28 Jun Why I like to dance
I love to dance and have since I was very young. Its no secret, I’m very happy to admit that most days you may find me having a quick dance whenever an opportunity arises, even while walking in the garden
Dance for me is exhilarating. It allows you to lose yourself for a little while. All your stresses and strains just fall away. It is just you and your partner and nothing else exists. Bliss.
But I’m a serious dancer and I have attended dance lessons to learn new techniques and to correct any mistakes I was making. I have developed a love for the many different types of dance, the ones that you see on Strictly Come Dancing, I’ll have tried.
Dances like the Waltz and the Tango require skill and a feel for the music. They change your mood – one moment you are flying around a ballroom and with a change of step you are suddenly striding with purpose and determination. When you have learnt the basic steps, its incredible how quickly everything just follows and you are dancing.
The trickier dances like the Cha Cha and the Jive have been challenges that I’ve relished. Learning those sequence of steps over and over again until they are perfect. I adore the Jive but also value a slower dance such as a fox Trot when you get to hold your partner in your arms and sweep around the floor.
One of my favourites is the Camel Walk with its sudden movements which really catch the eye and which go well with Jive music. When I do this everyone around me just seems to stop and watch.
More recently I learnt the Salsa and the Macarena. These give me a new sense of satisfaction through their sensuality and their Latin abandon.
Having fun with the Latin Dances
Most of all, I have fun with the fast dances, which accompany rock and pop music. Here the rules are to feel the rhythm, the music, get in tune with the poetry of the lyrics (when they are good as they often are), get in step with the beat and intuitively dance to the music. Let your body take over – it knows what to do, if you don’t watch it. Your intuition will spontaneously guide you.
I set my novel, Harp in the late 1960s to really be able to take advantage of the amazing music that was released then. And the dances – the Twist and the Shake. Those were the first days of dancing for fun for me. Happy times. The Twist was great fun and you could let yourself go and dance really fast. I remember being taught that you have to stomp out a cigarette with one foot and make out that you are wiping your back with a bath towel. It felt wild!
Dance is fun, it is sport, it makes you laugh and smile with joy, it gives you a lot of exercise which is always welcome, it burns calories, it digests your food, it gets rid of stress and makes you forget your worries. It is good for mind and heart. It breaks down inhibitions.
You have to dance like no one is watching or everyone is watching. Both are good . It puts you in touch with joy you will want to encounter again and again. It is great tool in living life to the fullest.