Dancing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Many people of my generation and older remember dancing from their childhood – either ballet lessons or being forced to do country dancing. Nowadays, dance in schools is more fashionable with street dance the favoured dance style. But as adults many people are taking up dance. Whether they’ve been inspired by Strictly Come Dancing or have always wanted to try it, everyone has a different motivation to dance.
Research on dance motivation (salsa, ballroom and latin dance) showed that mood enhancement, followed by self confidence were the main motivators for people dancing. Women were more likely to dance for fitness reasons and escapism, while men were more motivated by intimacy. Socialising and mastery were similarly scored by both men and women.
Modern jive may be less formal than many other dance styles, but people still turn up every week, some several times a week and travel to get their dance fix. There’s a buzz and atmosphere around dance venues of all kinds, and that helps draw you in.
For me, I’ve always enjoyed dance from an early age. When I discovered partner dancing after 12 years away from dance, it drew me in again. There’s a magical feeling twirling round the dance floor and having that perfect dance when everything goes right. Enjoying and listening to music, getting the body moving, and having time for me to enjoy myself. I don’t think I have just one motivation for dance.
The reasons people dance varies:
- They want to do a dance at their wedding
- Women – to meet them, or because their partner has dragged them along
- There’s nothing else to do
- A friend is dragging them along
- They’ve always wanted to dance
- Inspired by something they’ve seen on tv
- They want to show off moves at an event
- They love to dance at home and want to try lessons
- A challenge
- Social life and to meet people
- They’ve seen it performed and think they could do it
I love the suggestions here for getting men to dance (the secretive dancer protecting their social investment made me chuckle)
But what do other modern jivers say about why they love to dance:
It’s relaxation, and so sociable, living in the moment and rhythm of the music
It’s my oxygen
Simple pure joy, finding that one moment, that single beat where everything comes together, timing, connection, musicality, movement as one.
I soothe my soul and find my joy
Finding my soul and let it soar
Expression, freedom, my safe place
It makes me happy, joyous and carefree. I’ve met such a wonderful group of people and teachers
The dance floor has always been my happy place & dancing is definitely my freedom
I lose myself in Dance – I don’t care if I’m good at it or who is watching as long as I’m with my baby and having fun. I think of nothing else. I absorb him and the music. It’s pure heaven.
Lovely free expression
It’s my happy place
If dance can evoke all these feelings of pleasure, it’s a wonder why more people don’t do it.