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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog archive > 25-Oct-05

 


Wednesday 26-Oct-05

Dancing

It's late. Very late. In fact it's so late it's early.

I'm also three or four sheets to the wind. Thank god for the backspace key. But I wanted to do a quick blog whilst it's fresh and before alcohol and sleep consumes another day of my spark of existence.

I've just got back from one of those black-tie dinner-dances. This was an 'Oscars for business' thing. In the UK it's the 'UK Excellence Award'. In the USA it's the Baldrige Award. In Japan, where it started, it's the Deming Prize. Good old W. Edwards.

More another day about the awards. This is about dancing: and not the dancing lights in front of my eyes. At the end of the evening there was a disco (if I may be permitted the use of an outmoded term), where music played and people pranced.

I stood on the edge of the dance-floor and watched, fascinated. There seemed to be a lot of young women and older men. A message in itself about what energizes business these days?

Me? I played observer, also enjoying myself. You can observe a lot by watching, as savant baseball catcher Yogi Berra once said.

There was a woman in red. Not the prettiest. Not blonde (and there were lots of those, some natural, some created). The woman in red danced like she really was enjoying herself. She didn't notice too much who she was dancing with. She danced like she was dancing with the world. She danced like she was dancing alone. And I fell in love. Not with her, but with the way she writhed with the rhythm and lost herself in the dance. It was beautiful.

There was a man with a shaved head. And a tattoo, and an unbuttoned shirt. And he was having a great time dancing with all and sundry. And I loved the way he didn't mind that he looked just a tad bizarre, and didn't mind that people might have judged him.

And there were others more self-conscious who carefully carved the atmosphere in time to the disco beat. Women carving men carving hope. And who knows what happened next. Maybe dreams were made and dreams were lost. Dancing is something we do as a delight and a way of connecting with others. As we harmonize our bodies, we speak unspoken in joining in holy and innocent being that may lead to less innocence and maybe wholly something else.

Dancing is a strange thing. The bodily rhythms of the night play to an old, old need for repetition. Like native drummers, we beat out our ancestry and feel the cycles of history take their course. We lose ourselves in gyrations as the music leads the dream.

I did a little dancing myself. Just a bit. I talked with some people about the mystery of how there were gaudy women dancing together and men in black suits and black ties engaged in rituals of talk. And a woman agreed, so we bopped together for a song or two, just to prove that we were not like the rest. Then she faded back to the people she knew and I carried on watching as before.

I am, in fact, a one-woman man. Whilst I enjoy the company of other women, I love only one. But that's a story for another day. I enjoyed watching and enjoyed a little dancing, but this was not a hunt, which I saw in the eyes of several men and a few women, but an experience to savor. Watching people dance is seeing something of their true being. And to truly see another is indeed a wonder.

And so to bed. Happy. I have felt others. Their desperate hopes. Their carefree escape. Their being. And so I have felt myself.

Goodnight, all.


Your comments


Excellent post. As a body language expert, do you feel the best dancers are those care-free types who "really enjoy themselves" or "don't mind they look a bit bizarre."? Or is there some other secret to dancing? I enjoyed your perspective, I'd love to see an article or two on the subject from a more scientific standpoint as well.

-- Josh T

Dave replies:
Yes, I do believe that the best dancers enjoy themselves and, when dancing, are not thinking about what others think. They lose themselves in the dance. The dance may be ad lib and it may be formalized, but they still feel joyful, and it shows. It doesn't work the other way around -- enjoying yourself doesn't mean that you're a great dancer, but it does mean that you don't mind. The same is true of many things: if you worry too much about what others think, you will limit your possibilities and your pleasure.


 

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