Four Reasons to Check Dance off your Bucket List in 2019
A student of mine told me a story one time of something that happened to him back in high school. The “girl of his dreams” back then, supposedly wanted him to ask her to the upcoming spring formal. Because he was afraid to dance, however, he never took the initiative to ask. She of course went to the formal without him, alongside a different date, and my student always wondered…..what if?
Although possessing the skill of dance isn’t guaranteed connect you to your high school sweetheart, or the date of your dreams, it will open up some new doors for you to waltz right through without fear, with confidence, and maybe alongside a new friend or two as well.
Dance Overcomes Fear
Learning to dance is definitely an adventure that forces one to overcome fears. The fear of looking stupid inevitably ranks highest on the list, causing most people to choose the role of spectator rather than participant. Even with the phrase of “dance like nobody’s watching”, people avoid the dance floor precisely because they fear that everyone is watching.
These are “misconceptions” though as most other dancers are lost in their own world of music and rhythm, (however on or off that rhythm is…), and those on the sidelines, well, they’re frozen in their own inhibitions as well. Many of those sitting down are only wishing they were brave enough to get out on the floor. Maybe you’ve been there.
Although it isn’t a fear on par with rock climbing or skydiving , learning to dance overcomes a fear that we all have failing, or of falling short. Dance conquers a fear of being in front of people – maybe a bit like public speaking, only learning to dance is much more fun!
Dance Builds Confidence
Overcoming fear leads to greater confidence, and greater confidence strengthens one’s ability to overcome something even greater. Anytime someone conquers their greatest fear, a sense of accomplishment follows, and confidence begins to build across all areas.
I’ve had single men, and/or single women both learn to dance so that the confidence would be there when asking one, or being ask by someone else, to dance.
I’ve watched dance build confidence in kids and adults with disabilities, as well as bring a huge level of confidence and bright countenance back to someone just coming out of a terrible relationship.
I’ve also watched dance transform a father of the bride into one terrified about the “Dad and Daughter Dance”, to one so excited that it becomes the highlight of the entire wedding.
Dance Challenges Skill Sets
Trying to coordinate what your brain knows to do, with what your feet don’t necessarily understand how to do, is more challenging than one might think at first. It looks easy, but it doesn’t always translate to your feet as smoothly as those trained dancers on hit TV shows.
Dance improves many skill sets, such as balance, timing, muscle isolation, posture and communication with a partner. The biggest challenge however, is for the brain to coordinate all those skills simultaneously so that dancing looks smooth, and not like Elaine on an old episode of Seinfeld. (Worth ‘You-Tubing’ if you haven’t seen it..)
Don’t let the challenge of dance scare you though, as dancing is the number activity for sensory sharpness and the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia. Much can be gained, and more importantly, the journey is half the fun! Although you might not be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers after that first lesson, you’ll gain ground, and most likely be super excited to learn more.
Dance opens social doors
Dancing increases your social world. When you speak the “language of dance”, there’s a whole new world of communication that happens among a room-full of others that speak that same language as well.
Singles and couples both meet new people, enjoy new friendships, and find that dance creates more interaction than dinner and a movie, which makes for a fun evening.
Weddings become more lively for the entire wedding party and their guests when everyone is dancing. An evening meal at a venue where a band is playing becomes an impromptu fun dance night if you can grab your date’s hand and say “let’s go!” A chance to cut a rug on a cruise ship, or dance a scene out of “Dirty Dancing” while fixing dinner in the kitchen are all places that dance skills pay off. And, for the record, I’d skip the scene where she jumps into his arms and he lifts her overhead…..don’t try that one at home!
So, get off the couch, learn something new that’s a bit challenging for 2019. Overcome some fears, and meet some new people. Take those two-left to Step by Step Dance Studio for some lessons, and move them out onto the dance floor, that way you don’t have to look back someday and ask, “what if….”
Kelly Frey is owner/operator of Step by Step Dance where she specializes in wedding choreography, ballroom, swing, country, line dance and salsa. She loves to help others discover how dance can add an extra element of joy and fun to their lives. She welcomes all who need to find a new hobby, have a specific reason to learn, and even those with two-left feet!
1722 S Glenstone Suite G, Springfield Mo. 65804, 417-689-4141, Kelly@dancestepbystep.com