When Dancing isn’t Fun Anymore

Two friends of mine just quit dancing. One quit because the rejection was too much. The other quit because she hated the scene; it wasn’t supporting what she needed as a dancer and she wasn’t growing.

Here are a few things I’ve done in this situation (and a few I need to do more of).

#1. You gotta train. Let’s be honest: Dancing is a lot more fun when you are in high demand (especially with good dancers). No one really wants to pay $15 to sit for 3 hours. You get to be in demand by being well trained. I’m constantly amazed at how much detail goes into making someone a desirable dancer. If I want to dance with awesome dancers, I have to put in the same amount of work they did. And yep, the secret here is private lessons. Lots of them.

#2. Take the lead. If dancing isn’t fun because the skill level is low in your community, take the lead in getting people better trained. Host a practica where people share feedback. Have friends over to work on stuff. Invite a pro to your area to teach a workshop and host them if you can. If you are the most skilled person in the room and everyone else is struggling, build relations with those who show sincere interest in growing. Kindly offer some guidance and coaching for how to advance (i.e., point them to the best pro to work with). Sometimes people simply don’t know what they are missing.

The other option is to literally “take the lead”. Followers, you may love the challenge of learning to lead (and some guys love to follow!). I was amazed at how cool it was to be on the other side. Learning the other role can infuse all new energy to a stale dance life.

#3. Social dancing takes work. I’m an introvert. But when I show up at a dance, I work that room. I do my best to walk the room greeting everyone I know. I may even introduce myself to people I don’t know yet. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for it and I’ll hide in a corner, but it truly makes a difference when I do it. This also helps you stay in high demand because most people like to dance with their friends and those perceived as warm, open and friendly.

Community is a huge part of any partner dance, so do the work to become part of the community you are in. There is a reason it’s called social dancing – we need to be social. On and off the floor.

#4. Drop the expectations. If you aren’t having fun anymore, take a moment to really consider why. How many of those reasons are due to unmet expectations? Just showing up doesn’t guarantee you dances. The best dancers may never notice you or seek you out. Life is a lot easier when you drop the expectations and find a way to make the best of whatever you find yourself in.

No good dancers? Use it as an opportunity to be social and build relationships. Feeling overlooked? Work on your solo dancing or study other dancers. Learn to embrace whatever is happening and make something good out of it.

#5. Go solo. If you dread “working the room” or just want to have fun or simply don’t want to depend on others to make your night fulfilling, try a dance you can do solo. Blues, ecstatic dance, belly dancing, tribal fusion, hip hop, african dance, pole dancing, aerial silks – there are tons of options that put you in full command of your experience.

#6. Take a break. I do this all the time… Sometimes it’s not fun RIGHT NOW. Walk away for a few weeks and you’ll likely come back feeling rejuvenated.  You may realize that what you really need is to try a different style of dance. Your body may simply be worn out. I burn out on dances all the time and rotate through several of them based on my mood.

You may realize that you have some personal issues to work through (rejection, insecurity, lack of confidence) – if so, address it so it stops haunting you. Whatever it is, give yourself a break to rest, heal and reset. And it always feels good when you reappear and people are excited to see you back again.

When it just isn’t fun anymore, all you need to do is something different.

The scene you are in may never change. But you can.

And that is what changes a scene. 

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About Epiphany

epiphanies on life and spiritual living as I chase wisdom - one insight at a time.

Posted on August 21, 2017, in Dance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I like this article. I’ve read a few articles that basically placed blame with men for not going around the room and specifically asking girls they don’t know to dance. Everyone must take responsibility for their own experiences.

    I try my best to dance with everyone whenever I go dancing, but sometimes that can prove difficult if I keep getting asked to dance. The more popular dancers are in demand and as such might not even have the chance to see who’s not dancing in the room, just like you said here!

    Wish everyone a happy dancing life!

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  2. Great article. I fully agree that it’s good to look at yourself first, to see what you can change. I would like to add that I understand that it’s easier said than done for some or maybe many people. Shyness coupled with actual rejections if you do take chance can break your spirit.
    I think organizers can help by using themes during parties. I went to a swing party where, during one hour, they played two minute versions of songs and the rule was that you had to dance with a different partner every time. It was the most social experience I have experienced for a long time.

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  3. Best advice and perspective I’ve read in a long time. Well said!

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  4. I have experienced that the greatest thing in social dancing is the golden opportunity it gives us to bring real joy and blessing into the life of another person. To excitedly open their eyes to the fantastic potential they have as a dancer. To praise everything they do well. To recognize to them their great value. To help them to see that they belong to the group and that their presence is appreciated and enjoyed.
    When I dance at other clubs and I see so many new follows sitting around the dance floor, and no one is asking them to dance, it tears at my heart. As a lead I know what rejection feels like, and with each new dance number played by the DJ and no one asks them to dance I can see them feeling more and more rejected. It is then a desperate race against time to ask each of them to dance before their endurance of rejection is exceeded and they leave, many of them never to return to dance. And that is a terrible tragedy, as many of them have such incredible potential and they don’t even know it.
    Then there is the sad reality that not everyone who tries social dancing has a happy life. Some people try dancing because they are desperate to find any people at all who will just smile at them, will just treat them with an ounce of kindness, just something to keep them from sinking even lower into depression than they already are.
    The fact is, that when you ask a person to dance you might be saving their life.
    And just look at what happens when you ask one of those shy, lonely and rejected new people to dance. You see their face light up. You see the joy energizing them. You see their confidence soar. you see them begin to come alive as a social dancer. And then you see other people noticing their happiness and their joy and soon others are asking them to dance as well and you know they are now going to have what may just be one of the most fantastic evenings of their lives.
    This is the greatest opportunity in social dancing – the opportunity to give joy, confidence, belonging and friendship to another person.
    If you really want to get the most out of dance – forget yourself – and think of them. Experience this amazing, beautiful thing and you will never look back. You will never regret it. It’s where it’s at. :)! 

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  5. Dancing can also be about focusing a little more on giving rather than receiving.
    I know I sometimes expect too much from a dance because of my mindset but when I catch myself and make the effort to dance for the benefit of my partner rather than mine I usually end up receiving more than I expected, if you catch my drift 🙂

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