Understanding Dance


(A KjzzFuzion perspective article on dance and seduction.)

I often say that in making dances I can make a world where I think things are done morally, done democratically, done honestly.” – Twyla Tharp

We find that many people assume social dancing is very seductive in nature. The close proximity of human bodies and the smooth movements executed together can be interpreted as an expression of sexual or romantic attraction. Vern and Bonnie Bullough stated in Human Sexuality:  An Encyclopedia: “Sexuality, spirituality, sensuality, and even rationality are salient features in many forms of dance, but sexuality can never really be extricated from dance, since the sex act itself may be considered as the ultimate form of dance.” (Vern L. Bullough and Bonnie Bullough, Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia, 2014, p. 161.)

Unfortunately, many people expect promiscuity from the dance community.  You can even say that many people enter the dance community based on this falsehood.  They soon find out otherwise.  Dancers around the world maintain that dancing is primarily an act of connection to the self and others.  Dancers further explain that dancing is often an innocent act of bringing people closer.  It prompts them to shed appearances and to be fully open and authentic with each other. Pierre Dulaine, founder of multiple programs bringing ballroom dancing to schools, psychiatric clinics, homeless shelters and conflict areas, life’s work is about demonstrating how dancing develops trust and chips at personal prejudices. In no way does dancing have to be anything but wholesome. (Source: “May I Have This Dance, Please?” Pierre Dulaine, TED 2014)

In other words, let go of the false belief that social dancing is all about seduction.  Social dancing can be about seduction in part, however it’s really about fostering strong relationships.  Using dating as a reference, we can make the following inference.  We can safely say that dating is not purely sexual, and neither is dancing.  Both are really about building a strong, well-rounded and healthy connection with another individual.  We hope this perspective article has helped you understand dance.  Let us know about your experiences.

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