Happy New Year!!

What do Women want?

By Izak Smit
What do Women want? picture

Have you ever wondered about the question 'What do women want?" The answer of course isn't a one-fits-all and has various elements. Do you agree that it is our duty to search for the answers into what our partners want in order to have a strong and successful relationship.

So, if you are reading this with the hope to get that magic answer, I am sorry to say this article is not the one. I am however going to give you a glimpse into what I have observed over the past 20 years of teaching mostly women to dance. I am going to focus on one specific topic that comes up time and time again...

."I wish my husband or boyfriend would dance with me".

We did a survey last year to find out why most men are so hesitant to start dancing. We received various different answers. Here are what the men had to say:

  • "I do not want to wear tight dance pants and blinged-out open chested shirts like on Strictly come dancing"
  • "I am not built like the guys on TV"
  • "I have no rhythm"
  • "I need a couple of drinks then I can move"
  • "I will make a fool of myself"
  • "My hips don't move like that"
  • "We went for lessons for our wedding first dance, and it was a bad experience"

This is just a some of the feedback we received. After thinking about the answers, it made sense to me, and I can understand where they are coming from. 

(For this article I am referring to social couple dance (Sokkie, Ballroom, Latin, Country couples, etc.) when mentioning dance...not Hip Hop or any other genre)

When I was a child, my parents went dancing almost every weekend, it was our lifestyle. I had a roll-up mattress and played under the tables while my parents danced. This was the norm till I was old enough to dance myself.

We do not have that anymore, so the "picture" of dance people see is mostly the one on TV with programs like Strickly Come Dancing etc. The social part of dancing has almost been lost. Families do seldom go out and dance together...kids are not welcome at the dance clubs and the scene at clubs is also not the best for kids.... not like the dances in City Halls, etc like when I grew up.

I now sound very old to myself..."In my time things were different ...lol" But they were, and I think that has made a big impact on social dancing in general. Competition dancing is different and has a different mindset to social dancing. 

In 20 years of teaching, I have not met one lady who has not said the following phrases at various different times.

  • "I hope I will meet a guy that can dance" (Single ladies)
  • "I wish my boyfriend will dance with me"
  • "I wish my husband will dance with me"
  • "My husband never allowed me to dance, so now I am going to dance" (divorce or widow)
  • "I love dancing with my husband" (married couple)

So here are my two cents worth that I would like to share with all men.

  • You do not have to be the best dancer to make the lady in your arms happy...you need to be you and enjoy the time with her.
  • Start with an easy dance...a dance that will fit with the music you enjoy listening to.
  • You do not have to get dressed up in tight dance pants and open chested shirts. (Unless you want too :-))
  • Don't look at the dance shows and think you have to look that way or have to dance that way. That is show dancing and they practice up to 8 hours a day to get there.
  • Learn how to lead your lady on the dance floor...why do the man have to lead...the main reason according to me is because we can see what is happening behind the lady on the dance floor...the lady is dancing backwards.
  • Choose a dance studio you feel comfortable at... not all dance studios are the same. Look what styles of dance they teach and how they teach. Social or competitive...remember there is a difference in teaching styles between these. If you had a bad experience at one try another till you find the one where you feel at home.
  • Know why you are learning to dance (it might change as you progress) because this guides you and encourages you to practice. Dance is like any other skill, the more you practice the better you get.
  • Make practicing fun...date nights...dance in the kitchen...organize house parties with friends and dance the night away.

This was all aimed at the men. Now ladies if I may give you one tip too:

  • Try and allow the man to lead :-). I know you had to lead when you went dancing at varsity since very few men lead properly. But your husband or boyfriend is now learning and needs to practice leading. Once he gets it right you will have way more fun while dancing...i promise you :-)

As couples please do not direct the blame for a dance step not working at one another. Try and work together to find out why the step is not working. If you can't work it out on your own, please ask your teacher for help. Do not let it escalate into a blame game and a fight....it can very quickly happen.  

Dancing together is one of the very few activities a man and a women can enjoy together (we need each other to do it) ...learn together, grow together and have fun together as a couple.

These are just a couple of points if you have any suggestions, please send them to us at info@lifestyledancing.co.za. We look forward to hearing from you.

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