Quick Dating Tips – Learn to Dance
October 4, 2012 5 Comments
Ladies LOVE men who can dance.
Okay, fine. MY kind of lady loves men who can dance.
You know, the beautiful, fun, long-legged dancing types of ladies.
Anyway, have you ever been the guy watching someone bust a move at a club/dance party/warehouse gang fight thinking “holy shit I wish that was me?”
Well, my rhythmless brotha, this article is for you.
For 17 years I was that guy that I described, sitting on the sidelines awkwardly hopping around like I was having a seizure (and accidentally making fun of everyone actually having seizures) – too shy to even think of trying to learn anything about dancing. Flailing my arms and doing the Humpty Dance (which, admittedly, I still do, though much more effectively) was good enough for me.
Every time an opportunity to learn came up, I shot myself down.
What if I wasn’t good enough?
What if I’d look MORE idiotic?
What would other guys think of me? Dancing? Preposterous!
Finally, at the advice of my brother, whom I trust with my life, I took a ballroom dance class. Seriously, that’s what it took to convince me, even though I always wanted to learn.
I figure that I get to meet girls, and I get to learn something I’ve always kinda wanted to learn. In that moment, years of self-doubt melted away, and I took the first step. I was 17.
Here I am, mid-20s, almost 10 years into dancing, happier than ever.
And the only regret I have is that I wish I’d started sooner than I did.
See, if you’re like me, you always wished you could dance. So that part’s easy. At least you know what you want.
Even the solution is easy: if you want to learn how to dance, start NOW.
The hard part is getting rid of your ego. Or at least for now, living with it until it goes away on its own.
For me, that required women. I wanted women. So, I had to learn how to dance – not because I wanted to (even though I did) – but because ladies loved that shit!
Isn’t it funny how ass-backwards we work sometimes?
Here’s a short list of how dancing will help you with your dating/social life:
- You will be the guy who gets the party started (and also crazy/naked/borderline illegal. Don’t ask. It’s a dancer thing.)
- You will always have dancing as a fun activity to fall back on.
- People will notice you because you will walk differently – with posture, purpose and confidence that you have down to your bones (because you learned to MOVE). I’m not shitting you on this one.
- Girls around the dance floor will either a) be intimidated by you or b) want to dance with you. Possibly making a you-sandwich on the dancefloor. Or, if you’re really good, a you-casserole. As for the intimidated girls, all you have to do is say hi, be a nice guy, and they’ll be extra impressed. I dunno, something about being good on the dancefloor can make a lot of girls think you’re a dickhead. Surprise them by not being a dickhead, and you’ve got automatic, easy brownie points.
- You’ll just be goddamn happy because, shit, you’ve always wanted to dance, and now you think you’re crazy for ever coming up with reasons not to learn.
See those? They’re selling points. I’m trying to sell you on this thing you already want to do, because the biggest barrier I’ve ever seen to anyone wanting to learn how to dance is that no one wants to look foolish/new at something.
So, be honest with yourself. If you wished you could dance, and you have no crazy disability keeping you from doing so, the only barrier to learning is you.
Learn to dance. It’s that simple. Here’s how:
- Take class. Don’t listen to what anyone says about just “feeling the music and figuring it out.” Don’t listen to what anyone says about having to have a “sense of rhythm.” You learn that shit in class. Out of thousands of dancers world-wide, only maybe a handful have been completely self-taught – and I guarantee you that they are exceptions. YOU are not. You are average Joe, because if you were born with the talent and hunger to be an exceptional self-taught dancer, you’d already be one.
- The class can be anything you want, but there are certain things that go well together. For instance, modern and ballet go together. Or hip-hop and jazz. Or, in my case, competitive Latin dance and ballet. If you wanna learn bboying (“break dancing”), it’ll help to take hip hop (yes, there’s a difference) and some acrobatic or gymnastics classes.
- For the first few months – that’s right, MONTHS – stick with it on a regular schedule – one to two classes per week. You’re new at this, and like anything else in life, nothing will come of it unless you take those classes every week for a while. Bonus: most classes are cheap if you buy them in bulk. Use Yelp to look for a good studio in your area. A good price range is $10 – $15 per 1.5 hour class in bulk, $15 – $20 individually – assuming, of course, the instruction is any good. Do your research!
- See a good dancer somewhere? Ask them how they got started and where a good place to take class would be. A lot of times, hearing it from dancers is best.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t improve much in 6 months, or even a year – as long as you’re improving. Learning to dance is literally like learning how to walk – only now you’re old enough to understand how excruciatingly gradual that process can be. Keep at it!
- Dance is great exercise, but it’s not the only exercise you’ll need to stay healthy. Your overall level of fitness will help with your dancing (to a point – if you’re a superthick body builder, some of those muscles will get in the way). Fitness will add back into your dancing, I promise you!
“But Vichet!” you say. “How is ballet or ballroom or modern dance going to help me on the club floor? You can’t do ballet there!”
No, you can’t. If you’re already a dancer, and you’re the kinda guy who does your type of dance everywhere you go, well… don’t. Pay attention to context (music, mood, people around you) – otherwise you’re not really dancing.
That said, I will tell you the great truth of dance: all movement is the same.
It’s all the same.
It’s taking your body and doing something with it that involves movement.
Some types of movement are called “ballet.” Others are called “modern.” Or the “dougie” (god damnit…).
But ultimately, your training in any one style will help you access others, as long as you realize that coordination is coordination. The better you get at moving in a certain way, the more prepared you will be to learn how to move in other ways, even if learning new ways of moving requires breaking down some of the habits you build up over, say, 9 years of Latin dance training.
So when you get to the club with your 2 years of ballet, guess what? Here’s what you bring to the table without even a single hip-hop class:
- Poise and posture – you will look confident down to your bones, because you’re used to moving, period.
- A sense of rhythm – makes dancing to those club anthems REALLY easy.
- A sense of other people’s movement – after you learn how to dance, you can better read how other people move, and better yet, adapt to them. This makes dancing with you FUN. Most common compliment I get when dancing with girls is that I let them dance how they want to, and I complete the picture. You can’t do that if you spend all your concentration on not falling over.
- A sense of space – you will not be the dickhead swinging your elbows around ruining everyone’s time.
- Badass je ne sais quoi – this is the X factor. Through your dance training, you will learn how to better express yourself. You will shine through – but better, and more gracefully.
So again, this article is for all the guys out there who want to learn how to dance.
Like me, you might start learning because you want to do it for the ladies. But, if somewhere deep down, you have even a remote desire to learn, you will be giving yourself one of the greatest gifts of your entire life by learning how to dance.
Just ask any dancer.
It’s not about the ladies – it’s about YOU.
Although, like I said. MY kind of lady LOVES a guy who can dance.
See you in class!