Loving to dance and dancing to love

Dancing ... the vertical expression of our horizontal desire.
Dancing ... the vertical expression of our horizontal desire.


This is a damn shame for two reasons. One, you should never ask for a man to ask you anything if you want it bad enough. Two, if one does wait for him to make the first move, one may be disappointed – in general, and in this scenario in particular – because inasmuch as she loves a shimmy, many Australian men hate to dance.

Why? Because they don’t enjoy it/don’t know how/don’t have the balls/or (groan) they think dancing is ‘gay’. And the more ocker, rougher, and blokier the bloke, the less likely he is going to proffer hand, smile, and take her for a turn her about the room. In short, gladiators don’t dance. And they don’t have to. They can win women with brutish charm and warrior prestige. But even Goliaths can be defeated, especially by King David, veritable Lord of the Dance.

Because here’s the thing about dancing – when done right, it feels good. Really good. Good enough to earn all its naff euphemisms and metaphors. Including and especially my favourite; ‘dancing is the vertical expression of our horizontal desire’. But dancing isn’t just about sex. Broadly, it’s about social grace and civility as well – qualities we should be promoting far more than we do. Individually, dancing also helps us learn how to be close with one another. Dancing helps people work as a team, harmoniously, to create something beautiful.

Is it the couples who dance together that stay together? Is that why marriages don’t last these days – people don’t dance like they used to?

Obviously, it’s not that simple. However, closeness, team-work and harmony are cornerstones of any successful relationship. If these features aren’t present, trouble will abound. And while I’m not saying so much lead to the demise of Gladiator and reality Dancing Queen, I am saying that somewhere along the line, they fell out of step – as we all do, if we’re not careful. At this point, whether Russell could actually dance or Danielle simply preferred dancing with someone else is irrelevant – what matters is the couple were no longer in sync.

And when you consider the distances the pair confronted regularly, well, it’s easy to see how closeness also fell by the wayside. Distance, being both geographical apartness and psychological separation, is a relationship-killer. It can be bridged, but bridges don’t build themselves. And they must meet in the middle. Otherwise love falls apart.

Is that why so many people struggle to maintain relationships - because the solo is more desirable than the pas de deux?

Not necessarily. But it is worth reflecting on the joint ideas of distance and dance, brought together so tragically well in this latest story about a celebrity couple gone wrong. It’s never easy when a love affair is over. When a pair of people who were once so united realise their routine just isn’t working anymore. This is partly why it’s so important to tune in to the rhythms of romance – you need to know when to bow out. But it’s also important to remember there are always new steps. Sometimes we just need to balls up and learn them.

So here’s today’s hot tip. Put aside your stage fright and learn how to dance. You don’t have to be good; you just need to know why it matters.

Don’t you agree?

Figuratively or metaphorically, are you frustrated by a lack of dancing partners? Do you see others dancing and long to join in? What’s holding you back? Do you think it peculiar that dancing isn’t a stronger part of mainstream Australian culture – (the club bump ’n’ grind does not count)? Or are you happy, not dancing, all alone?

This story Loving to dance and dancing to love first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.