While I was away from dancing, a new trend emerged.  Dancing nibbles. Providing food at dance nights, class and freestyles.  My mind boggled at that.

Obviously exercise makes you hungry.  Well it does me.  Usually.  After playing sport I used to snack on ham or chicken and a glass of milk.  But dancing doesn’t make me feel the same, even though it’s exercise, whether at the event or afterwards.  Being at a freestyle social dance for 4 to 5 hours, sandwiched by a 1 hour drive at either end and I still wouldn’t usually feel hungry.  Thirsty yes if I’ve not drunk enough water during the evening.  Hungry no.


But now, most of the venues I’ve been to over the last year provide food for the dancers.

Previously, apart from at Christmas with mince pies, most of the venues I went to didn’t provide food. There would be sweets in a bowl at the front desk – often mints to get rid of any smokers breath or smell of the tea you ate before going dancing (damn, why is it I cook with a lot of garlic and have to remember not to on nights I’m dancing).

But proper food?  It seems most venues I’ve been to over the last year provide plates of food ranging from biscuits and crisps to savoury and sweet, more substantial party food.

I try to ignore it anyway, but it hadn’t occurred to me that there was anything weird about this until I mentioned to a work colleague and friend that I’d been seduced by a mini savoury egg the other day (I couldn’t resist while I was standing nearby cooling down). Surely social dancing must be the only exercise people take and have a snack in the middle.  Yes it’s social dancing, but I wonder if any other social dances like west coast swing or salsa have a snack break.

I think providing food is a nice touch, and I’m sure (from the number of people I’ve seen taking plates of nibbles from the table) it’s appreciated by a lot of people.  I guess for some, it could be a winner – saves eating first, staves off hunger pangs, and gives a chance to take time out and chat to others.

If you’re at a long freestyle of 5+ hours, then a midnight cake break might be nice.  I’ve not intentionally eaten at a dance night because I’m there to dance, plus it’s tempting when you’re trying to be healthy. I wouldn’t want a lot of food swirling around inside my stomach while I’m spinning all over the place.  But lots of people do, and through the night.  I remember being at some of the old Ceroc Oxford balls, where you’d have a sit down 2 course meal first.  I was obviously younger than I am now because it didn’t worry me too much having eaten before dancing, but I still needed a breather first.

For me, I’d not be fussed if the food spread was done away with.  It might enable venue organisers to reduce their costs, reduce waste and save the hassle, concentrating on other aspects of the night.  Maybe dancers are using the break for socialising, but I’d rather see them on the dance floor for longer.

Are you an eater when there’s food out at dance events or do you just stick to drinks?  Or do you get food on the way home/afterwards?

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