The Psychological Impact of Ballroom Dancing

When people first decide they would like to try Ballroom Dancing they are usually a little apprehensive. As human beings we have a fear of many things, a common phrase is “a fear of the unknown”. I believe if you are aware of the reasons why you should make Ballroom Dancing a part of your life any doubts or uncertainty you have would be far outweighed by the reasons why you should be dancing.

Many surveys have shown that public speaking is the #1 fear in America. The idea of standing up in front of a group of people knowing that their attention is on you is frightening. As a competitive golfer and the junior captain of my home club I was once required to give a speech at our annual awards evening. Prior to the event I didn’t give this much thought as I thought the words would come easily and as I was only scheduled to speak for a few minutes I thought ‘how bad can it be’? I was in for a very rude awakening and now in midlife I can still recall the mumbling, dry mouth and blankness in my mind that I endured that evening.

In over 25 years of competitive ballroom dancing I too have felt nerves and apprehension prior to performing but on many occasions I have not experienced that feeling. I put some thought as to why this would be and I came to the conclusion that if you are satisfied with your preparation and know that you have done as much as you can prior to the event then the positive habits you have rehearsed will ‘kick in’.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it identifies that human beings need to feel security, safety, friendships and undertaking creative activities as well as gaining a feeling of accomplishment amongst others. The beautiful thing about ballroom dancing is that it is two people dancing together as one and it is an activity that can be as physically and mentally challenging, as you desire. With the added bonus of sharing this activity with someone who, will partner you, motivate you and inspire you we find our students grow faster and gain confidence at an incredible rate.

Public speaking and ballroom dancing share several aspects. Go to any wedding and when the band or dj is playing you will find many people hiding at the bar trying to gain some courage. It is human nature to diminish or undervalue the importance of anything that we would like to feel we can do but are anxious of not being good at it. The fear of failure or embarrassment is often the biggest hurdle to taking the first steps (literally) to becoming a confident, social dancer.

Here at Fred Astaire Dance Studios we pride ourselves on having a team of people who are not only good dancers but more importantly they are highly skilled at making your first experience with us on the dance floor fun and easy. They can relate to how you feel and want to prove to you that YOU CAN learn how to dance. We often hear such phrases as “I have two left feet” or “I have no rhythm”. Learning to ballroom dance is a skill and is something that can be learned. Fred Astaire himself who is probably the most famous and greatest dancer of all time has said “All the good dancers I know have been taught or trained”.

If I owned a bowling ball I would be more inclined to go bowling. If I was fluent in Italian I would be spending more vacation time in Italy. If you develop the skills of ballroom dancing to a point where you feel confident enough to get up and dance then you will find yourself attending more weddings, finally going on that cruise, looking forward to that formal event and having a lot more FUN in life.

We are social creatures and by being around people who share the common interest in dancing we start to fulfill those psychological needs we all have.

In ten years with Fred Astaire Dance Studios I have seen countless students lose weight, improve their health, increase their social circle and build their confidence after difficult times or events in their life. I even had a student get a promotion and when she asked her boss why he replied ‘because she just seemed happier and more involved in the company’. She told me that the only thing that had changed in her life was that she was taking dance lessons. I cannot promise you a promotion but I can say that life is to be lived. The positive and encouraging family atmosphere we have at Fred Astaire Dance Studios is a key factor in helping all our students grow personally.

As we get to the time of year when we are thinking of Black Friday or Cyber Monday and buying gifts for other people how about you make an investment in yourself that can last a lifetime – Dance Lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio.

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Tim Brooks, Fred Astaire Dance Studio Menomonee Falls