—photo courtesy of That Photo Booth Guy, a Vancouver photo booth rental company.
Dancing is always something that I loved to see, so I was excited and also a bit self-conscious. Of course, many people feel a little embarrassed to dance in public, but what worried me the most is that I am the type of person who is cautious about new things and tries to go about safe. I was not sure if this class (or any kind of dance) would suit me.
But in the end, what I got from this class was not only having fun (although there was a lot of that, too), but also many important relationship lessons. After 16 weeks of dance lessons from an instructor from the MIT Ballroom Dance Team, she had learned more than 20 different dances, and a surprising amount of life lessons about how to be a good couple. Because, as you surely have heard, to dance you need two. So while, yes, I learned the steps, I also learned to communicate better in romantic relationships. Just look at how wonderful it can be to dance as a couple:
—video courtesy of Victory Dance Club, a dance studio in Vancouver that offers Latin and Ballroom dancing classes.
1. Do not be afraid that the other will take you
If the women in the class began to take the dance, our instructor would come and tap us on the shoulder. We were kindly reminded that our part of the dance was to trust our partner, who was going to do well. He often encouraged us not to be afraid to let him take the pace and see what was happening.
I’m not going to lie, our instructor had to come and touch me a couple of times in the first few weeks. It is difficult for a type A, a person of leadership mentality like me, to learn the role of follower. It makes you feel blind, somehow, to what comes next, and a little vulnerable. But in dance, and in our relationships with our significant other, it is good to purposely let man take the initiative, and enjoy the dance, too.
2. Put limits is a good thing
The dances we learned had a standard step and a routine style in which they were supposed to be performed. As I danced within those guidelines, everything went smoothly. Because we both knew what to expect from the other; There were fewer collisions on the dance floor and less sore feet.
Just as dance rules are important in dance, boundaries in a relationship foster health and self-esteem. Do not be afraid to set physical, mental and spiritual boundaries within your relationship, too. I have found that my relationship is much more fluid when both my fiance and I know each other’s expectations and personal boundaries.
3. Communication is the key
Each dance we learned had three “connecting points”: the man’s hand on the woman’s back, the woman’s hand on the man’s shoulder, and the man’s and woman’s hands together in the standard dance position.
If there were no connection points and tension between those three connection points, there would be no way for the woman to know where the man is trying to guide her at the dance. In romantic relationships, if there are no regular connection points in the form of communication, the same confusion can be found as on the dance floor.
4. Patience is very necessary
No one in my dance class was a professional dancer. Many times my partner and I would laugh during a song because we could not find the right rhythms. Many feet ached not only for dancing, but also for stomping.
But it was fine. Because patience was something that everyone was asked to bring to each class. In a relationship, the same virtue is necessary. No one will have the perfect relationship. But you can learn to be better at dancing romantic relationships with patience, and lots and lots of practice.
So for anyone who is thinking about taking dance classes with their romantic partner, be prepared to embrace these lessons. It is your choice to embrace them and let them bring the two of you closer together, or to fight against them and risk it becoming an obstacle between you and your partner. For dance instructors, it is important to be considerate of the dynamics between couples and to gently teach the lessons above to make the experience as positive as possible for everyone.