Friday, June 25, 2010

Dance Face

This is a tribute to my fellow dancers whose enthusiasm and love of the dance is expressed not only through their movements but also on their faces. These are the looks that I fondly refer to as "Dance Face".

A Quick Note: I focused on the faces that bring me joy and smiles. There are many other faces that evoke things that are not as enjoyable and I didn't write those down. Why dance if you're not having fun?

The “Blue Steel" Dance Face
A somewhat serious dance face: pursed lips, cheeks sucked in, brows a little furrowed and chin down with eyes not quite focused on you (his or her partner). This is a look that tells me my dance partner’s alter ego has appeared and I feel like I’m in a movie moment sharing a wonderful dance (usually) with my leading man.

The "Seriously Sexy" Dance Face
This is the look that says “Oh yeah, I’m getting my sexy on!”. This face invites an interaction that is intense and seductive. The lead only has eyes for his dance partner: he is the dark, brooding leading man, smoldering as he turns to face his leading lady. The lady is a seductress: fierce, strong and untamable as she only has eyes for her lead.

The "Cary Grant" Dance Face
I’m dating myself but if you don’t know who Cary Grant is, he’s one of my favorite leading men of all time. He always played that quintessential gentleman, polite, cool, always pleasant, never phased by anything, using humor to mask anything unpleasant. This look exudes confidence and ease; often accompanied by a relaxed smile and a twinkle in the eye. This interaction is guaranteed to be flirtatious and gracious with a light and breezy air.

The "Serious" Dance Face
For me, dancing is a joyful celebration and unless I’m dancing to “save my life” – it happens sometimes when I’m with a really good lead and the music FAST! – I just smile when I dance. For some people though, their visage is serious, formal and sometimes severe. This doesn’t mean they’re not enjoying themselves, it just means that they’re focused on what they are doing. If you’re dancing with this person what you need to look for is their reaction as soon as the dance ends. If you have a “mwah!” dance with this dancer, odds are that when the dance is done, a huge smile will break out on their face like the sun breaking through clouds.

The "Passionate" Dance Face
A face full of passion where you can sense every note in the music and every beat of the song directly through this person’s face and body. Eyes sometimes shut or half-open, mouth open and body fully engaged in the expression of the dance. When you’re dancing with this person, you’ll feel their passion flow through to you. It can get “mucho caliente!” on the dance floor.

The “Oh-My-God Did I Do That Right?" Dance Face
Questioning, unsure, this look is one that’s usually on a beginner’s face. It’s a face that’s puzzled, worried and concerned: "did I do that right?" If you encounter this face, just smile right back at them to take the edge off and help put them back at ease.

The "Oops!" Dance Face
Whether it’s a misled move or a missed lead, this face is almost an apology that gives away that something didn’t go quite as planned. Handled with grace, it’s usually accompanied by a smile or a shrug. Sometimes, you can see the “teeth smile” plastered on their face. For the serious dancer, you may see that rare sheepish smile break out. For others, the “O” mouth and then smile that turns a "faux pas" into a playful moment.

The "All Smiles" Dance Face
Ah! So infectious! This dancer’s joy is evident all the time and one can’t help but smile when one dances with them. There's no need to guess: this person is thoroughly enjoying the dance because it’s written all over their smiling face.

The "What's my next move?" Dance Face
Eyebrows furrowed into a frown and at times raised high thinking. Their eyes are looking up to the heavens or off to the side as they figure out what’s next. Sometimes, I can see the brain churning as my lead is thinking about the next move he wants to make.

The "Here Goes!” Dance Face
This look oftentimes follows the “What’s my next move?” face. It conveys the energy that a lead musters up to focus on doing some new move that they’ve just figured out or learned. There’s oftentimes a gathering of energy – like a big inhale as if to say “Ok. Let’s do this.!”. When the move is done, there’s a relaxed smile of accomplishment or relief that says “well that didn’t go too badly”. Otherwise, it’s a shrug to shake it off “ok, gotta work on that more.” If everything went as planned – then check out the “Nailed It!” Dance Face for what comes next.

The "Nailed it!" Dance Face
This is the look that both lead and follow get when, like magic, everything flows and just falls into place. It could be that you’ve just executed a complicated move or that you both have hit the right accents in the music, made the right shines that are the perfect compliment to each other without saying a word. I love that secret smile that just comes out because its like you both uncovered something between the 2 of you that’s simply mah-velous!

The "Adoration" Dance Face
This is the face that I see on a lead when his follow pulls off a move that they can fully appreciate. It’s a face that displays the full admiration for their dance partner after she’s done a particularly lovely shimmy or body roll or turn or footwork or anything that “stops” them for a moment. Sometimes, their eyes pop open as if to say “wow” and always a smile and a compliment - "mwah!"

The "Eyes Closed, This is Heavenly" Dance Face
Eyes shut, face serene, with a smile that hints of sweet secrets. This face conveys the ultimate trust that a dancer places in his or her partner. No visual is necessary: just close the eyes, focus on the connection, the music and movement and let go to enjoy a lovely, likely heavenly dance.


  1. The "googly eyed" dance face for when you're dancing with someone you "like" hehe ;) You can't take your eyes off them :P

  2. yes! I'm dedicating an entire blog post to the Dance Crush but that's definitely a look which I've been guilty of.

  3. Waoo, excelente!!! My favorite is the "nailed it" face :)

  4. Another good lunch break reading :) Looking forward to your next post!