Things we can learn from dance
As both a business coach and a dance instrutors, I see many things we can learn from both dancing and the dance community itself.
This “Dance Thru Life Tips” series is an attempt to share those observations (and the observations of others) with you.
Laura Lee Rose
Build a Connection with Dance
Dancing is a great networking tool. It’s a great way to socialize without having to be very social. It’s a great ice-breaker; an easy step in which to build a lasting and fun relationship. It’s an effective method to build confidence, agility and mastery. There are many things we can learn from dancing and the dance floor that we can carry into our everyday.
This newsletter attempts to highlight some of the life lessons from the dance floor.
Dance Thru Life Tips:
- As in life, you can only directly control your actions and steps. In dance, don’t worry so much about what your partner is and isn’t doing. If you keep your frame, your steps, your good technique, your heading on path, and your role in mind — both people will have a great time. This is the same in life. If you keep true to your core and fr ame, everything will turn out fine. The dance may not turn out exactly how you expected, but it will be a fun ride (as in life).
- Focus o n your goal for the dance. If you are focused on having a good time and showing your partner a good time – then the steps and timing is secondary. If your focus is to look good for the audience, then make sure to select a partner that has the same expertise and goal.
- While on the dance floor, release control over how you think the dance is supposed to go and dance with the flow. Dance as if no one is watching.
- Focus on your role in the dance. If you are the leader, then give clear directions with the right amount of lead time (so that the follower has time to respond). If you are the follower, wait for the leader and his/her signals. Don’t try to row the other person’s boat. Try not to anticipate that the follower will not follow or the leader will not lead. Allow your partner to actually fulfill their role, while you fulfill yours. It’s more fun that way.
- Try not to tell the other person what to do. Think about when your are driving. If you know where you are going, it’s frustrating to have someone give you directions. But when you are lost, it’s comforting. Only the driver knows when it’s appropriate to give directions; therefore, please avoid providing unsolicited directions or advise on the dance floor or in life.
- Check your elbows. If your arms are extended and you can’t see your elbows then you are pushing, pulling and tugging your partner. If your elbows are extending away from your body (as if you are elbowing someone), then you may risk elbowing someone dancing next to you (or even your partner). The elbow is meant to be used as a hinge and shock-absorber. Keep your partner close and safe by keeping your elbows bent and to your sides. Just like in life — the more distance between you and your partner, the more difficult it is to communicate with them. Keep both your elbow and your dance partner relatively close.
- Relax and have fun. This is easier said than done. But when you feel your shoulders scrunching into your neck and your arms creeping up — literally SHRUG if off, take a deep breathe and remember that we just want to have fun.
Repeat with new partner.
This is your time; have fun with it.