I’m not going to lie. I moved here for the salary, simple as that. I told myself I’d stay for a year or two and move back home with my newly earned savings. Then I realized that Luxembourg is a nice country, and I decided to stay for a little bit longer.
Well, it’s been 10 years, and now I cannot tear myself away. I simply get too much joy from watching awkward dancing at concerts. Honesty, each time I’m at a music show, I’m totally transfixed. Everyone in the audience looks so uncomfortable when they move their bodies. I love it.
I’ve been to huge pop concerts at Rockhal, small acoustic gigs at my local village pub, and everything in between. It’s always the same. Lots of foot tapping, rhythmic shrugging, and out-of-sync swaying,
One time I was at a hip-hop show and the guy on stage said, “Put your hands in the air, and wave ‘em all around like you just don’t care.” Guess what? Everyone in the audience followed his instructions, but only halfway. We all kept our elbows stuck to our sides. Everybody looked very ill at ease, like they totally did care.
Another time I went to a heavy metal concert, the sort of place where you’d expect to see some wild thrashing. Nope. Just some weird foot movements that resembled tap dancing and lots of people jerking their heads around like they were looking for something they’d dropped. There was only one metalhead who was sort of headbanging, but then he bumped into a couple, apologized, and stopped moving.
And what about the EDM concert I went to one time? Killer sound system. Fantastic lights. Amazing beats. You know what I saw that night? Two hours of dedicated head bobbing. Chins up, chins down. At one moment, a really sick bassline kicked in, and a woman in front of me lost control and started jumping – while somehow keeping one foot on the floor. She looked like a donkey trying to get rid of a piece of gum stuck to its hind leg. It was the most awkward thing I had ever had the pleasure to observe.
Why all the awkward dancing? I’m no ethnographer, but I know how to read maps. Luxembourg is pretty much in the middle of southern and northern Europe. You know how southern people are. For them, dancing is a reflex. It’s in their blood. The second they hear music, they just start moving. They don’t care if they’re in a bar, a supermarket, or at work.
Northern people, on the other hand, they’re way too cerebral and self-conscious. In general, they’ll only dance after the seventh drink, and only if other people are dancing. Maybe they’re not the most skilled or natural dancers, but they accept who they are. Why worry if everyone around you dances like you do?
As for Luxembourg, I have concluded that it’s positioned very uncomfortably between these two worlds. People here have the ambition to dance and move without inhibition, yet they cannot free themselves of their self-consciousness. Once you add into the mix people from dozens of other cultures, all of whom are themselves hesitant and unsure, the result is world-class, triple-A awkward dancing. Great entertainment.
You might be wondering how I can be so judgmental. What gives me the right to make fun of the way people dance? First of all, I really do enjoy the spectacle of awkward dancing. The second reason is because I, myself, am an awkward dancer. Even when I’m drunk at an awesome show I’ve been waiting for all year, I can’t shake the feeling that people are criticizing me and that all my dance moves look stilted and forced – which they are.
Luxembourg does offer a very good quality of life, and there are many reasons to move to the country and make it your forever home, chief among them is the way people dance. Luxembourg, you have won my heart. Please don’t ever change.
Lance Allot works in the fund industry