You’re either reading this because you’re a man thinking about ballroom dancing or a woman trying to find out how to get a man to learn ballroom. In either case, the article is all about why men should learn ballroom dancing.
There are 4 major reasons why a man should learn ballroom. They are Style and Sophistication, A challenge, Something to learn and Being more of a man. I will talk first about each of these in turn.
Style and sophistication
Who is probably the most stylish and sophisticated man and is yet still very much a man? By the way, I am allowing for the consideration of fictional characters to be considered while contemplating this question. You might come up with a number of possible answers, but the one who comes to my mind is James Bond. Could you really imagine James Bond being as impressive a character as he is if he couldn’t dance?
Even if you didn’t think of James Bond, just think of what things would make a man that little bit more impressive. Make a list in your head. Chances are that you would think that knowing how to dance socially with a woman certainly fits that list. You might make excuses as to why it shouldn’t be, but deep down, you know it’s there.
I will talk more about why it is on this list later. However, I can use one observation now about why you might think that.
Social dancing is actually one of the greatest cultural contributions that the west has made to the world. When I lived in China I noticed that social dancing had a similar perception as martial arts has in the west. It was like a stereotype of the height of western culture. A friend of mine who is from Sri Lanka noted how until social dancing was introduced one danced only as a way to worship the gods. Social dance brought an entirely new view of dance. A very Western view. When you learn ballroom dance, you automatically learn one of the most refined aspects of a culture. You can’t help but be a bit more sophisticated when you do this.
And we are talking about a manly James Bond/Rhett Butler kind of sophistication here.
What kind of a man walks away from a challenge?
Ballroom dancing actually offers the kind of challenge that really gives a man a chance to man up.
It’s not just a physical challenge that can be dealt with by simply increasing strength or speed. You need to master movement. You need to also confront one of the greatest fears a man has: looking foolish. One of the reasons why many men try to argue that they do not need to learn to dance or that ballroom is not for any man is the fear that they will look foolish if they try it.
The truth is that a man will unlikely look good when he first tries to dance. He will then worry about how he looks when dancing for the first time socially. Do you really think that you should spend your life worrying about what others think? Working through such a negative belief toward a goal of sufficient mastery is an excellent challenge for any man. Ballroom dance provides an excellent avenue for such a challenge.
When you take on the challenge of ballroom dancing you will know that you have truly taken on a challenge that has made you a better person.
Something to learn and keeping the brain active
Life can get pretty boring when you do not learn something new. When you start to learn partner dance, a new world will be opened to you. There is the history, the culture, the physiology, the music, the steps, the routines and even more again.
You will not master this in a short period. Instead you will find that as you learn more, there is then more to learn again. This is part of the challenge that I mentioned earlier. Social dancing will always offer you something to work on.
The best thing about this though is that you can decide whether you want to dance a specific dance better, learn a new dance or learn more moves for one dance. Whether it is depth of learning or breadth of learning, social dance will always have something to offer you.
This alone can keep your brain in good health, but dancing also makes you think when you dance.
Not only do you need to pay attention to the woman that you’re dancing with so that you can lead her, but you also need to navigate the dance floor so as not to collide with others. You also need to do this while staying in time too. You need to pay attention to what you see, hear and feel. You then need to infer what to do next from these stimuli as well.
It is this high cognitive workload from dance that makes social dancing the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that social dance is better than reading (twice as good) and crosswords (about 1.5 times as good) when it came to preventing dementia. If you want to keep your brain in good shape (and you should), then social dancing is for you.
Being more of a man
You probably think that partner dancing is a bit old fashioned. Well when it comes to gender roles it certainly is. You might not ever be like this in everyday life, but in ballroom dance a man is a leader. He will hold and protect the woman he dances with as he leads her around the dance floor. He will confidently hold her close so that she feels safe and secure. He will be physically strong, but offer a gentle embrace so that she can happily lose herself in the dance. Pretty much how you see it portrayed on TV.
You will be able to offer that to a woman.
As a tango instructor I know once said, we do not get to engage in such practices in everyday life. So dance allows us a chance to explore the sensations that comes from being like this. By taking on ballroom dancing a man will get a chance to exercise more of his masculine side so that he can then be more comfortable using it in his everyday life.
This alone can help a man become more confident and attractive to women. However, the fact that you can dance will also make you more attractive to women. What’s more, social dancing will increase the level of close physical contact that you will have with a number of women. This too will improve your confidence around women, and thus your attractiveness.
This confidence is on top of the confidence that will come simply from taking on the challenge of dance and on top of the confidence from having that extra sophistication you will have from knowing how to dance. Recall James Bond and Rhett Butler from earlier.
So if you’re looking for reasons for why a man should learn to dance then there they are:
- A challenge
- Keeping the brain healthy
- Become more confident as a man
You certainly don’t take on ballroom dancing because it is an easy option. You take it on because it is a serious challenge offering benefits well worth the effort. You will likely find it confronting, but that’s why you do it.