How swing dancing can change your life and relationship.
I absolutely love my husband and have been in love with him for fifteen years. There are many things that attracted me to the love of my life, but one thing, in particular, was a must on my list of future partners, and that thing was: he must know how to dance. Swing dancing, in particular.
I met my husband at the swing dancing club of my university. We became good friends quickly, and a romantic relationship developed soon after. Other than the fact that I’m a swing dancer myself, and sharing this interest was important to me; there are other reasons that marrying a swing dancer is like hitting the jackpot of romantic relationships. Here’s why.
1. A quiet man who swing dances is a man who’s willing to get out of his comfort zone.
I’m an adventurer. I thrive in new environments; I love discovering something new, and I need a man who can share in my experience and excitement of constantly trying new things. That means I need a man who’s willing to get out of his comfort zone.
Before he was a dancer, going to a dance class was not something he’d usually think of doing. Coaxed by a few girls he met at a random event, he decided to check out the club, even though large crowds and meeting random people wasn’t something that as an introvert, he was entirely comfortable doing.
Putting himself out there in a dance class, where the consequences of messing up aren’t far-reaching, was great practice for putting himself out there in more serious ways, creating more opportunities in his professional and personal life. I love a man who can take risks. That’s my guy.
2. A man who swing dances is a man who understands communication.
Partner dancing requires communication without speaking, which is an art form necessary in all relationships.
A good swing dance leader can lead without telling, can “listen” without hearing words, and allows his follow to shine in her style. Most of the decisions are his, but he must learn to listen to her feedback. This kind of communication translates into all types of relationships, and can make a good romance into a great one.
3. A man who swing dances is not a possessive or jealous man.
I was born and raised in Brazil. We are people who talk by touching, and who generally have no concept of personal space. A woman touching a man on the shoulder while speaking to him is commonplace and does not indicate romantic interest.
It’s been hard to adjust to the Canadian lifestyle of being very reserved and “touch-free,” but I’m still a Brazilian gal at heart, and having physical contact with people is how I communicate. This means that having a partner who’s overly jealous or possessive doesn’t bode well for me.
Swing dancing classes are taught with rotating partners. In other words, you do not dance with the same partner all night, not for the lesson, and not for the social dancing, either. You dance with everyone there, and, therefore, meet many people and make many friends.
Even when I’m out dancing with my husband, I still dance with many other men, as is customary in social swing dance circles. I can’t imagine social dancing with only one partner every time I’m out. Because I met my husband at a swing dance club, we knew from the get-go we’d be dancing with other people. He’s not a jealous man, and I’m not a jealous woman.
This kind of attitude with dancing, which is a huge part of my life, shows that he trusts me and that he knows it would never go past a dance. A trusting man is an attractive man, in my eyes.
4. A white man who swing dances is a dude who’s not afraid to challenge stereotypes.
My husband’s a white guy, and according to popular stereotypes, white guys can’t dance. How wrong the stereotype is. OK, I’ll admit that dancing by himself is still an awkward thing, but once he’s got a partner, this man can dance. And so can many other white guys and guys in general.
Dancing regularly, and with multiple partners, for that matter, shatters the stereotype of the awkward white guy on the dance floor. And if he’s willing to personally shatter a stereotype that would apply to him, I know he’ll have my back when I want to break some myself (i.e. the promiscuous and body-revealing Brazilian woman).
5. A man who swing dances socially is a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Social swing dancing is a fun, not-too-serious endeavor. Most social swing dancers are out on the dance floor to have fun and maybe even a few laughs. Many social swing dancers repeat the line that “there are no mistakes; only new moves.” A man who’s willing to adopt this attitude is a man who can laugh at himself, and a man who can laugh at himself is fun to be around.
I didn’t set out to find a partner who was a swing dancer; it happened very organically for us (as a matter of fact, I was dating someone else when we first met, so finding a partner was not on my to-do list at the time). But I can honestly say that I don’t know how I could do a relationship with a man who doesn’t swing dance. A man who’s willing to get out of his comfort zone and take risks; a man who knows how to communicate, a man who isn’t possessive, who’s willing to challenge stereotypes, and who can laugh at himself… what else could you want in a partner?
Do you dance? How do you feel about your partner dancing with other people? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Photo: Flickr/ Gene Han