I was looking at today's dance as a) an opportunity to share my blindfolded dancing experience with friends, b) a chance to see what it's like to be not-a-dancer at such an event and c) learn what works and what doesn't at such a thing.
Overall, I feel like the dance was a success. It was so different from the context of my blindfolded dance at twilight that I actually don't feel like I came close to sharing my experience, interestingly. But in the differences are a lot of really useful tidbits for future dances, and I expect to put this sort of thing together again, since it was very low-effort on my part (other than creating the musical playlist, which was an interesting challenge for me!)
I decided to spot today, in part because I was curious to see what that's like, and in part because I wanted to be in a more analytical space about it than I would have been if I'd been dancing. dancingwolfgrrl gave a quick overview of some of what's involved in spotting beforehand, and some of the other stuff, I picked up while watching her once the dance started.
The most interesting, fascinating and fun piece was, essentially, moving people with my mind. That is, people were dancing around blindfolded, and there were objects and other people in the room, and we were trying to avoid any collisions. So when someone got close to a wall or to another person, dancingwolfgrrl (and later, I or other spotters) would stand between the person and the obstacle and make a wall with her hands or make a shooing motion or a pushing motion, and about 90% of the time, this led the person to move in the indicated direction. This was really way too much fun, and also interesting, and, looking back at twilight, it makes me think that all the times I thought I was getting close to someone, I probably was.
This meant that there was very little interaction between dancers today, which several folks commented that they missed, and it's part of what made today different from the twilight dance, where we did occasionally brush against each other or end up dancing together for a time (I didn't do that, but the rest of my clan did).
I see a place for both forms in future dances. Because of the high intervention spotting today, people were able to make faster, bigger movements than I would have considered making at the other dance. On the other hand, it meant less interaction between dancers and a greater sense of being observed (the sense of being really alone was something I liked at a lot at the dance at twilight.) Since I didn't particularly know about that different, I wouldn't have thought to make it explicit, but I envision being more clear about the level of spotting and what people can expect on that front at future dances, because there are definite plusses to each.
In general, people seemed to like the music with a beat more than the floatier stuff, but there was some suggestion that in more contact-y dancing, the floaty stuff might work well, and certainly, the music with a beat tended to make people move faster. Though, as I think about it, all the music with a beat was faster than the floaty stuff, so maybe I just need to find music with a slower beat.
Folks who came: I'd very much like to hear any other thoughts or observations you might have about what worked/what didn't, things you'd like to see in the future, etc. Was there enough time? Too much? We danced for an hour; would it be useful to dance for 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break and then dance another 45? (This might be a way to have both interventionist and non-interventionist spotting in one event.)
Folks who are interested in future blind dances: Are weekends or weekday evenings preferable? I'm thinking about making this a once-a-month thing for a few months to see how that works.