When it comes to ballroom dancing, there’s no room for self-consciousness. This doesn’t mean that you get to flail around to the music like Elaine from Seinfeld (although that’s kinda fun sometimes). Rather, learn to be comfortable and confident in your movements. Most importantly, practice, watch yourself as well as others, and allow yourself to feel the music. With time, you’ll move with self-assurance on the dance floor.
You might ask yourself why this is so important?
What’s the difference between really feeling the music and just going through the motions on the dance floor?
Let me give you a few examples. Let’s say it’s your birthday and your friend gives you a gift. She spent a lot of time thinking about and shopping for a present that she was sure you would love. When you open it, you say, “Thanks” and set it aside. That’s it, just, “Thanks”. How do you think she feels?
The same day, you go home and your Mom has made the perfect birthday meal, complete with a made-from-scratch cake and spectacular decorations showcasing different events in your life. Clearly, she’s hoping that you will see how important you are to her. And, all you can think to say is, “You shouldn’t have”.
“POP”. That’s the sound of her bubble bursting.
The same thing can happen between you and your partner on the dance floor. When you move ‘to’ the music instead of ‘with’ the music, it shows a lack of excitement. How about you dance with enthusiasm for the venue, the music, and your partner!
Here’s what’ll happen if you just let it go on the dance floor.
- You’re gonna get more dances. That’s because you make your partner feel good.
- More dances = more confidence. You know that the more you do something, the better you get at it. When you feel good about your dancing, you’ll move with greater confidence without fear of embarrassment.
- Get ready to have lots of friends and a better social life. The joy you show when you’re on the dance floor has everything to do with the happiness you feel in your life. Don’t you agree that a joyful, happy person is naturally attractive?
- Really giving yourself to the music takes you out of your head and into your body. To be sure, we all experience physical and emotional stress in our everyday life. On the other hand, isn’t it nice to do something that makes your body sing!
- You’ll feel better. With this in mind, make ballroom dancing your therapy. The great Bob Marley once sang: “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”. P.S. It’s hard to get more relaxed than Bob Marley!
This is not to suggest that you show off on the dance floor.
It’s a no-no to dance socially as if you’re performing in a Broadway show. Therefore, you’re not going to use big arm and leg styling that can be seen all the way in the back row. It’s small and intimate. The feeling is as if there’s an orchestra playing in your heart. Like a tic that makes you move involuntarily to the music.
For more on musicality, please read this Dance Safari post, “Rhythmically Challenged? It’s All in Your Head!”
The next time you’re relaxed and listening to music, find the rhythm that calls out to you and give in to it. Can’t get much better than that!