Social dancing, particularly ballroom and latin, has become a very popular passtime among many people today. It attracts participants from a wide variety of ages and demographic backgrounds because it provides so many benefits.
These benefits include:
Sustained exercise – which is great for your circulatory system, general health, sustained bone density and weight management
Learning and growing as you memorize new dance sequences, improve your technique and general knowledge of dancing – good for memory and mental alertness;
Moving to music, which cultivates a sense of rhythm and co-ordination, allows you to respond and relate emotionally to the music and creates a general sense of well being.
Last but not least, there are the social benefits. You get to meet new people all the time and most of them happen to be of the opposite sex. For single people this can be a bonus. The familiarity that comes with regular bodily contact with the opposite sex also helps with your confidence in that area. Not only that, but since ballroom dancing is an acquired art, you tend to see the same people around you doing it on a regular basis. This gives a sense of “family” to the whole experience. Like any “family” there are both good and bad aspects to it. On the upside, there is a sense of belonging and making friends; on the downside, there can be gossip and romantic relationship problems.
Talking While Dancing
But social dancing is meant to be exactly that – a social activity – and this brings us to our topic. Talking during social dances is one of those things you either love or hate. I mean, don’t you just love it when a guy asks you something and then proceeds to spin you a couple of times? He really wanted to hear what you said, didn’t he! Perhaps he was waiting for your words to bounce off the walls and come back to him? Oh! And then he says “pardon?” … and spins you again!
Some people are a bit shy, but social dancing still provides opportunities for conversation topics. You can talk about the music:- “oh no, not that song again – he always plays that one for this dance” or it might be how you love this song, or how it reminds you of something, or how it inspires you to move.
On the other hand, you can talk about various people you see at the dance. Maybe someone has just elbowed you and you’re planning revenge? Or it might be how a couple dances so well and you’d like to be as good as them? Or how you wonder why that other person even bothers (you always get the ‘plodders’). You might even have nicknames for different people, such as “Menzies” because he has bushy eyebrows, or “Teddy” because he looks like one, or “Popeye” because he showed you a picture of his muscular bear chest once. Oh yeah! – and then there’s “One Night Stand” because … well … he tried. Either way, there is plenty to talk about on the dance floor if you’re so inclined. When it comes to talking about people, the options are endless.
Talking during social dances can have a number of motives. For some, it can be about getting to know the opposite sex, or just plain flirting with them. Many women speak of comments made to them by men who come around during progressive social dances. Here, there is a short window of opportunity to make an impression, ask someone for an upcoming dance bracket, or just “be nice”. “Progressives” (as they are called) are an ideal place to say hello to everyone.
When ballroom dancing with a regular partner, talking during social dances can be perceived in either a positive or negative way. If you’re a “beginner” then you’ll most likely be focused on getting the steps right, so talking may be the last thing on your mind. But for experienced dancers, the dance steps are almost second nature, which leaves scope for social interaction.
Social dancing is more than just learning a skill and moving to music – it’s also about enjoying the company of the person you’re with, for an evening. It’s the whole experience that makes it a good time out. Some talking with your partner and others will be done while seated, but on the dance floor, if you’re good friends or lovers with your dance partner, you’ll naturally want to continue interacting. With the right person this can be a lot of fun.
For some however, talking during social dances is not a good idea, as they tend to forget what they’re doing and where they’re up to in the dance sequence. Next thing, they’re out of time with the music, or forget the correct steps and at this point, become confused, so that they need their partner to remind them where they’re up to. Too much of this can be frustrating for the person’s dance partner. Some can talk and dance, others simply can’t.
For some people however, it’s “just about the dancing”. The social aspect is secondary to the development of skill and progressing as a good dancer. They would prefer to concentrate on perfecting their technique with body sways, arm movements and good footwork. Too much talking is seen as a hindrance to this.
So in summary, whether talking during social dances works for you or not, will depend on the primary reason why you’re there. Some like to make small talk which adds to the fun, while others want to engage in deep and meaningful conversation. There are plenty of topics to talk about and a plethora of motives for doing so. Some love it; others don’t like it. Some can talk and dance and have a great time doing it; others just want to feel the rhythm of the music and get lost in the dance. You could be any one of these people, in fact, change from one to the other at any time during one night of dancing. It all comes down to how you feel at the time.