I found myself at a swanky Hollywood club one night. My commercial agent had decided to throw a party for one reason or another. My commercial agency was actually a modeling agency that had a commercial department. Most of their clients were good looking people, working models who earned a living posing for pictures in designer clothes or no clothes at all. The commercial department was made up mostly of goofy comedic actors. Let’s just say it was pretty easy to tell who the commercial actors were at this gathering.
This was the kind of club that’s filled with uncomfortably modern furniture and the only beer they serve is Heineken. One of those places that have a guest list, velvet ropes and you can only sit down if you buy an overpriced bottle of Vodka. A whole bottle. Every time I tried to sit down, a massive bouncer in black would come by waving a flashlight in my face, motioning for me to get up and leave. He never spoke a word to me. He would just flash his light in some bouncer morse code telling me to move along.
The DJ, which apparently is hipster for guy in skinny jeans with a bad haircut playing the shuffle option on his iTunes, stood in a booth above the bar. The dance floor was filled with beautiful, bouncing women while guys who looked like second cousins of the Kardashians, sporting vests over v-neck t-shirts, five o’clock shadows and fedoras, stood by ready to pelvic thrust onto the dance floor. I stood amongst a cluster of my goofy comedic commercial actor brethren, too nervous to talk with anyone outside our department. It was like a grown up version of a junior high dance, nerds in the corner watching the pretty people move to the music. Suddenly, on the dance floor a space opened up before me and there I saw a sight I had only heard tale of in bad coming of age movies set in the inner city. Two men …dance fighting!
I’m not sure what their sexual preference was, but by relying solely on stereotypes I concluded that the designer jeans these men were wearing were too tight for the most effeminate of straight men and/or European. And by the bedazzled denim jackets they both wore I deduced that these boys were at this club just to dance.
The horrific scene played out almost in slow motion. Each “combatant” took turns dancing for anywhere from ten to thirty seconds, completing elaborate twists, spins and flips to the music. Each move was served in the other fighter’s face, much to the delight of the crowd of dancing models. The first dancer spun and twisted, light glittering off his one diamond earring. He finished with a pelvic thrust directed at his opponent, while lying sprawled upon the dance floor. The other dancer paced back and forth, shaking his hands at his opponent as if to say, “Nah, man. That ain’t cool.”
He leaped over the head of his opponent landing on his hands, pushing himself up from the floor into a handstand, all to the rhythm of the techno house music blasting from DJ Silverlake’s iMac. He pushed himself up and down, up and down and suddenly shifted to his shoulders spinning out of the handstand and finishing in a model’s pose with his left hand under his head, his elbow propping up his body in a leisurely fashion. Even the commercial actors were cheering, awkwardly bouncing out of sync with the music.
Dancer One didn’t waste a beat and danced a two step until he found the right time in the music to jump back into the fight. He went classic 80’s break-dance starting with a robot freeze, a hand glide, two knee-spins, a back flip into a moon walk and ending with a crab walk pelvic thrust at the other fighter as if to say, “you just got served” “In yo face” and “Yo Momma’s so fat” with each push of his groin.
And with that the dance fight was over. Just as the victor claimed his win, and the loser conceded defeat by congratulatory bro hugging Dancer One, silent bouncers with flashlights broke up the crowd and the combatants. The music changed to another mindless techno beat and the beautiful people went back to dancing, the fight forgettable as the last song played. But not to me. I walked away with the knowledge that not only was dance fighting real, but that it’s also incredibly gay.