Thursday, February 25, 2010

Connections: The Ultimate High (Part 4 of 4)

(Part 4 of 4 on Connections. Here's Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)

Once in a while, a connection comes along that's in a class of its own. Its that undefined, unpredictable spark of chemistry which sometimes occurs between 2 people and when it happens while dancing, the experience is quite electric.

I'm not sure if this connection will feel exactly the way I describe for everyone - I imagine there are differences but the general gist will still be the same.

The Electric Connection
If ever there were "movie moments" in real life, this would be one of them. You can't predict or anticipate it. All of a sudden, there is it! At the beginning, the dance feels like its going to be a "mwah!" connection and then, suddenly, a spark! There's a subtle but very distinct swirl in the energy and I can remember thinking, "what just happened?" at the end of the song.

Yes, this is that inexplicable age old "magic" between a guy and girl and the experience is quite unique when it happens during a dance. The stage is already set complete with leading lady and man. Music is already playing and both are already in close proximity with each other because of the dance. Time stands still and there a new energy that exists which hints of the soft fluttering wings of butterflies. If one could see energy at that moment,it would be like fire flies fluttering about.

The dance itself becomes more of the backdrop and when its over, what comes next is a huge adventure of its own.

This connection has only happened a few times in my life so far and when its happened it has certainly made life quite interesting. In one case just for that brief moment and in another with longer lasting effects.

Here's my conclusion: when it does happen soak it up and enjoy it. I mean its quite euphoric after all. Yes, this spark can mean the beginning of a fulfilling partnership off the dance floor but I would suggest postponing major decisions until after the energy settles back to normal levels AND you get to know each other beyond just dancing.

Dancing's Connection to Me
There is nothing quite like partner dancing that can express the perfect harmony of music and movement inspired by 2 people. The feelings generated when dancing with such wonderful connections are so amazing. The after effects stick around long after the dance itself has ended. You feel good, your partner feels good and it just keeps propagating.

There is one last connection I'd like to point out and that is the connection to self.

There's a lot I've learned through dance and it continues to teach me still. The big thing I didn't expect was how dancing teaches me to just be me and celebrate that.

I remember about a year into learning to dance salsa, I was contemplating what to do with it. I was taking lessons and going out once, maybe twice a week to social dance. I wondered if I would ever be good enough because I wasn't pleased with my styling: I didn't feel like I was any closer to being as swanky or sexy or svelte as some of those other dancers on the floor who seemed to own the dance.

Someone dear to my heart, also a dancer with whom I've always had a "mwah!" connection with, gave me some advice that turned everything around and helped me continue. Basically what he said translates to this: find your own voice in the dance.

It took me a few more months before I realized that I was trying too hard to dance like other people. I needed to trust in my own sense of self and movement and connection to the music. Before long, I started to bring forward other things from my dance background that I loved:elements of ballet, tango, jazz, swing and most recently belly dancing. Dancing turned into this wonderful interaction where I could express myself through movement, interact with other people, enjoy music, get hugs, compliments and help other people feel good all at once.

Following also taught me to clear my head of any preset expectations or try to 2nd guess the lead. Because of this, there is no room to think about all these "what ifs", I could simply be in the moment with no judgement: the feelings, touch and movement were the true indicators of whether or not the dance was successful.

A non-dancing friend asked me why I love it so much. I said that when I dance, I get to flirt with the boys, get compliments from them, I get my exercise, lots of hugs and I feel great! Not only that, I can help someone else feel good too. I've met some amazing people and continue to grow and learn while having a great time.

What's not to like?

When people tell me how much they enjoyed watching me and my lead dance because we were so good and having so much fun - that just rocks. I dance for the joy it brings: to be able to connect to others who aren't dancing with me to share that joy is always so gratifying.

When you have a good connection, its easy to have a great time dancing. That what I always strive to give and what I love to get back.

"Life is a dance. Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow. The clearer the communication, the better the dance. The music may change so you just have to learn how to adapt and be flexible. Sometimes it's fast and really “up”, sometimes it's slow and sensual. But when you get really present and in the moment, it's just soooooo easy." ~Pamela Marshall


  1. Frances!! Your posts are amazing. I LOVE reading them. It's my reading material of choice right now on my lunch break :)

    The way you describe your experiences, your connections, and your feelings is so awesome! I want to experience that also.

    I really love this quote: "Its the whipped cream on top of the ice cream sundae of connections." So cute.

    You do such a great job of puting all these thoughts in to clear words. When I read your blog I'm smiling and nodding along. Please don't stop writing :)

    And I would be one of those people that like to watch you dance. :)

  2. Thanks Stephanie! I'm always happy to share about dancing and to be able to hear others enjoy the same thing is always a major plus :)