Archive for the ‘I Can’t Dance’ Category

The Right Way To Dance

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Get it right! Don’t dance like that… it goes like this. That’s not right… this is the right way. Let me show you!

Stop! Don’t listen to those who say they know the right way to dance. Don’t listen to anyone that says this is wrong or that is right. They are delusioned… though, approved they are not wrong… Even if they are world champion dancers, medstore saying “this is the right way” is surely wrong.

There is a way to dance Lindy Hop that is common to most people who dance Lindy Hop. There is a way to dance Salsa that is common to most people who dance Salsa. There is a way to Waltz that is common to most people who Waltz. Learn to Waltz the way most people know Waltz and you’ll dance with ease with most people while waltzing. If you Lindy Hop the way most people Lindy Hop then you’ll find it easy to dance with most Lindy Hoppers. Learn to Salsa the way most people Salsa and you’ll find you can Salsa with most people.

That’s really what is meant by “this is the right way to dance”. Only in this sense can one way of dancing be “right” while another is wrong.

When you dance instructor tells you to dance “this” way… do so and you’ll find you can dance with everyone in your class. Perhaps, you’ll be able to dance with most people in the world by doing as your dance instructor asks.

Now.

The right way to dance is the way that brings joy to you, to your partner, and the people around you. You can tell when you are dancing the “right” way when a smile comes to your face. A smile comes to your partner’s face. A smile comes to those who are watching. Now you know, you are dancing the right way.

Doctor of Swing Afraid to Dance!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

In elementary school I wanted to dance, page but I was afraid to go to the school dances. I was afraid of what others would think if I moved to the music. So I danced here and there… alone, sick in my room or when no one else was home. Much of middle school was the same way. I didn’t go to any dances.

In 8th grade I decided to go to my first school dance. It took a bit of courage. I was nervous, health so I asked my Mom’s friend to show me a couple dance steps. She did. That made me feel a lot better – but still nervous. I had a date… that is… I had a guaranteed dance partner. This meant I did not have to ask anyone to dance except the one girl I knew would say “yes”.

I spent most of the night dancing with her. We did the “slow” dance. One step left… one step right… nothing to it. As the night went on, something came over me… perhaps it was dance fever… maybe it was just me starting to have fun dancing… or maybe I was becoming more comfortable with who I was.

Then… the song came on! I remember it like yesterday… “under the board walk… out of the sun… under the board walk… we’ll be havin’ some fun…” My grove was on. And so was the grove of my 8th grade history teacher! So we danced something like the twist… together! Everyone was watching and I didn’t care. In fact, I enjoyed the attention. I was having fun, and that’s what mattered. Let them watch me have fun… and who cares that it’s with my 8th grade history teacher.

My life was forever changed!

I went to every school dance I could after that. My grove came and went. But I knew it was there even when it wasn’t on. My grove still comes and goes… and that fear of dancing – it comes and goes, too. That’s right, even today as I type, I have a fear of dancing that comes and goes. But now, I have something else: I have knowledge. I know I can build the courage to act when that fear is present, and I know the fear will go and my grove will come. In that moment, I experience life in a whole new way: free from fear, in the moment, having pure fun!

Come join me!

Minervian Arts

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We’ll call this the art of wholesome activity. Minerva is the Roman goddess of art, prosthesis trade, and science, as well as the inventor of music. So the name Minervian Arts implies some relation to these things… it is just a name however. And this name is to be used to reference the art and practice of wholesome activity – of which dancing… is one such activity. Though there are types and styles of dance that do not fall under wholesome activity, here we focus on dancing such as swing dancing, ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, contra dancing… and in particular dancing that enlivens your being and connects you with other people in positive ways.

Why bother talking about or practicing Minervian Arts? Because you have a lot of time in this life! What will you do with it?! Perhaps only half or less of your time is needed for rest, food, and the basic needs of living. The rest is your choice in how you spend it. If you think you don’t have enough time, think again! Your current choice holds you where you are. I’ve jumped to the punch line and realize there is a great possibility I’ve lost your interest in this subject already. What I’m saying seems wrong, because you have a feeling inside that you don’t have enough time. You feel stress, pressure, a frog in your throught, or tension in your neck. Or perhaps you don’t. I cannot know… you know. I hope I haven’t lost you yet… let’s change the subject a bit.

The practice of Minervian Arts enlivens your life and connects you with other people. Be it dancing, playing music, playing games, working on projects together, working together, scientific research together, political involvement, the list goes on! These things enrich your life and the lives of people around you. What’s not a Minervian Art. The short answer is watching TV, drinking, conspiring for lustful things, engineering weapons, and other such activities. These things degrade your life and the lives of people around you – and isolate you. The long answer talks about moderation – a couple hours of TV a week isn’t likely going to hurt anything, and it may even help you connect with people in social settings where the subject of some commercial or television show enters the conversation.

Let’s focus on dancing for a bit. This is a particular practice of Minervian Arts. Swing dancing being my favorite, of course. What can you expect to gain from investing in dancing? You can expect to enrich your life and the lives of those around you. You will have a bounty of opportunties to interact with people and make friends. You will have opportunities to create something with these friends; you may create nothing more than a dance with a partner on the social dance floor, or you may take the time to practice together on particular choreographed routines, or you may plan dancing events and parties together. There is a great fulfillment to be had in these interactions and the co-creation that results.

