Dance That Moves Me
There are so many ways to dance, and ALL of them are “right". I’ve been in the dance world since 1995, and have studied and trained in a variety of styles, primarily Latin Ballroom as that is where I found the most fulfillment. Along the way, though, I found other styles greatly supported my goals. For me the joy of dance comes from investing absolutely everything in my body into a single moment in time. So I learned early on, that if I wasn’t performing the dance style, I wasn’t really investing in the classes. As a result, I joined many dance companies through the years and have performed in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theater, Ballroom, Latin, and Folk.
My professional career focused primarily on competitive Ballroom/Latin dances, known as DanceSport in the industry, and there was always a weird derision from the more contemporary club style dance communities toward ballroom that I’ve struggled to understand. Since I’ve retired from dancing as my profession, I’ve enjoyed exploring some of these other dance styles with my lovely wife, and what I’ve found is that I still prefer the performing type of dance rather than the lead/follow or just busting a move at a wedding type of dance. What I feel when I’m well rehearsed is the energy of my soul pouring into the movement in a way that doesn’t happen for me when I’m dancing in a social way. Many of the moves that I trained and that are most fun simply shouldn’t be done with a partner you haven’t trained with, and often the dance floors are too crowded for these moves anyway. But, as I’ve observed many people in these dance styles, I see the same spark in their movement that I find through my highly rehearsed movement. My current understanding is that my preference is related to my personality, a perfectionist. Others are able to get to the same emotional state through movement through different methods.
What I have noticed as I’ve extended to the more social styles, I tend to not know the very basic movements, or the things that would be taught in the first few weeks of any one dance, but almost all the intermediate and advanced content is in the same wheelhouse as every other dance form. There are definitely differences between Ballet and Salsa, but if you’re trained in Ballet, you will be able to do more in the Salsa framework than those that have only trained Salsa.
So, I suppose my hope is that you feel adventurous in your own dance training, and find the form of dance that moves you on the inside in a way that the outside straight up shines. There is a style of movement in this world to match everyone’s own personality quirks, and there are supportive communities of people just like you to groove with!