To the young men out there who may be a bit unsure of themselves I have a suggestion; learn to dance. Dance is romantic, it is poetic, and it is seductive. It is also a lot of fun. A communication happens between body, mind and movement that is electrifying, it is intense, and sensual. In these days of everyone is the same and society attempts to deny that there is a difference between the sexes, the dance floor is a place where a man can be masculine and a woman can be feminine. His masculinity may be assertive yet tender in response to her soft and intense femininity. A man can lead his partner across the floor and through the sound, both feeling the pulse of the music coursing through them. Together they move in unison as the notes and drum beats swirl around them in a mystic rhythm. The music may be gentle and sweet or vibrant and alive. It doesn’t matter, two moving together is as ancient as humanity itself.
While the definition of dance is quite broad and basically says dance is simply movement to music, I’d like to refine this a bit for the sake of this article. Banging your head up and down while splashing a raised beer about is more than a little Neanderthal and not the type of dance I’m referring to. Neither is shifting your weight from side to side while you run your hands over your partner’s behind. That is not dancing, it is groping. Raising your arms over your head in spasmodic motions while gyrating about is again not the dance I am encouraging you to learn; it’s amusing and maybe a bit embarrassing if a friend captures it with their phone, but it’s not dance. While I will admit that some of these things may be great fun and fit the loose definition of dance as motion to music, they are not likely to get you very far with the fairer sex.
Yes, there are indeed many forms of dance. The kind of dance I’m referring to here is the boy meets girl courtship kind of dance. It is a dance of connection and unspoken communication of body mind and spirit. It is a dance of joy and celebration. Like the courtship dance of the Bird of Paradise it gives a young man a chance to reveal to his partner what type of person he is. Is he thoughtful and tender while at the same time intense and vibrant? One’s personality spills out across the dance floor in subtle and not so subtle ways. A caring intuitive dancer is all about his partner and how they move together, the gentle hints that say, now we’ll spin, turn, cuddle or any one of a thousand steps.
A self-absorbed dancer is all about showing off and how he looks on the floor. This type of dancer will leave his partner mystified as to what is next. If anything is next. He will whirl, spin and gyrate about looking for a response. Most likely the response from his partner will be, “No thanks. I’ll sit this one out”.
A young man who is attuned to his partner will find out much about her, and she about him. Is she responding to your lead, your touch? Or is she all about herself, not really interested in what you have to say through movement. Is there joy in her eyes and in her step? When you both stumble is there a smile and laughter? If body language is as they say 93% of communication, then dance must be the ultimate form of communication.
Learning to dance is one of the easiest things to do. Two-step, swing, shag and any number of dances are taught in YMCA’s and clubs across the country. I would argue that once you get the basics down of one it’s not a giant leap to learn the next. There really is no excuse and nothing to lose.
The joy of dance will take you well beyond the boy meets girl years. Dancing with the one you love after 25 years of marriage can still be as sensual as when you were young, perhaps even more so. You intimately know each other’s touch and are now completely in tune without inhibitions. A dance across the kitchen floor will be just as romantic at this point in your life as a slow moonlit dance by the sea. Learning to dance will truly bring you a lifetime of joy.