Sometimes in life, it’s the little things that matter.
So I’m sitting with my friend Sekou when he was last in town and he made an amazing comment to me which was something that I think I just got used to and didn’t even realize was happening. You see, we had gone out dancing the night before and I asked him how his dances were and he quickly replied: “I couldn’t connect with anyone!”
I asked for clarification and in his own wise way, Sekou got me to think about connection in a way that is beyond technical. It wasn’t too long of a talk, but it has since given me food for thought that I’d like to share with everyone who reads my humble musings.
So then, I’ve noticed that in your personal development as a dancer, you tend to go through phases where you have different conscious awareness of things that are happening. In other words, something is CURRENTLY your main focus while other things are not given immediate attention. As an side, I firmly believe in this learning process which is why we teach the way we do at MMA but that’s a story for another day.
Now then, let’s fast forward to when you feel pretty damn good about your ability to dance with someone and you can begin to lead or follow the changes in direction, rhythm and random body rolls and movements that come your way. Fantastic no?!?!?
Well, where are you looking?
Why always on the floor? What’s on the floor that you keep looking at? Start to notice…people ALWAYS are looking every which way but at each other when they dance. Before we get into the whole pervert conversation (I’m looking at you fellas), I’m referring to the people you actually feel safe and comfortable dancing with. It isn’t my intention to put anyone on blast, far from it, but I have noticed this a lot when I watch people and have been guilty of it myself. SO much so that I have made it a focus to make eye contact with my partner who is usually looking at my shoes for some reason (mental note, shine your shoes).
This one is easy/hard guys. While I’m certainly not advocating being a creepy weirdo with CONSTANT —> O_O,
I am saying that in an open break or a moment where you really are connecting with one another, give a little nod of approval or a smile to let the person know that you are enjoying this moment in time with them. Life has a finite number of minutes to live and we are choosing to spend time we will NEVER get back in a dance with someone, I think we should acknowledge this as such and begin to connect more.
As someone who grew up EXTREMELY self conscious, I can only praise and be grateful for dance as a means for me to get out of my shell. Truly letting go and just being in the moment is something we can ALL work on. Some of us are further along than others, but we can all make moves to improve our own comfort with ourselves, and our dance partners.
So, in a nutshell, eye contact. Look at the person, even for a little while you’re dancing with them!
Try it and let me know how it went, how you felt or what you think!
To your dancing,