Dancers are a hazard on city streets by Heather McQuillan

I turn the corner and walk smack-bang into the swaying looping swathe of bodies. It’s got so it’s hard to avoid them these days. Instinct impels me to slip-slide-side-step out of their reach and into the path of traffic. A car swerves. A driver crudely gestures her disgust: But woman, I am not one of them.

On the far side a crowd forms – who can resist the urge to stand at the bars of Bedlam and stare?

I turn on my heel to distance myself from the dancers but they have formed a conga line at my back. The rubberneckers shake their hydra heads in unison. My hands are detached wings that flap in desperation as I sign, I’m not with them, God help me!

One after the other the gawpers turn and walk away – their steps deliberately unmeasured, their gait awkward.  I stumble my feet too. I tell you, I’ve never seen them before!

But I am clasped into silence by a dancer on each side – their eyes closed in bliss and sway. Fingers grip mine tight. I struggle to escape. With crystalline movements a hand reaches, retreats and reaches again to tug the buds from my ears – thick plugs of wax and fluid stain my shoulders.

I catch a strain on the breeze, a beat in the earth. My heart corresponds – a shoulder dips, a hip sways. I too, hear the music.

Appeared in Flash Frontier, February 2016


  1. Good to read this again.

  2. Best traffic calming measure ever - I'd join that conga line!


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