Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What to say to a non-dancing partner

Remembering who you once were is the task of growing up

I think that if I could write a book on how to motivate a non-dancing partner to dance, and the book actually brought people to accompany their dancing partner to regular dancing, that I could rest and prepare for death.  I would have accomplished more than most winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Men and women reunited in an embrace on the dance floor because of something I had written.  Wow!  What a great life accomplishment that would be.

Surely there are many who divorce over this issue too, but many people I know learn to dance together with their spouse, and then one just drops out.  Meanwhile the dancing spouse goes on to love it and love the dance community.  But this is tragic.  Dancing is joy shared and at its base what men and women as couples do best.  It is playful, elegant, and perfect communication without words.

So I will address one aspect for your non-dancing partner.  I hope this helps:  Kindly suggest that dancing is the true youThe one you forgot about or lost as a child.  Speak for yourself, not for them.
Did you know that moving to music is one thing we humans are driven to do, but other mammals are not moved to get up and dance as we are?  Human beings are unique among mammals for this. We know that music affects animals, but please speak up and tell me if you have ever seen another mammal dancing in the way you have seen people spontaneously dance! My children went "motorically wild" with music. Have you seen baby animals moving to Motown music lately? Animals can be taught to walk to music or "dance" but it is only the product of behavior modification.

On the other hand, through negative behavior modification people can also lose their desire to dance or move. Teen boys, for example, in America might think it is not cool or out of fear of public ridicule/rejection avoid moving to the music (unless drunk perhaps). Being worried about what others thought was my teen-years experience, and now it is my sons' experiences in growing up in Europe. So, ladies, tango may be the first music that some men are allowing to revive their core as a human being! Be patient with them.

 Fear or actual rejection for moving to music is a very strong emotional current for many men, including myself. If you knew me, that may be hard to believe. Even after dancing many Latin dances and now tango, it still smarts to hear the criticism behind my back about my dancing. (I am only told this because the "informants" love the way I dance, and they think that I must "know" that this rejection is groundless or simply male jealousy.)

So moving to music -- eventually even in public -- is both a wonderful thing to re-awaken the core of being a human being, but also it is a way to assert your grown up self that wants to recover what was lost along the way:  Your essential self as a dancing soul, reborn to what you once knew as a child but have forgotten.

"Ye must become as children in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven."

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  1. ah, if it were only that simple. I think folks need to be open to it a little to begin with.
    I've been dancing my whole life. But way back in the beginning of our relationship, my sweetie told me 'I don't dance-never did, but it's kinda on my bucket list'. After a few months I said to him, 'you know, you really ought to dance. I've gotten to know you now, and I see how you feel music in your body--you really get it. You're a natural, you just need to get out of your own way.' And then I dropped it. About a year later we started taking dance lessons together, first West Coast Swing, and then dropped that when we discovered tango. The rest is history. I guess I can die happy now.

  2. @ Christine: You are so right. The task is so big -- only if it were that simple! So I will just have to keep on living because I am not up to the task -- at least not yet. No early death for me because I accomplished something great! You found your own way, and I am happy for that. Heaven on earth!


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