You didn’t go to the bar looking for problems. You had a taste for some Jägermeister, was all, and maybe a bit of catching-up time with your buds. Before long, you found yourself on the dance floor rocking out and doing the white man’s overbite with the best of them.
And that’s where trouble found you.
New research suggests that the dance floor — not the bar or outside the men’s room, say — is the place most likely for a fight to break out in a large drinking establishment. The study, undertaken by scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, reveals that some 20% of the most harmful incidents take place on the floor, with another 13% spilling out in its close proximity.
All told, researchers made more than 1,300 visits to 118 Toronto bars and clubs over the course of two years. They honed in on those large-capacity watering holes that could accommodate in excess of 300 people, and always visited between midnight and 3 a.m.
More than any other real estate in the place, the dance floor proved the top hotspot for folks looking to get jiggy in an entirely different way. Sexual aggression and hostile horseplay were singled out as the most powerful catalysts for spats.
Among other findings, researchers drew a correlation between the relative crowdedness of a dance floor and the likelihood of a fight erupting there. And if you’re not in the mood for a brawl, best to hang near the pool table — it ranked last on the list of those spots in a bar’s geography where tempers tend to flare.
The research, published in Drug and Alcohol Review, did not document the number of fights in which the scientists themselves engaged over the course of their inquiry.