Friday, February 22, 2013

We teach the Social Graces of Ballroom Dance



Ballroom and Latin dancing is a fun way to stay fit and keep your mind and body active.  But that's only the start.  Dancing with a partner in this way carries values and etiquette that is rarely (if ever) seen in today's world.

In ballroom dancing, a man treats his partner with respect and dignity.  He learns to lead in a way that is not merely muscling his partner into doing what he wants.  He learns to be open, and to take things as they come, as it is no guarantee that his partner will follow exactly what he led.  And if she doesn't follow correctly, he accepts that he just may not have led it correctly.  He learns to graciously accept his own mistakes.  In ballroom dancing one will rarely see a man who will mistreat a woman.

Likewise, women who dance know how they should be treated and will accept nothing less.  She will not allow herself to be 'man-handled' and will simply not tolerate it.  She learns to have respect for herself, but at the same time she learns to respect her partner and to gracefully submit to his lead if he is setting the example.  She learns to trust; in him that he will take care of her on the dance floor, and in herself that she knows what she wants and how she will achieve it.

People who ballroom dance learn common sense in dealing with people.  They also learn poise and presence helpful when in the world outside of dance.   People learn to think on their feet; they must if they are to avoid crashing themselves or their dance partners into other people or other obstacles.  They learn to work with others, again, if they are to avoid collisions it is necessary to dance with the entire room, not just one's partner.

Unfortunately today some feel ballroom dance is a dying art and no longer see the value in it.  People think that dancing is moving one's lower half in inappropriate ways against another person's.  The complexity and conversation and elegance has all been lost.  Go to a social ballroom event, a West Coast Swing dance, a salsa night club or an Argentine Tango milonga.  Conversations without a word.  Entire stories told without a sound other than the music.  Intimacy without it being dirty.  Complexity and simplicity, improvisation and careful planning, all at the same time.  It's people having fun and sharing a special connection that can ONLY be found on the dance floor.

Come to By the Sea and learn to Ballroom and Latin Dance with grace, poise and elegance.

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