Danceipedia* offered the following definition of “chair dancing”: a funny looking shuffling/bopping/head shaking/side to side/arms out to the side and wiggle the torso to music type dancing. This type of dance, although unique, can be found in offices throughout the world. Mainly a past time of the “work place weirdo” or “office oddball”, chair dancing has been around for a number of years. The origin of this dance is unknown and can not be traced back, or connected to, any other form of dance genre. It is frowned upon in larger corporate organisations as it is often seen as non-conformative and socially unacceptable behaviour.
I am a self confessed chair dancer. I could almost just be classed as one by default finding that, more often than not, I am the office oddball AND work place weirdo. But in a good way, of course 🙂 I’m the office weirdo you like. You don’t want to at first because I seem a little bit strange, but you warm to me. I grow on you “like a fungus” a friend of mine once said.
Generally, I find there are not as many outwardly strange people in the workplace as there are “normal” people. Me and my fellow chair dancing compadres – because I know you are out there – are frowned upon by the masses because we are “different”, we don’t fit into the “norm” of any other typically corporate mould. We receive nervous laughs because people aren’t sure how to react to the out of the ordinary behaviour we display. Behaviour such as: having fun, laughing, enjoying the day despite the mundane tasks we are set and, of course, chair dancing. We are not meant for offices but somehow we keep ending up there because we need money to fund our outside hobbies: yoga, expensive organic foods like chia seeds and hemp milk, our natural skin care products and essential oils, as well as our ever growing collection of beads. There are not enough wind chime/crystal/incense/sarong/harem pants retailers to house us all.
I don’t really fit into that category to a tee, but it’s fairly close – beads annoy me unless made into a necklace (not by me, if I was that creative I wouldn’t have to work in an office!) and sarongs aren’t my style. I’ve also never tried chia seeds or hemp milk – but I want to. Mainly the yoga, skin products and oils thing was me. I didn’t want to limit the category and mislead people into thinking it was just hippies that were the weird ones in offices. Most hippies don’t even work in offices – they work in those retail shops. Or travel in packs with friends and extended families as “gypsies”. Or they sell pot out of the van they live in that they park outside your house when they stay so they can use your shower. They pay in pot though, so they’re OK. Not for me…for my flat mate. I don’t rub shoulders with such types. Much. I’ve gotten very sidetracked here……
I hope that chair dancing won’t be as abstract in the coming years as corporate workplaces become looser and more “un-PC” in an attempt to up productivity. Bringing dogs to work is OK, having a slide in your office is OK (thanks Google), the swiss ball has become common-place, in-house massage therapists once a month, blow up palm trees and foozball tables to create “a more relaxed space” are OK. Chair dancing is next. I can feel it in my chair dancing bones. Along with your orientation to a new work place, there’ll be a demo on how to chair dance correctly to maximise fun had while sitting at a desk. It’ll be alongside “how not to get RSI” in the workplace health and safety section of orientation It won’t be a “culture” introduced by some cooler office workplace. No, it’ll be mandatory. This is a world I want to live in. I’ll continue the campaign by displaying it at every opportunity and encouraging others to try. Can we chair dance? Yes, we can.
*imaginary website for dance genre background information. Trademarked**
**not actually trademarked