In our lives today, we’re all on our phones and on social media, talking but not really connecting the way we used to. And the way we NEED to.
People just don’t connect anymore. There are people at work in cubicles and in offices and on computers and people who don’t have a partner or a spouse to go home to and make a physical connection to.
Ballroom dancing is a nice, safe way to make a connection. You have to work with somebody to make a partnership. That’s part of the appeal of dancing.
Dancing is a physical (not sexual) connection. More than text messages, deeper than a Facebook “like,” dance forces us to interact, to make eye contact, to touch.
At our Friday night parties, a group of 15-20 students go out afterwards. They dance until 10 pm and then go to the Fifth Tavern, get a big table, and sit for hours talking, eating, drinking, enjoying one another’s company.
The proprietors at the bar know them by now. They know the Fred Astaire dancers are coming to socialize and hang out as friends.
Once, Lada and I went to a wedding of one of our students, and we were amazed to see the connections to the dance studio in the gathering of friends and family at the wedding. There were so many groups of people who have become friends, people who would otherwise never have met, if not for dancing at our studio.
In the collection of guests at that wedding, we saw groups from 10 years ago when we opened up, a group from 7 years ago, a more recent group, all friends because they connected on the dance floor.
Dance is important for so many reasons – physical fitness, mind and spirit, fun. But perhaps one of the most important outcomes of dance is real connection and friendship that is increasingly hard to find as we live in a world of technological, digital connection – and distance. Dance to get close. It’s good for the soul. It’s what keeps us alive.