But whether the tempo is fast or slow, the attitude should always be the same – polite, cooperative and sensitive to one’s dance partner, whether a familiar one or someone new.
Dancing is a staple of activities conducted in public – weddings, parties, dinner dates – and as such obeys the usual social conventions. Grace and charm are part of dance, and your personality as well.
So here are some dance do’s and don’ts that will make your experience on the dance floor more enjoyable …
Do plan on dancing to the whole song – it lets your partner know you value their time! And don’t forget to follow line of dance when traveling around the floor – always counter-clockwise!
Don’t just extend a hand and say “Wanna dance?” You get one chance to make a first impression. The old standbys are the best when asking a woman to share the floor with you. “Care to dance?” “May I have this dance?” Or, if the music indicates a particular style of dance coming up, a “Would you like to mambo?” is fine. And the same goes for declining a dance – be pleasant about it. A simple, “Thanks, but I don’t know the dance” or “I’m going to sit this one out” should work. And declining an offer means not dancing that dance no matter who might ask you next.
Don’t use this dance opportunity to become an expert and “teach.” Especially if your partner hasn’t asked for any help. Dances have different styles. Be accommodating of any differences.
Do be considerate of others on the dance floor. Don’t swing your elbows, don’t steer your partner wildly across the floor. Be mindful of the space in which you are operating.
Don’t blame your partner. No finger-pointing or blaming for a misstep. This is dance, not the Olympics. It’s social, not anti-social. Be kind and move on with the dance. It’s all part of the learning experience.
Do consider taking dance lessons at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. The time spent with the finest professional ballroom dance instructors will teach the proper steps and technique and you will also learn from their demeanor how to work with a dance partner. Find a studio near you!
Don’t forget to smile – it makes everything and everyone feel more comfortable!
At its best, life yields a comforting feeling of togetherness, of partnership and synchronous motion. Life actually becomes a dance, a couple moving seamlessly and in rhythm.
In a relationship – especially as it mirrors dance – there’s a coordinated effort between the masculine and the feminine. Most women love to dance, simply feeling the music and moving to it. Most men want to lead, and dance provides them the opportunity to fulfill that role while “sheltering” the woman in their arms.
This might be a slight oversimplification of inbred impulses, but it is also part of what can be a powerful attraction. Dance joins two people in an intimate way and, like life, builds tension and allows for release.
The American Psychological Association, in reviewing a scholarly paper on dance and movement, noted that dance likely began as an accident of evolution that has become an important cultural force, one that gives us insight into selecting mates and tools for cooperation. It quoted University of Maryland University College psychology professor Ahalya Hejmadi this way: “Dance is such a universal phenomenon. People all over the world love to dance, so there must be some reason for it.”
We know many of the reasons. Dance is a healthy and creative outlet that draws people together. A joint activity requiring such close cooperation between a man and a woman helps build a unique camaraderie that can spark a romance. Is it any wonder that dance –especially the first dance between the newlyweds – is such an integral part of so many wedding ceremonies, in so many cultures?
William Michael Brown, a psychologist and dance researcher at Queen Mary University of London and the University of East London, says dance doesn’t just help you attract a mate, it also may help you keep one. Couples dancing together in a tightly-coordinated fashion, indicates the strength of their bond and commitment to one another, to the exclusion of others. “So committed that you don’t have a chance to get with this person, no matter how good-looking you are,” he said.
Dancing draws people together, gives them a common goal and a shared passion. These are the elements of a strong, compatible relationship that may result in that fabulous first dance at a wedding.
For the finest in ballroom dance instruction, visit one of our Fred Astaire Dance Studios. We offer private lessons and group classes in all forms of ballroom dance, from the waltz to the tango, and we’re waiting for you to drop by and become part of our family.