Couples Communication & the Language of Dance
Couples Communication and the Language of Dance
A couples communication goes beyond words – written or spoken. It predates language, even hand-drawn images. Picture little children or animals, at work or play. For them, communication is achieved through action and body language. Some types of communication have more impact than others. Dance, for example, is communication at its most primal.
When we dance, we use non-verbal communication skills. Couple’s dancing relies on an awareness of each other’s cues and when we tune in to our partner, we open the energy channels of feeling and connection. This makes dancing together a wonderful way to enrich and strengthen a relationship.
As couples learn how to connect with each other on the dance floor, they develop an understanding of the balance in the dance relationship. They improve their non-verbal communication, develop patience, and learn to give and take. Through these practices, dancing fosters mutual respect and contributes to a relationship built on trust.
The Etiquette & Language of Dance
There are two roles in couple’s dance – the Lead and the Follow. The roles of the Lead include choosing appropriate steps or movements that are suited to the music and to lead the Follow using hand pressure and signals. As well, the Lead is responsible for initiating each move, and for ensuring smooth coordination between the couple.
By convention, the Lead in a mixed sex couple is the man. So much pressure! Is it any wonder men are sometimes reluctant to take on this role? In social partner dance, the roles of Leader and Follower can be one of the most challenging things for a couple to master.
It should come as no surprise that, when learning to dance, couples often explore the limits of the Lead-Follow relationship. This relationship can be likened to a conversation, and like conversation, the limits of the relationship are different for each couple. For some, the Follow surrenders complete control to the Lead. For others, the dynamics are less well defined.
Watching a couple dance together tells a lot about their relationship. A woman’s dream is for the man in her life to move with her. When they listen to the same music, they hear the same rhythm. They move in synchrony – to the music and to each other. Dance becomes the metaphor of their life together.
In dance, as in life, a close relationship is achieved by learning and working together. The Lead must pay close attention to the Follow to make sure she is balanced and ready for the next move. And the Follow must respond to the Lead, as he guides her in the dance. This connection between dancers establishes the style and mood of the dance.
Discovering new steps together teaches teamwork, and can contribute to a healthy relationship. According to Miguel Mendez, founder of The Dance Academy of Salsa in Chicago, even struggling relationships can be helped through dance. “By becoming good together on the dance floor, couples become good together in other areas of their lives as well.” [http://www.aarpsegundajuventud.org/english/health/2006-AM/06AM_social.html]
It may be the intimate contact between couples during dances like Salsa, Merengue, Mambo, and Tango that helps resolve conflict. According to Shawn Byfield, learning to dance will improve your love life! Creativity and dance are synonymous. Dancing increases your confidence, both on and off the dance floor, and confidence is sexy.Itteaches improvisation skills, increases stamina, and improves flexibility. The endorphins released during dance create positive energy, making it easier to listen to, respect, love and appreciate your partner.
They say that dinner and dancing is the ultimate fantasy date – if you know of a nice little restaurant, I know a great place to learn Salsa!
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