Dance Like No-One is Watching (Or Standing Close By)

October 22, 2017

Well, it's been a long time between blog posts for Tortylicious*. But nothing says 'Get back in the saddle' like either a) a horse OR b) a good warning sign. This beauty was spotted near my local cafe.  There's not only some hard-core water pipes restoration work going on but it appears they are also hosting some pretty wild swing dance parties on the regular. Nice of them to warn people about the risks though.  Because swing dancing, with moves such as the 'whip' and the 'water skier slide'** can be dangerous, apparently. 



Swing area. Keep clear. Lest you get harmed by an errant 'sugar push' or a 'Texas Tommy'***. 




It got me thinking about the risks associated with dancing, the legal ones, that is, not the social ones. Time for some of the usual cutting edge research, **** which confirmed there aren't too many dancers getting sued, rather the occupiers hosting them. This case is a prime example. The 71 year old plaintiff, Mrs Eileen Britton, was dancing the waltz in 3 inch heels at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, Ireland (as someone who can fall off a pair of thongs, I say RESPECT to you, Madam Plaintiff) when she slipped on the dance floor, falling over and breaking her wrist. Mrs Britton alleged that the hotel had shaken 'dancing powder' on the floor. I honestly thought 'dancing powder' would be something you might shake up your nose, if you know what I mean, rather than on the floor but it turns out it's a real thing. ("Give your floors that smooth, slippery dancing effect. Just sprinkle and dance!") 


Mrs Britton claimed that the powder had been spread all over the floor and that was why her feet 'went out from under her' but the judge found that 'significantly, no powder had been seen by herself, no powder found on the floor and no powder found on her clothes.' Not much room for a compromise position there. And not content to leave it at that, the judge decided to send the plaintiff off with one last swipe, telling the plaintiff that dancing at 'her age' of 71 was a hazardous activity in itself. Ouch. That's pretty judge-y, (even for a judge. And judging is, you know, their actual job). 


So if you're in the mood for dancing, what safety tips can we glean from all of the above? Other than stay away from swing dancing, white powder on dance floors and quite possibly ageist judges, the major takeaway is to make sure your footwear is on point (except for ballet, obviously, when your footwear should be on pointe).


Oh yes, I did. 


* If only I was in the Northern Hemisphere and could pretend it was a summer hiatus.  

** Honestly, it's like the swing dance community has never even read Rootes v Shelton 116 CLR 383. That's just asking for trouble. 

*** Seriously, swing dancing. I'm beginning to think that dance moves with names like that mean you don't even WANT to be taken seriously. 

**** No. Thank YOU, Google

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