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.