Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Dance: The Heart

As VRBones pointed out here, dancing mathematically and by formula is often exactly the wrong way to do it. Since it is a form of artistic expression there is really no wrong way, just different. Being technically apt is all well and good but a grumpy focused dancer is missing the point. Dancing is about self expression, being embarrassing on purpose and having fun. You can fit a lot of different emotions into the way you move your body, just as you can when you speak, sing & shout.

Now that I have indeed decided to be a dancer and covered all the basics I just need to build on my foundations. It seems to me that dancing, like religion and scientific method, can be applied to all parts of life.

Using the principals of fencing I can pickup my telephone with a sudden burst of movement, to exactly where I want my hand to be, then whip it to my ear with the least amount of movement possible.
Or I could dance towards it, counterbalancing with my other hand and flicking out my elbow as I reach the phone. Possibly tapping my left foot and rotating my wrist by two half turns.
Or I could pick it up in the usual lazy direct manner.

Another example of how dancing has permeated my like is that every time I bring my feet together I swap my weight to the other foot, plus I am more focused on having a good posture.

Now back to the start, where I mentioned my heart. The way you hold yourself and your partner in dance should be respectful. After all you well within the limits normally set as a personal space. You will need to be gentle and patient; Firm and forgiving. Let your partner lean against you like a wall, but don't do the same to them. Hold your own wight as much as you can and don't flop around like floundering fish (unless it is on purpose). With out a doubt your partner will go too far invading your space, step on your toes and bend a toenail back on itself. Remember then to be patient and forgiving, but you yourself avoid this by being gentle and firm. When your partner knows where you are you are much less likely to be trodden on.

Also the bloke is the lead, as a man it is your job to send your gal round in circles and make sure that she never falls over. Girls get lots of tricky spins and extra wiggles, they are good at that. While they are doing something complex it is the responsibility of the man to maneuver away from other couples on the dance floor. Men are not only looking after the safety of themselves and their partner, they also have to be conscious of everybody else on the dance floor. That is to say don't let your gal run into anything or knock any other couples over. There is no place on the dance floor for pride or rudeness. To this end regardless of how sexist it sounds in dancing the Sheila needs to submit to the bloke and obey his directions, both trusting and protecting each other.

Assume you will make some mistakes but don't focus on that, apologize if necessary and move onto the next step. If you miss a sequence or have to stop to let somebody else pass, just tap your foot, retrieve the beat and keep going. Everybody is primarily here to have fun. You can only get better by practice, perseverance and persistence. Have a go on your lonesome if necessary and try out different music. There is nothing to stop you from doing a Cha or Jive in a nightclub. Just make your steps really small and don’t circumnavigate the room.

I had to re-read that to see what I was talking about. My point is that dancing takes guts, you have to put your heart into it. It can be good exercise physically/emotionally/spiritually/mentally and translate into other portions of life affecting the way you move, and life is all about moving.

See also:
How to Dance: The Basics
How to Dance: The Mind
How to Dance: The Heart