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Learn to dance. It’s the way to go.

It really doesn’t matter here if you are married or are looking to date women. Learning how to dance is a good idea. Unless you grew up dancing, most guys really struggle with this. The majority of men will look content to sit on the sidelines while dancing is going on. But are they?

How many times on your life have you been faced with the prospect of dancing? Probably more than you think about. The opportunity is at wedding receptions, clubs, parties, concerts, and cruise ships. Didn’t you want to dance at most of these things? I know you would say no to this question if your girlfriend or buddy were asking, but you are alone now reading this, so be honest with yourself: you’d like to dance more. And of course you would. That’s where the fun is and where the women are (including your wife/girlfriend).

Here’s the scene. You’re sitting there with your beer and collar shirt at an outing. The music is playing and people are dancing. Your wife or girlfriend or date is wanting to dance and she is wanting you to dance with them. As she makes eye contact with you, you know what she wants to so you have to remind her that “I don’t dance.” Then with some disappointment she makes other arrangements to go dancing with some other girls. You and your beer sit there and watch her go dance as if you’re in a wheelchair or something. As you sit there watching people on the floor moving and laughing, you silently wish to yourself that you had the balls to be out there right now “cutting up a rug.”

Please don’t deny that this is you. Dancing is fun as shit and everyone wants to do it. Even you, Mr. Manly. But what stops most of us guys from doing it? I’ll admit what used to stop me: looking bad. As an older white guy, I run a great risk of looking terrible out there on the dance floor. I probably don’t have the beat and have no dance moves, so forget it. I’ll just stay here on the fun sidelines and try to look cool statically while the woman I came with dances with other people, including other men.

THE FEAR OF DANCING

Yeah, I know you’re a man and not afraid of anything. Why, then, aren’t you dancing? A lot of guys I know would rather get in a fist fight than dance. That’s macho and all, but they are still afraid to dance. Most men don’t want to be that guy who’s out there dancing with no beat and no moves, looking silly and exposing himself to the world. And as you get older, it gets worse as you don’t want to do anything that you’re not already good at. So since you’ve never learned to dance earlier in life, you’re not going to now.

The fear of dancing is this harsh mixture of anxiety over performing in public and what it looks like to your woman and friends. This emotion is strong and will stop a lot of guys who are relatively fearless about other things in life. A guy will go a hundred and sixty in a car, surf a fifteen-foot wave, fight a guy he knows will kick his ass, or cliff jump a sixty-foot waterfall. But he won’t even fucking slow dance at a wedding with his wife.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING WILLING TO DANCE
Imagine for a minute that you are a good dancer. What small changes would that have in your life? As a willing dancer, you would look forward to going to those weddings and parties and clubs. Instead of being uneasy as you approach the dance area, you’d be a little excited. Here’s a list of potential pluses for dancing:

You’ll be a better husband or boyfriend – When your wife or girlfriend asks you to go dance, you’ll take her by the hand and lead her to the fun instead of the other way around. It will be a masculine moment for you both and she will be turned on by it. This may result in you getting laid later. Just sayin’.

You’ll be a better date – Almost all women are willing to dance and most of them really, really want to when the opportunity arises. If you are on a date and are willing to dance with her, that’s a homerun. You’ll be out there on the dance floor with her and you two will be connecting. And you’ll get to touch her and see how she moves. She will be having a fun and you will be the reason. That scores big.

You’ll feel better about yourself – They say that at your death bed, you won’t regret the things you did. It’s the things you didn’t do. Your dancing and willingness to do so makes you feel the opposite of what you felt when you were on the sidelines holding your warm beer and watching the dance floor. You’ll feel like an able and willing man who’s capable of more and not afraid to try regardless of the outcome. Dancing will make you feel alive and in control. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

You’ll get exercise – The world we live in is a lot less physical, so getting some exercise when we can is always a good idea. Dancing can be awesome exercise. You’ll get your heart rate up and maybe do some sweating while having fun. And if you’re lucky, you might even be sore the next day. Good stuff.

4a. You’ll be able to eat and drink more – All that dancing will help your body process all those Jack-n-Cokes and taquitos you’ve been having tonight. You can enjoy that not so great wedding cake a little better too, knowing you’ll be burning some of it off dancing. And the next day, you may not be so hungover since you did more than just sit there and drink all night.

You’ll look better socially – Whether it matters to you or not, being one of the guys who dances shows the world some good things about you. It shows your peers that you are fun and willing to put yourself out there and take chances. The women there will take note too and you’ll be categorized well. You will look like a more open person and will probably have an easier time meeting new people because of it.

HOW TO START DANCING

We’ve covered why you probably don’t dance and went over the reasons why you most assuredly should be dancing. Now how do you get over the mental hump so you can start? The answer is easy. You gain knowledge by learning how to dance.

It could be too tall an order to just go out and dance the next time you’re at an event, but if you learned to dance a little beforehand, that will help a lot. It would be great if you researched some local dance lessons and signed up for them, but you may not be ready for that or don’t have the money. You could start like I did.

At twenty-three, I didn’t dance and it bothered the hell out of me. I really wanted to but hated knowing that I wouldn’t look good doing it. I decided to do something about it, so when I was alone in my house, I would turn on a music video channel, watch the dance videos, and try to dance to them. Even though I was completely alone, I was still embarrassed to dance and at first it was a struggle. I kept dancing alone and eventually I got somewhat comfortable moving my body to music. I wasn’t at all a good dancer but it gave me enough confidence to dance at the next opportunity (along with some alcohol consumption, of course).

TYPES OF DANCING YOU CAN LEARN

Dancing by yourself will only take you so far. You may learn to have the beat of the music and a move or two. If you want to be more than just a guy who is willing to dance (which is much better than you are right now), then you’ll want to learn some dances. Here are your choices:

Slow dance – Chances are if you’ve ever danced in your life, it was a slow dance. You could learn to slow dance, but I wouldn’t worry about it. It doesn’t take much skill or knowledge to do and nobody has to be good at it. You only need a partner and the willingness to do it.

Ballroom – The fundamentals of dance are in ballroom type dancing. If you learn to ballroom, other dancing will come easier. Lessons and studios for this are available in most areas of the country, so you should have little trouble finding some local instruction. Beware, though, of the cost. Learning to ballroom can be expensive.

Latin/Salsa – Depending on where you live, learning Latin dances may give you more opportunity to dance them in the real world than the ballroom type. It may be slightly harder to find good Latin/salsa instruction but you can find it. Most ballroom franchises like Authur Murray will offer Latin dance as well.

Country Western – If you like country music or live in a more rural area or are a redneck, then this is the type you learn. Country dancing is mostly line dancing, so that’s better for learning, especially if you don’t have a reliable dance partner. Most of the big country western bars will have free or cheap line dancing lessons and I highly recommend you check this out. It could be an inexpensive way to learn to dance and maybe meet some like-minded people too.

Hip Hop/Contemporary – If you are younger and really like the club scene, then yes, find some contemporary dance instruction and learn that shit. A forty-year-old crane operator with a beer belly hanging over his wranglers should probably pick anther type of dance to learn, though. Probably. I love hip hop and would love to learn some hip hop moves but for multiple reasons, a guy like me should start with something else.

When you think about being a better man, a lot of ways to improve pop up. Being more knowledgeable about something, learning a language, getting in better shape, reading more, traveling more, taking better care of those who depend on you, building a boat, and so on. The list can be long and exciting. If you aren’t sure what to pick from your list of self-improvement, consider learning to dance well. It may change your life.

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