Photo by Nadim Merrikh on Unsplash
2024 / May

Dancing in the Street

They’ll be laughing and singing, music swinging

The Retune Blog - 17th May 2024

A couple of months ago I went on a silent disco walk around Liverpool. I’ve been to a few silent discos before, a couple in big tops and one upstairs in a pub in Dublin. But this one was different.

For those of you who’ve never been to a silent disco they are really fun. You get given a set of headphones, can sometimes choose different stations with different styles of music and then you just dance and sing along. When you take your headphones off you realise just how funny it is because people are dancing to different songs and singing along at the top of their voices and yet the venue has no music. People might be dancing completely differently, singing totally different things, but there is a shared atmosphere of fun and joy.

So, how was the Liverpool one different? Well, we all got headphones with just one station so we would all be singing and dancing to the same thing (important because the facilitator could talk to us through those headphones too and give us instructions for our dance moves). But even more critically, our venue was the streets of Liverpool City Centre, on a busy Saturday afternoon. We were literally singing and dancing through the crowded shopping streets of Liverpool at peak time and going down places like Matthew Street with people sitting out in the sun enjoying a few drinks and watching (and filming and cheering us).

Perhaps this is what David Bowie and Mick Jagger had in mind when they sang Dancing in the Street:

They'll be laughing and singing, music swinging. Dancing in the street.

I have to say it was amazing fun and totally liberating. The first few minutes you do feel a bit self-conscious. But then you begin to realise it doesn’t matter and you can totally get into it. By the end, the group of us were singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of our voices, lined up as a choir on the steps of Liverpool One shopping centre with people stopping and joining in. I even got to do the air guitar solo.

But more than just being fun, it was a fabulous lesson in embracing life. Returning to the song:

It doesn't matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.

I love this lyric. It’s all about us not having to be worried about what we look like or how good we might be at something. It’s simply about turning up. As I get older, this has become a mantra for me in terms of dealing with my own fears. I don’t need to be or look the part. Just being is enough.

And the great thing about this, is that not only do you learn that the worst things you think could happen rarely do occur, but that you can actually have real fun in pushing yourself.

Call to action: What could you do this week which would challenge your comfort zones and increase your joy?

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Founder and Director of Metanoeo CIC and Metanoeo Coaching. Working with individuals, communities and business to co-create #wellbeing4all through life coaching, resources for living life well and training and supporting life coaches.

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