dancing is a front for friendship

Part Gillie Kleiman’s WebRes ‘Not Working.’ Find out more here.


Yesterday my dear one, dancer Steph McMann, calls me. I use the term ‘dear one’ after my friend Tessa Parr, the actor and performance-maker, who often refers to her friends in that way. I like it. 

I tell Steph that I’m thinking about friendship and we talk about it a bit. She says that our mutual friend, dancer Flora Wellesley Wesley, once said that she thought that dancing is a front for friendship. I don’t know if she said it or what the context was but I really love it and am holding it near to me, like a new dear one. I hold it near to another newish dear one, this extract from a text that I read out in a professional context yesterday:

“Through friendship… we undo ourselves and become new, in potentially radical and dangerous ways. In this sense, friendship is at the root of freedom.” 1

Today I am thinking about this question:

How can we mobilise our friendships – particular those with people whose working lives overlap our own – to be more genuinely dangerous to the status quo we need to overturn?

1. Bergman, c. and Montgomery, N. (2017). Joyful Militancy: Building Resistance in Toxic Times. Chico, Edinburgh and Portland: AK Press.