A Passion for Dance

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Tue, 2006-10-03 14:26

Hello All,

I began my love affair with dancing in middle school, and our relationship has grown stronger with each passing year. It all started at a YMCA summer camp high in the Applalachains. I didn't know any of the other kids aside from camp, so I was less worried what they thought about me. So I would flail my arms about wildly to the rhythm, hop, skip and jump across the floor, grab a girl by the arm and spin her around till we both fell down dizzy. Some kids would make fun of me, but I think they were just jealous. I was having more fun than anyone else there!

My puppy love for dance turned into a full blown love affair my sophomore year in high school, when I went to my first techno dance party, or "rave." I spent hours just walking around and watching people dance. There were incredibly athletic breakdancers, hip hop dancers, even ballet dancers. Everyone had his own style, but each style was dictated by the rhythm and the variations in the music. It was beautiful, spontaneously ordered chaos. Over the years, I went to lots of raves and late night clubs, each time developing my own signature style of dance more acutely. I became quite good, and was proud of the crowds I would attract to watch me. Any feelings of anxiety about others watching me completely disappeared. To this day, I'm usually the first person on the dance floor at a club, and oftentimes the last to leave.

In college, I started trying different kinds of clubs and learning different styles of dance. The majority of clubs in college towns are hip hop / top 40's clubs, so that seemed like a good place to start. Hip hop can be very difficult when you start out with techno. Techno is all about coordinating your limbs to move in straight lines or curves with respect to one another. Your arms, legs, and head are active, but usually your hips stay in the same place. Hip hop is just the opposite; your hips are the source of the beat and the music. Once you learn the style, though, it can be very sexy and sensual. Hip hop introduced me to couples dancing, which is uncommon in techno clubs. Having no prior experience with couples dancing, it took me a while to learn to improvise on the spot with women I'd never met before. Learning to couples dance seemed the next natural step (no pun intended).

Ballroom dancing came very quickly to me, and I fell in love all over again. Once you know the basic steps and a few moves, you can make up whatever you want. Learning the different ballroom styles opens up a whole new world of specialty-type clubs that can fill a lifetime. If you've never been, I *highly* recommend visiting a ballroom club or Swing club that offers a free lesson before they open up the dance floor. Try your best to participate, and look around at the experienced dancers. Each with his own style, each a spontaneous work of art in motion, each having the time of his life! I'm still in the beginning stages of learning ballroom (I should probably take an actual lesson or three smile.gif ). I'm fortunate enough to have the lovely and matchless Kelly Meg available to teach me Swing. She's really *really* good! And we'll tackle the other styles together.

Learning to dance is fun in and of itself, but it has positive effects on many other aspects of your life. It helps you feel more comfortable with your body, more natural in your own skin. This effects the way you walk and communicate non-verbally, especially with those of the opposite sex. Dance gives you a better psycho-epistemological understanding of your sexuality. Not only do you have better non-verbal communication, you can recognize it more easily in others. An acute awareness of your own body is a powerful potential source of psychological visibility and romantic pleasure. Another romantic goodie: ballroom-type dance clubs are a great place to meet women/men! Very few complete morons frequent such places. But I digress!

If you don't dance, especially if it makes you uncomfortable, you own it to yourself to give it a shot. You might fall in love like I did. Don't worry, I won't get too jealous smile.gif

--Dan Edge

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I hear ya!

Marnee's picture

Beleive it or not one of the best ways to learn dance is in aerobics classes. Hip-hop aerobics classes will teach you all the moves. I highly recommend them, if you are just starting out. Its also a really fun work-out that never gets boring.


Dancing = Chicks

Dan Edge's picture

It's a simple but highly accurate formula.  You need no more inspiration than that!  Laughing out loud

--Dan Edge

I've always been shy about

Martin's picture

I've always been shy about dancing, but with inspiration like this, I might have to try taking lessons somewhere. I went country dancing Friday and I had a great time! I think I need to find a ballroom or swing club like you described.


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