Happy Candy Hearts and Chocolate Month! Just in time for us to waver on our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, right?
February is the month of love with the reportedly most romantic day of the year falling right smack in the middle - Valentine’s Day. Each year, people exchange millions of flowers, cards and boxes of chocolates on February 14, all to express their love.
If you’re a single dancer like me, you might feel more blue than pink and red around this time of year. Personally, I like to celebrate February 15, a.k.a. 50% off chocolate day, but if you’re sticking to the healthy eating and wishing you had someone to eat your kale with, don’t despair! The dance floor is actually a great place to meet new people, and maybe even a new beau or belle.
Our world is slowly growing more connected and disconnected at the same time. Technology allows us to communicate with people on the other side of the world, and yet, we hardly look up from our screens anymore to make eye contact with the people right in front of us.
That’s one reason I love partner dancing - the connection. Whether it’s for an entire class or just one song at a party, dancing allows us to connect with another person without any awkward pretense or expectations. Two people are coming together to enjoy an activity they both love. It’s just a dance!
And yet, it so often grows into more. I love meeting couples in their 70s or 80s at social dances who tell me they originally met at a dance decades ago, fell in love, and have been dancing together ever since. That’s not cheesy Valentine’s Day stuff. That’s real romance!
The professional dancers aren’t immune either. Take a look at any professional competition floor and I bet you the majority of couples are married, engaged or at least dating. It’s not surprising. The combination of physical contact and emotional connection is bound to light a few sparks, especially when you’re spending the vast majority of your time together like so many pro couples do in training.
With dance being so effective at creating a connection between two people, it’s also been used as a couples therapy tool. Partner dancing requires so much of the same things that relationships require: trust, communication, mutual support, etc. Couples who have drifted apart or find themselves at constant odds with each other discover renewed connection and cooperation on the dance floor.
So if you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, why not go dancing? Connect with another human being, even if it is just for a song.
Before I leave you though, a word of advice? If you go to the dance studio hoping to meet someone who’s more than a dance partner, don’t be weird and make a dance out to be more than it is. It is possible to have a wonderful experience with another person for a minute and a half without picking out flowers for your wedding. Like I said, that’s one of the great things about partner dancing - you can enjoy an incredible connection with someone without the awkward pretense or expectations. Also, keep in mind that the teachers working at the studio are trained to provide that experience. That doesn’t mean they are interested in more than just dancing.
I might sound like I’m contradicting myself, but I offer these words of caution because carrying those awkward expectations into the dance studio will only sour the experience. Let whatever happens happen! Enjoy a romantic rumba with someone and be ok with it just being a rumba! Maybe it becomes something more or maybe all you’ll ever be is dance partners. If there’s going to be a spark, let it come to life naturally. No matter what, enjoy the time you spend together dancing.
Happy Valentine’s Day!