In our culture, there seems to be an unfortunate gender divide when it comes to dancing. Women by and large are encouraged from a very young age to join ballet, tap or jazz classes. Many young men are encouraged to try out for competitive sports, whether as solo athletes or team-members. There is a stigma among men against showing interest in dancing, and there is tremendous peer pressure not to dance. Perhaps it is also a generational divide, rather than merely cultural. There was a time in the not-too-distant past that ballroom dancing and cotillion were a vital part of learning social etiquette. In addition, going to the dance on Saturday night was a popular way to socialize and many even found their future spouse through dance venues.
It has been fascinating to watch television shows like Dancing with the Stars which have brought awareness back to the American audience about certain things regarding partner dancing. Among many observations, one can see that there are strong male athletes who are also incredible dancers. The gentlemen professionals have re-branded dancing as masculine! And though we have seen some high-profile football superstars go on the show and perform quite well, they all have mentioned getting a lot of teasing from their colleagues and team-mates.
On a weekly basis, we are joined by certain brave men who fly in the face of more recent convention to learn how to ballroom dance. These men are smart, whether it is in order to please a current partner (wife, fiancée, or girlfriend) or perhaps to be the most eligible bachelor! Women line up to dance with a gentleman who knows how to dance. There are some other perks for men in committed relationships. It is a joke many consider having a grain of truth, and we often quote the movie Dirty Dancing: “Remember, he’s the boss on the dance floor, if nowhere else.” Women want to be swept off their feet on the dance floor, so a man who can lead her in on the dance floor may find a swooning damsel in his arms by the end of the evening. Dancing (or even taking lessons to learn together) can be a wonderful date night option, and an unforgettable way to celebrate anniversaries and important passages in life such as a Father/Daughter dance at her wedding.
The bottom line is that a man who knows how to dance becomes a hero or even a knight in shining armor. He fulfills a buried fantasy for the love of his life, and in the case of a single man it can be a powerful attractor to the target of his affections. This life skill will earn him bonus points at home with his most important lady, or help him be the kind of Casanova who can intrigue and captivate the prospective lady he loves.
We tip our hat to the proud men who choose to pursue ballroom and partner dancing, and with great respect we say “Thank you” for keeping an important tradition alive. Without you gentlemen, it would be a crowd of sad ladies yearning to be swept off their feet.