My theory of why people in New York don't seem to dance at the events I attend was that dancing was illegal in most establishments. The Man used the excuse of cabaret licenses to shut down places with too much drugs and gay people.
This is a little paranoid, even for me.
The BF's dad came up with a better conspiracy theory. He says that people in New York are great dancers. They're so good, in fact, that they don't bother to dance. If someone does dance, it's because they're trying too hard to prove that they can, which means that they really can't.
If you spend enough time in New York, you'd know why I believed him until he told me he completely made it up.
So here's the real reason, according to the BF's father, that people in New York don't dance: the venues I go to, Knitting Factory and Siren Festival and Highline Ballroom, they're showcases for Talent with a capital T. The bands that play these events are two steps away from their big breaks, and the people who go to see them play know this. Dancing while the bands are playing would, in fact, be quite rude, because it would indicate that you aren't listening to the music.
"You don't go to the Metropolitan Opera and waltz, do you?" BF's dad asked. "No, you sit and appreciate. Same thing."
So while I'm pleased with myself for creating an elaborate conspiracy involving crooked cops, drugs, homophobia, and dancing, I'm happy to be set straight.
Now I'm off to write the most awesome noir detective story ever.