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Men. We Need You!


Women waiting to dance, Life Magazine 1937
Yes, it’s true. We are lacking in getting enough men to dance. For too long, dance schools, dance holidays, women – we have all been complaining that we can’t get men to come along. For us dancers, the last thing we want is to not have a dance partner. While it’s great our friends can help us out from time to time, and of course there is no problem with having a dance partner who is the same sex as you, men should come in and get involved.
Now, we all know what some of those reasons are – fear, lack of ability, issues of masculinity. But these issues shouldn’t stop you. In fact we can breakdown some of these false ideas and show you that there is nothing to fear, and simple training can boost your fitness and certainly show dancing is very manly.
Fear & Confidence
Now it’s absolutely normal to have fear. Fear of trying something new. Fear of being embarrassed. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that nobody wants to dance with you. These are all normal feelings to have, and everyone goes through them. Even the most professional and experienced dancers feel fear every time they go on stage. But fear shouldn’t stop you from trying something new, from going to dance class or holiday. If we were all so fearful, we wouldn’t be able to leave the house, meet new people, and experience new tastes and activities. We need to overcome that fear. And knowing everyone goes through those same feelings does help in getting us to jump in and get involved.
Dr Peter Lovatt, a dance psychologist, mentioned in an article with the Telegraph, that confidence is the key. And while he notes that men lose confidence after puberty, men regain it when they are 65 again because as he says, “At 65 men stop peacocking”. Now, are you going to wait until your 65 before you go off to dance? Well, you certainly could, but that is throwing so much away. In the article Dr. Lovatt does give this advice in how to build up your confidence:
To tap into this confidence, Dr Lovatt recommends lying down by your yourself, tuning the radio to a music station and making a small, improvised movement to the rhythm. “Then, over the course of a few pieces of music, let that twitch get bigger, move it around your body – through your stomach, chest, shoulders, down to your groin, your legs and up into your arms and head – until you’re making full movements. The important thing is to let it grow out of you, so it’s your natural rhythm. It sounds new age but it’s not in the least.”
Having the lack of ability to dance can be intimidating to say the least. Some people are fortunate enough to have the natural ability to dance or at least feel very comfortable. But everyone has to start from somewhere. While it is a cliché, there is no more of a truism of “you’ve got to learn to walk before you can run” and this is most certainly the case with dance. Practice, practice, practice is how people learn to dance. Making a mistake, learning new movements and techniques is a lifelong continuous process. And you will be surprised how fast the human mind can learn with repetition.
Masculinity & Health
Dancing is by far very masculine indeed. To paraphrase from a movie, there is nothing sexier, believe me gentlemen, then a man who can dance. It is well known that a man who can dance is very attractive, but also can be a good sign of your health. A BBC article reported a scientific study done to see the effects of male dancers in attracting women. The aim of the study:
“… was to establish whether young men exhibited the same courtship movement rituals in night clubs as animals do in the wild. In the case of animals, these movements give information about their health, age, their reproductive potential and their hormone status.
And what they found is certainly that women pay close attention to men’s movements in determining their suitability.
"We found that (women paid more attention to) the core body region: the torso, the neck, the head. It was not just the speed of the movements, it was also the variability of the movement. So someone who is twisting, bending, moving, nodding."
The team of scientists also found out that the men who were the better dancers, tend to be healthier. You can read more about the health benefits of dance from our previous blog here.
So come on guys. Get up, build that confidence, get practicing, meet new people, and find love. Become, as the English rock singer Robert Palmer once said, simply irresistible.