To make myself clear I should explain that I’m talking about ballroom dancing, although you could expand that to any form of partner dancing that’s done socially. I’m not talking about dance routines that you might learn for exams, or flights of choreographic fantasy that you see in competitions or on dance shows like Strictly Come Dancing.
Now, we all remember Lego’s interlocking plastic bricks from our childhood – building one thing then pulling it apart and making something else from the same bricks. Thanks to Wikipedia I also now know that “The word lego is derived from the Danish words leg godt, meaning play well. The word lego also means I put together in Latin, and I connect or I tie in Italian.”
Ballroom dancing in its social form is all about interacting with another person. We lead and follow steps and figures, reacting to the conditions of the dance floor around us – how big is the room, how crowded is the floor, has someone just got in my way and so on.
When we dance socially, we put together steps or figures, connecting them together in different ways each time – some figures “interlock” better together than others do. As you learn to dance, you begin to understand how those figures work together, not just from the body mechanics of dancing with another person, but also to understand how much space they take to execute on the dance floor, and to read the space you have available on the dance floor at that moment. A good teacher, an enquiring mind and a lot of practice help you to learn what fits best and why.
And when we partner dance, we do play well together. You have to focus on one another in a way that many activities do not demand, be aware of each other physically, and be kind and considerate to one another. The aim is not only to enjoy oneself while you dance but to also make that dance enjoyable for your dance partner, in other words to connect with them and just give yourselves up to one another and the dance.
Ballroom & Latin Dance classes in Boxford, Lambourn & Wantage