Are you a Dance-aholic?

by Loui Tucker
Taken with permission from the August 1997 Issue of The Grapevine.

Is dancing taking over our life?  Have you heard whispers that you're becoming addicted to dance?  Are you afraid that you or a loved one is becoming  a dance-aholic?  Take this simple test, or take it on behalf of someone you care about.  However painful it might be, it's time you faced the truth.  Count 1 point for every YES answer.

1. You listen to dance music at times when you cannot possibly dance - i.e. on your car stereo, with headphones while taking public transportation, on airplanes.
     Give yourself an additional point if you have actually taken your hands off the steering wheel while driving in order to clap your hands at the spot in the music where you would clap if you were dancing.

2. More than 50% of the t-shirts in your wardrobe are dance-related.
     Give yourself an extra point if any of them are no longer the right size or are too worn to wear, but you keep them anyway for sentimental reasons because they remind you of a special dance event.

3. When you are debating whether or not to buy a new article of clothing, a chief factor in the decision is whether or not you can wear it dancing.

4. You go to non-dance social functions with other dancers but you cannot carry on a conversation for longer than 15 minutes without talking about dance. (This includes gossiping about people at dance class!)

5. You have to explain at least once a week that you missed some over-hyped television program, a business function or social event because it conflicted with dance class.

6. What you eat for dinner depends on whether or not you're going dancing afterwards (nothing too heavy, no garlic or onions).

7. Even though you are an advanced dancer, you drop in on the beginners classes at least once a month just in case they are doing a beginner dance you've never learned.

8. At least once a month you phone or e-mail another dancer to find out whether he/she is going to a dance class.
     Give yourself another point if, when you find out he/she is not going dancing, you go anyway.

9. You subscribe to more than one dance-related magazine or newsletter - Rokdim, The Grapevine, Nirkoda, Let's Dance, New Zealand Israeli Folk Dancer, etc.

10. At least two gifts per year (received or given) are dance-related -- clothing, music, video, money for dance camp, etc.

11. The photos on your desk at work include at least one of you at a dance-related event.

12. You plan business trips and vacations so as to avoid missing your favorite local dance classes, i.e. leaving the morning after the class and/or arriving the afternoon before the class.

13. You get information about dancing in the area of your vacation or business trip, and pack dance clothing so you can dance while you're there.
     Two extra points if you pack extra dance gear on business trips just in case your returning afternoon flight is delayed and you have to drive from the airport directly to class instead of going home to change clothes.

14. You passed up a promotion because one of the job duties involved a meeting that conflicted with your favorite night of dancing.

15. Your car is adorned with (1 point for each)
 a. Dance-related personalized license plate.
 b. Dance-related license plate holder.
 c. Dance-related bumpersticker.

16. You use your computer for dance-related activities. (1 point for each)
 a. You have e-mail relationships with other dancers in which you write about dance-related activities.
 b. You check "rec.folkdance" for news of dance events.
 c. You subscribe to a mailing list organized around dance-related topics.
 d. You surf for dance-related websites.
 e. You maintain a dance-related website.
     Give yourself and extra point if your e-mail address is dance-related!

17. If you have pets, at least one of them has a dance-related name -- a cat named Debka, a dog named Yoya, a bird named Polka.

18. You don't know the last name of at least five dancers, but refer to them descriptively instead as something like "Yossi Who Dances with Ronit" or "Shoshana The Tall Blond Who Wears Leggings and Long T-shirts."

The following questions were not part of the original test, but were added by popular demand.

You have, at least once in the past year, spent more time driving to a dance event than you knew you would actually spend dancing, i.e. one hour each way commuting to dance less than two hours.

If your company offers you a promotion in another city, do you check out the folk dancing scene before deciding whether or not to accept the position?

Did it take you two extra semesters to get through graduate school because one of the required courses was offered on the same night as your favorite night of dancing?

Was a celebration of a significant life event -- your wedding, house-warming party, graduation party, etc. -- a folk dance party?

Have you left instructions in your will to have folk dancing at your wake/funeral/memorial service?


  Mayday, Mayday. Houston, we have a serious dance problem. Don't be surprised if your friends organize an intervention to confront you with your addiction. You can deal with problem directly by checking your phone book for the local 12-step-hop program in your area.

11-14 POINTS
  You're a borderline dance-aholic.  With some effort on your part you can take back control of your life without outside help.  It may be enough to cut out dancing between dance classes.

  Not to worry.  You're one of those social dancers.  You can take it or leave it.  You can walk off the dance floor anytime.  Dance-aholics view you with suspicion.

  Are you kidding?  Are you taking this test as a joke?  You probably don't know a step-hop from a pivot.  Get outta here -- you wouldn't even watch dance-related television programs!

Loui Tucker runs a popular Israeli Folk Dance session in the San Francisco Bay Area, and writes for The Grapevine to use up the small pieces of spare time that she can find.  If you would like to find out more about The Grapevine, or share your views on dancing with her, you can drop her a line at!