In times of trouble
The social ballroom dances of the 17th century were put on to send men off to battle with high spirits, the music hall revues featuring flappers doing the Foxtrot helped Americans through the Great Depression, the tea dances during the blitz helped Britain keep calm and carry on – it is well-documented throughout the ages that being able to express yourself through dance lifts the spirits and increases resilience to get through even the toughest situations.
One thing dance classes will do is fine-tune your ability to read body language. Partner dancing is all about giving and receiving instructions without talking. The subtle inflections passed through the light touch between leader and follower are enough to choreograph an entire social dance, silently. Learning to read other people in such detail will help you understand how and why someone is treating you a certain way, rather than assuming it’s your fault.
Total body overhaul
Learning to dance gives your entire body a workout. Physically you need muscle strength, flexibility, balance and stamina to endure the demands of a dance class. Mentally you need to have a bank of steps at your command, as well as being able to engage with your partner and listen to the music to execute the moves correctly. As you improve and master each step or style, you will grow in self-confidence, run on adrenaline and feel your spirits soar. All these improvements to your body will enable you to bounce back from the daily grind of life much more easily.
It’s in our heritage
Indigenous tribes the world over use dance and music as base levels of expression, and cultures untouched by modern technology still embrace this wonderfully natural form of entertainment. The film The Great Dance describes the life of the !Xo people, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, and shows the tribe’s intimate relationship with dance – similarities are drawn with hunting, which is crucial to the tribe’s survival, and dances are performed to bring rain and celebrate food. Dance is particularly important in many African tribes – such as the Samburu in the Rift Valley, North Kenya, or the many tribes of Botswana – and as it is so embedded in their lives, it helps them cope with daily trials and tribulations.
It’s all relative
Dance, like any art form, is subjective. What gets inspires passion in you won’t necessarily appeal to the person next to you, what one person views as a mistake can be admired as individual interpretation by someone else. At Arthur Murray, we will help you understand what is important to you, so that you can find the joy in dance and enable it to support you in your everyday life.
- All you need to know about Ballroom Dancing
- All you need to know about Salsa