The following is an article written for the dancer’s ball by Craig Delica. thanks to Craig for his permission to use it here.
I like to read to you a literary extract by Paul Bottomer which was published in 1998.
“Dancing is both the most artistic of social pastimes and the most social of artistic pastimes. In all societies dancing forms an integral part of the lifestyle. Dancing is not only a reflection of life but is a basic human expression of life itself. While the initial motivation to dance is often a social one, once past the hurdle of actually learning to dance, many find in the music, the atmosphere and the dance, the opportunity to take on a new persona. The music and the venue create the atmosphere, but it is the dancer who expresses their own individuality through the language of the dance.”
“Whatever your musical taste or individual preferences, the huge variety of dances ensures that there is something to suit you. You do not need to be a good dancer to enjoy the dancing, the music, the mood, the atmosphere and of course, the social life. Dancing is, and should always be accessible to everyone.”
Partner dancing is arguably one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult sport to undertake. Two individuals with different backgrounds, most commonly of the opposite gender, different ideologies, and each with a different interpretation of music. But, ultimately trying to function as one unit, a team, to display an aesthetically pleasing performance and create an immensely pleasurably experience for each other. Yet despite all the pitfalls that partner dancing has, and its degree of difficulty, we all seem to return again and again to emulate the last performance.
The old cliché, ‘you dance your troubles away’, rings loud and true for many of us, and in more ways than one, for some.
Many men, who go through the pain of separation and a bitter battle with their spouse over children, often look for solitude in a pastime to enlighten their lives. Pastimes, which will help alleviate the pressure, stress, associated with separation, and also help to decelerate a pessimistic mindset, which in many cases if left unattended, could ultimately lead to a depressive state for the individual, and their peers.
One of these pastimes which many separated men have formed a strong association with over recent years is ‘partner type’ dancing. Dancing studios throughout the region have become a popular outlet for many men, who seek their troubles away by dancing.
For these individuals partner dancing is attributable to gaining confidence for them, not only being able to execute elaborate dance moves well, but confidence in regaining many life skills, that many of us simply take for granted. Such as perhaps shivery, or simply escorting a partner to and from the dance floor. Courtesy, friendship, and the ability to communicate and relate well to people in general.
With the conception of The Dancer’s Ball, it was decided that the organisation Dads in Distress be the first beneficiary.
I would like to thank Jo Dovey and Neil Martin for their efforts in raising funds which will help benefit the local branches of the Dads in Distress organisation. We hope that all money raised by these individuals, provides valuable counselling and associated aids, which will help benefit all members of the Dads in Distress organization.
The ultimate goal for the ball this evening, is to raise awareness amongst the dancing community as to the closure, reduction in size, and mixed usage of dance floors within the region. Despite the growing publicity that partner dancing is receiving with television shows such as, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Dancing with the Stars”, and “Strictly dancing”. We are seeing an increasing number of registered clubs within the local areas declining to upgrade their existing dance floors.
For social & competitive dancing to survive, we desperately need places to showcase the sport / pastime which we all love. We need the clubs and floors to allow the sport to continue, for without the clubs support, the dancing community will be forced into isolation, therefore allowing us to only use facilities such as basket ball floors and obscure halls.
So how do we as a dancing community undertake this situation? Firstly look at becoming a member of the club. Vote at the meetings. Find out how to become a member of the boards. Voice your opinion in regards to the state of the dance floor, its usage, and the type of bands / music that is played.
Purchase a drink of some description. It doesn’t have to be an alcoholic beverage. Purchase a meal or snacks. Take an active interest in the club, the facilities and entertainment that the club has to offer. Remember clubs need our patronage to survive.