Nice to have you here! In this post, we will cover how we can create the best possible experience for ourselves and our partner when we dance. It is something that everyone can do no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced dancer. If I would summarize these different points I think I would call it "showing up for real".
This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.
When we dance, if we want to create a good connection with our partner, we need to be present. We need to be there and then, both physically and mentally. We cannot be thinking about something else, whether it is work, relationships or any problems in life.
We need to pay attention to what they are doing, what is happening around us and in the music as we dance. When we are truly present, giving our undivided attention to the dance, the communication in dance will be better, and there is a chance that we will find that magic we all are looking for. If we are not, if we are thinking about problems in life, if we need to go to the bathroom or something else, then we cannot create that magic because we can't even pay enough attention to look for it.
Being present is also about being in the moment. If we are thinking of who to dance with next, or what we will do tomorrow, we will not be present enough. This is not that hard. It doesn't take much time to learn. It is more just a question of whether we want it or not. In a way, you could say it is about trying.
If you are not present, you are not even trying to have a good time. Every partner will feel it if we try, and trying can be much more important than the actual dance skills. If you want to experience the magic of dance, you need to do this. If you don't, you can't create that feeling.
Our attitude when we dance is a lot about our body language. It can be about how we embrace our partner. It can be how we act on the dance floor. But it can also be verbal and shine through from the start. Someone who accepts an invitation to dance without a smile and without saying a word? It doesn't feel like a good start for me. It doesn't give me much hope she will care about the dance. Maybe she will, but it is not the best first impression.
Most people who have danced for a while have had dances with partners who had a totally neutral face, never looking back into the eyes, never smiling. A stone face. They were present with their body. And maybe they were also present with their mind, who knows. But they weren't there with the attitude. They didn't have the intention of creating something nice together. When you never get positive feedback from your partner, in the form of a smile or from the general attitude, it can create doubt.
Sometimes you can see this from good dancers who forgot how it is to be a beginner. Or who forgot what it means to be humble. They act as if they are sure it will be a bad dance. They go into it with the attitude that it will not be fun.
I guess this feels almost like being stood up on a date. You are there, but they are not. It is not a good feeling. No matter how good a dancer they are, you will not enjoy the dance because they will make you feel like crap. Remember, rule number one: Make your partner happy. They are not making you feel good. Their attitude shows they are not even trying.
We generally like the people who like us. If someone acts like this and seems to not care about us at all, we will not like them. And if someone always behaves like this, they will soon find it harder to get dances, no matter how good they are, because it is not enjoyable to dance with them.
We have to want to be there and want to dance with our partner. If we don't, it is honestly better to just say no to the dance. Would you willingly say yes to a date knowing that you will not show up? No, that would be really mean. So, we shouldn't do it on the dance floor either.
We need to show our partner we are there and paying attention. And we need to show them that we want to make this dance good. It means we sometimes have eye contact. We pay attention to our partner, kind of check that everything is ok. We sometimes smile if there is something we enjoy. It means we are not absentmindedly chewing gum and looking at our watch to see how much longer we have to dance. It means not checking who is around to dance with next.
When we have accepted a dance, we will spend maybe 3-5 minutes together no matter what. It is better to give it what we have. It is better to show some love. Show that we want to be there at that moment. Be there with the right attitude. Enjoy the embrace. We could even pretend we are in love with this person, if only for a few minutes. It will be a better dance.
Another question is where our focus is. Are we focused inwards, towards us as a couple? Or are we focused outwards, trying to impress other people around us in some way?
It can happen for both leads and follows that we dance with someone who either wants to show off their dance skills or be seen as sexy or something along those lines.
Dancing with someone who has an outwards focus is different. They might be present, be there mentally. They might also have the attitude that they want to make the dance as good as possible. But the focus is not on the partner. The focus is not on creating a great experience with the partner; it is to create a great experience for the people around. They do things to make it look good, not to make it feel good.
It is a different thing. It would be better on stage. Then it is for the audience. But when we dance socially, we should try to dance focus 100 % on the dance and our partner. Forget about everything else. That is when you can truly travel together and get lost in time and space.
And we should not try only to look good ourselves. We should try to make it look and feel good with our partner.
Being present, having the right attitude and the right focus on making the dance as good as possible goes a very long way. It can make up for a lot of things that might be lacking in dance skills.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Feel free to share it if you did!
Have a good day!
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