|03-22-2007, 01:20 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Dancing for Personal Development
During my high school years most of the guys around me thought that dancing was for girls. The only time any of them would go out dancing was to pick up those girls. And the only dancing they ever did was the alternating foot stepping that everyone does if they don't know anything more complex, or don't care to learn.
And me? I was too scared to approach girls, so it really was "all about the music" (apart from when it was also about the alcohol ). Unfortunately while I did enjoy dancing, I was also self-conscious about it and therefore never really expressed my enjoyment of the music in a way which would have impressed the girls a lot more than my friend's inexperienced attempts.
In more recent years I've started taking dancing lessons, first Swing dancing, and then Tango. As soon as I was invited to take lessons with a couple of friends, I knew it would be heaps of fun. What I didn't expect was the development of some non-physical traits. Of course it all makes sense in hindsight.
Partner dancing, like in Swing and Tango, requires that either partner fulfill a specific role, otherwise it just doesn't work (perhaps that's not the case with experienced dancers, but at the start it definitely applies). The role the guy typically fills is the Lead. This is a role I'm not accustomed to, all my life I've coasted along, happy to go wherever circumstance takes me. While that's resulted in a relatively stress-free life, it has also meant I haven't developed much of an ability to direct my life, and certainly not the involvement of others in it.
All that changed when I started to realise that 'coasting' often meant not making my own decisions; letting other people push or pull me where they wanted to go, and running into trouble when I realised that I didn't want to be there... Too late.
There have been a few changes that I've made in order to get my own hands back on the steering wheel; organising outings for me and my friends, taking on a small leadership role at work, making decisions for myself and others when it's obvious they're hesitant to do so. But as I said, one aid in this change that I didn't expect was dancing.
A Lead has to know what he's going to do next, and has to make that clear to the Follow so that she can, well, follow. He has to be firm so that the Follow isn't confused about what he wants her to do. He has to be able to deal with any mistakes, either his or hers, and work them into their dance without getting flustered.
The Lead also has to make sure he's not too rough, otherwise she's not going to enjoy it; the idea is to lead her, not push her around. And if she wants to try something out, do it, it's a partnership after all!
You can see how this all applies to leadership in general. Firm, clear, assertive, confident guidance. Taking responsibility. Being willing and able to adjust to changes.
So, if anyone else feels they're not the Lead in this dance of life, try partner dancing! (Yes, girls can be Leads too)
|03-22-2007, 02:37 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Just last year, I took up salsa with my boyfriend. We've danced hip hop for quite a few years, so it was tough doing this partner dance thingy.
It's tough to be in the follower's role too! In terms of personal development, you get to let go and place full trust in your partner.
It's a liberating feeling to simply follow your partner's lead and stop anticipating which steps he's going to do next. Sometimes you've just gotta stop anticipating what's going to happen next in life, and instead thrust yourself forward at full force in the spirit of pure fun and excitement!
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