You will have many opportunities to grow! For the shy guy, you will have no shortage of opportunities to overcome your shyness by asking a woman to dance. For the woman with a frustrated desire to dance, you will have many opportunities to dance with friends. There will be challenges along the way. There will be dances where it seems no one wants to dance with you. There will be times when you feel like you just can’t dance. Me… I’ve been dancing since 1997, and I still experience the feeling that I cannot dance, occasionally. I still experience the feeling that no one wants to dance with me, occasionally.

The solution to all these challenges is an internal strengthening of your knowledge of self worth. Dancing provides the environment for that worth to grow. Not only are you met with challenges… your friends are there to provide encouraging words. For one of those dances where you just feel like no one wants to dance with you, a friend will come and ask you to dance. Your heart will be uplifted.

The idea is simply this: engage in an activity regularly that is wholesome and involves many of the same people. Turn off the TV, turn off the radio, turn off the Internet, put down the book, deny the drink or food, and above all: foster that internal desire to connect with people.

Would you like to dance?

I don’t want to dance

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Ah! And this is the reality of why you are not dancing!

It’s not that you don’t have coordination. It’s not that you have no rhythm. (though, this there may be challenges in those areas.) It comes down to: fear.

You feel like you have no coordination, therefore, you are afraid of the frustration of trying to move in new coordinated ways.

You feel like you have no rhythm, therefore, you are afraid of not being able to keep up with a partner.

You feel like you can’t dance, therefore, you don’t want anyone to see that you can’t dance.

You make a choice. You have some fears based loosely on some reality of your capabilities. The fear is strong, but your capabilities are unknown, even to you. I sense that it all boils down to this: you don’t want others to see you as you stumble through learning to dance.

Am I right?

Honestly, do you really feel like you have no rhythm and cannot develop rhythm? Or are you afraid others will see you trying to develop rhythm? Do you really have no coordination? Are you really unable to dance? Or are you afraid others will see you as you develop coordination to dance?

I don’t know what you are thinking. I don’t know what your answers are to these questions. And no one else does. So you can be honest with your self, this once. ;-) Are you afraid to dance?

I hope your answer is “yes”. Because I strongly believe that you can develop all the skills and talents necessary to dance. I strongly believe that the only thing that is holding you back is fear.

For you to overcome this fear will bring great rewards. One reward will be: you will learn how to dance. But a much greater reward will be: you will learn how to overcome your own personal fears. How much you will benefit from this triumph.

If you decide you want to overcome this fear, you will succeed! It is your nature to be successful. You have been given all you need to overcome all your personal struggles. You may not become Lindy Hop champion of the world, but you can become Lindy Hop champion of your mind!

I challenge you to make this step… to overcome this fear. I’ll help you. Go to my website to get my email or telephone. Contact me. I’ll help you get started.

I have no coordination. Can I Swing Dance?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Yes!

Coordination can be developed. And in fact, malady everyone has some coordination; everyone has some ability to do complex motions. Tying shoes, link washing dishes, walking while putting on a hat, just about every motion you make is a coordinated effort of different parts or muscles in your body. What feels like uncoordinated is really just a combination of motions you haven’t yet learned.

You may be thinking: but it is difficult for me to learn, you don’t want me in your class. Yes, some things are challenging to learn. The process of learning can even be frustrating. The question is: are you motivated to learn to dance? If you want to learn to dance, you will be successful!

The secret to your success lies in your ability to allow your body to learn the motions at its own pace. Enjoy the current things you are able to do. Laugh at the funny things your body does when you try something new! I may be an expert dancer, but I still learn new dance moves, frequently. Not only that… you’d be amazed at how uncoordinated I look when I’m learning a new move. You’ll find me laughing in those same situations.

I have never had a student I cannot help learn to dance. I have had a few students whose body’s just seemed to not move in certain ways. With patience, private instruction, practice, and some fun exercises, the student and I have always been able to overcome the challenges of dancing!

You Can Dance!

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

No coordination?

Afraid to make a fool of yourself?

Don’t know where to start?

Don’t have a partner?

Too busy?

Is there anything else stopping you from dancing? I’m here to tell you: You Can Dance!

Dancing is the way we move our body when we feel good and want to celebrate. You see the football players in the in-zone do this all the time. I bet… you have done it, disinfection too. In a time when you were really happy, excited, or felt like celebrating, I bet you did a little dance. Sometimes that dance is as simple as throwing the arms high in the air and proclaiming “Yes!” (verbally or mentally). When you feel that energy inside… that excitement for living… you are feeling the inspiration to move your body to no purpose except to express your good feeling. That’s dancing!

What about those ballroom dancers and swing dancers and those people on “Dancing With The Stars”? Isn’t that really what dancing is? No. They are dancing, for sure. But the dance they do is a particular way of celebrating how they feel. You don’t have to learn that way of celebration. You can express your joy of living any way you want. And you may just decide you want to express it through ballroom dancing or swing dancing or contra dancing or salsa dancing or clogging or tap dancing or some other kind of dancing. My point here is that you are already dancing in your life.

You celebrate your life and express that celebration through movement. You are a dancer!