There’s a reason that’s not a saying… you shouldn’t do it! You really should “dance like no one is watching” because you’re a lot more relaxed that way. When you’re relaxed, your partner is relaxed. When you’re both chillin’, having a good ol’ time – communication flows more smoothly… and that’s what dancing is after all – a conversation without the words.
We’ve all talked to that douche who flaunts his/her “impressive” vocabulary. It’s annoying! When I have a conversation, yes I want to learn something, but I’d prefer not to feel stupid in the process. And let’s be honest: nobody likes a show off. Dancing is the same. I’d much rather watch a couple who’s having fun together than a couple who’s trying to put on a show in the middle of a dance club.
When I’m dancing with a guy, I don’t want him to throw his highfalutin moves at me non-stop. I want to have a nice conversation: comfortable hello, (a good basic) how are you, (Cross Body Lead) maybe a joke here or there, (CBL w/inside or outside turn) and then maybe they can teach me my new thing for that day (the combo they just learned in class). I don’t want to be bombarded with interesting/useless fact (uber combo #16) after useless fact (uber combo #36). It’s like dancing with Cliff Clavin (for those of you who don’t know that reference, you’re too young to get this anyway;).
Now, I will confess, I personally hate to mingle. No one likes having the same, trite conversation over and over. So when I am forced to do it, I like to keep it interesting and ask questions the other person may not always get. Social dancing is the same. You are mingling with your body (though it’s not as kinky as it sounds – well, with Salsa it can be;). Try to keep it lively. Don’t do the same rote routine with each dance partner. Or for my ladies reading this, don’t become a robotic follow who just goes through the motions. (That’s actually sage advice for anyone on any topic).
I’m not saying you should try to impress anyone. By now, we should all know the difference between putting our best foot forward versus shoving our newly polished toenails in someone’s face. All I’m saying is you should feel different than anyone else in the room because you are different from everyone else in the room. Be yourself! It’s going to be good enough.
I think Billy Joel said it best in “Just the Way You Are”. “I don’t want clever conversation. I never want to work that hard. I just want someone that I can talk to. I want you just the way you are.” Thanks Bill. I’ll see you on the hardwood:)
Remember when eye contact was the norm? Expected, even. I remember a time where if you didn’t look someone in the eye you were considered rude. And I’m not necessarily talking about dancing- I’m talking about walking! Gone are the days you walk with your head up, acknowledging the person passing you with a smile. Who do I need to talk to to bring those back?
Nowadays, people passing on the sidewalk not only don’t look me in the eye - they go as far as to put their head down – as if they’re afraid I might commit the heinous, unforgivable act of smiling. What’s so wrong with saying “hello” people?! Why do we act like this other human being isn’t there? How much happier would we be if we went around smiling and greeting our fellow men (and women)?
And don’t say you’re “not in the mood” or you’re “having a bad day”. Who cares! Suck it up and be civil. Worse case scenario: the person passing asks you for something. Oh No! Anything but that! Maybe it’s just for “the time”. Or maybe it’s to help with their broken down car. Or maybe it’s for money. You can always say “no”. But it seems to me, the very least we can do is look them in the eye.
What’s the best that can happen? (I'm glad you asked). We'd all have better posture from not hanging our heads, we'd feel better because we’ve been smiling, and we'd quite possibly improve a stranger’s day. So, try it tomorrow and the day after, and the day after... until it’s feels like the good ol’ days. I’ll see you on the hardwood…and yes, I will be looking!;)
Allison loves to write almost as much as she loves to dance, so no one had to twist her arm to get her to write about dancing!