because it was articulating something I hadn’t said but I had felt. I really liked it and I thought that it was right. I think you do feel the ghost of what could have been in that scene. •Emma Watson : I remember really loving shooting those scenes that don’t have any dialogue, where you are just kind of trying to express a moment in time and a feeling without saying anything. It was just Dan and I spontaneously sort of trying to convey an idea and it was really fun. •JK : And you got it perfectly, you got perfectly the sort of mixture of awkwardness and genuine emotion, because it teeters on the edge of “What are we doing? Oh come on let’s do it anyway,” which I thought was just right for that time. •EW : I think it was just the sense that in the moment they needed to be together and be kids and raise each others morale. •JK : That is just it, you are so right. All this says something very powerful about the character of Hermione as well. Hermione was the one that stuck with Harry all the way through that last installment, that very last part of the adventure. Hermione’s always there for Harry. I remember you sent me a note after you read Hallows and before you starting shooting, and said something about that, because it was Hermione’s journey as much as Harry’s at the end.