Ken Larsen's web site - Dancing


Prior to 1988, I regarded dancing as something that real men didn't do, so I shunned it.  Then, in 1988 I had an epiphany.  I got talked into taking some ballroom dance classes and discovered that dancing is a great way to women.  Women love to dance.  Women also seem to be naturally good at it.  When I first began, I was real klutzy, but over the years, my skill level has improved.  I often joke, "Teaching a woman how to dance is like teaching a fish how to swim.  Teaching a man how to dance is like trying to teach a fish how to use a computer."


Despite my early negative attitude, I now regularly do contra dancing and swing dancing.  In retrospect, I wish I had learned to dance as a youth. 


Contra dancing is a hybrid of line dancing and square dancing.  Like square dancing, a "caller" calls out the moves.  That makes it less intimidating to people who have never danced before.  I prefer swing dancing.  This is because in swing dancing a man who is a strong leader has a higher "market value" than a man who isn't.  I've become strong leader.  In contra dancing, everyone is the same, because the caller does the leading via his/her calls.  My market value is considerably less. 


I belong to the Triangle Country Dancers, a contra dance group, and the Triangle Swing Dance Society.  Both are extremely well organized and precede their dances with a beginner lesson.  Their dances have live bands and are smoke-free and alcohol free.  That appeals to me, because I neither smoke nor drink.



The best dance tip I ever received was from a 9 young old girl many years ago at a contra dance.  She came up to me and said, "You need to smile."  From that moment on, I stopped being self-conscious and tried to focus on enjoying the music and helping my dance partners also have a good time.  A big thank you to whoever that 9 year old girl was.


A corollary to this tip is "Help put a smile on your dance partner".  Lead her in a way that makes her look good.  Also, be sensitive to her comfort level and physical limitations.  Don't hold her too close or too tightly or move her in a way that might aggravate an injury she may have. 


Click here to see a video of me swing dancing with a friend named Lisa.  She does a great job of following my quirky moves.


cool swing dance moves  I plan to study these to try to expand my dance repertoire.



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