Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dancing Backwards in High Heels

That's part of a quote used to imply that Ginger Rogers did more than Fred Astaire in their dance routines. And its a lyric from a Kenny Chesney song, too.

It occurred to me Saturday night at dance class that the quote is wildly inaccurate. Men have WAY more to do in social dancing (that would be your couples dances - waltz, foxtrot, swing, salsa, etc...) than women. I was dancing with a guy who is quite a bit more advanced than myself. So he would test my ability to follow by throwing stuff in there. And for the most part, I did pretty well if he provided a clear lead.

In every dance class I've been in, the instructor has spent more time going over the guy's part than the girls. Usually by the time they get to the girls, we've managed to pick up on our step and only need a moment or two to make sure we are actually doing it correctly.

Guys have to learn to lead. That means the guy has to somehow provide information to the woman through the direction of his body, the pressure of his hands, and the release of a particular handhold to move into a open step or turn.

Guys also have to look out where they are going. This is particularly crucial on a crowded dance floor. I can't tell you how many people I've bumped into because the guy in the other couple wasn't looking where he was going and walked right where we were moving. It doesn't hurt, but it's a bit embarrassing for all parties.

Guys also set the tone of the dance. Sure, the girl can be fun and flirty, but it's the guy who sets it up so that she looks super-great.

Given the amount of information the man is responsible for, it doesn't surprise me that I keep bumping into men who don't want to learn to dance. Such a shame, because I meet SO many women who say, "I love to dance. I wish I had a partner," or something like that. I really think that if a guy wanted to wrap a girl around his finger, he would learn to dance well. But that's just me... and I love to dance.

In my next entry, I will talk about what the ladies are supposed to do... or not do.