I take my hat off to all you dancers.
Why is it that at most parties these days, while the beat is pounding out of the sound system at a volume that makes all social interaction (except dancing) difficult, the majority of guests opt to sit and drink and attempt to talk. Occasionally a few girls get up and jig together, champagne in one hand, doing the “hitch-hiker” with the other and the guys look on, as if observing some endangered species at the wildlife park, stuck to their seats by the glue of fear.
And fear they should. Where else in society is your every movement of every limb under public scrutiny. Every new dancer feels like a dork and most of them look like dorks. On top of that there may be trouble with hearing the beat which makes you feel awkward, there may be parts of your figure that you don’t like and you don’t like others looking at them and on this lonely dance floor, there isn’t anybody who doesn’t notice.
But the secret is that they all secretly admire whatever it is that gives you the courage to care less about public opinion and breathe a good deep lung-full of freedom and just be yourself.
You all know what I’m talking about and you all have felt the fear of, say, turning up for your first dance class. Shaking in your boots and sometimes literally – and the boots didn’t help the whole affair either. You have to have a good deal of courage to learn to dance. It’s not courage over the fear of injury or death or the kind of courage an investor has about financial risk. It’s something much greater: courage to overcome the fear of ridicule or scorn, the courage to do what you want to do for your reasons even though it may make you an object of public humour or mockery, … otherwise known as “self-confidence”. It doesn’t matter that what we fear hardly ever happens. Our fear is a powerful obstacle nonetheless.
What I’ve noticed over the last 5 years since I started teaching dancing is that dancers are special people. They have a kind of class about them. On the whole they aren’t trying to be ‘mucho’ or to prove anything. They are generally more sincere and authentic than non-dancers. And if they aren’t when they begin, they usually are after a little while. I think dancing produces massive results is self-development. It challenges us in so many unique ways. One of these is the fear of proximity with the opposite sex, an activity which is so distorted and loaded by the sexual paranoia of our culture – but perhaps I’ll write about that later.
So congratulations to all of you. You are ALL courageous people, and here’s to your continued and increased self-confidence.
Brent and Corina