Dancing has been a part of human experience since before we could talk, as some scholars believe. (If you think about it, you have probably observed babies dancing in some fashion as soon as they could walk.) Dancing runs deep in the human experience. That you are reading this, chances are there is some desire of yours to dance and you are possibly exploring your options. So, you could find out about our studios being distraction-free and drama-free and we could talk about how skillful, knowledgeable, honest and caring our instructors are in teaching - but dancers are made with Rhythm & Grace partially for those factors. At the end of the day, most importantly, it is about our students discovering and keeping the many benefits that dance, itself, offers to you.
What are they?
Physical well-being is often one of the first human needs that come to mind as a benefit of dance and includes posture, movement, exercise and touch. Many dancers enjoy dance as a physical hobby and cannot imagine going back to a less active lifestyle. Countless students embark on dance lessons as a way to get in shape, then find out how low impact it is and a more fun way to exercise than going to a gym. When it comes to the human need for physical touch, it is interesting to note that numerous partner dances - from Waltz in the 1800s to Argentine tango in the 1900s - were scandalous at first, because of the physical proximity of the leader and follower. In the present day, the newness of these dances has worn off, the dance frame provides a safe and socially well-governed way for people to nourish the need for touch.
The individuals' desire for fun, play and humor is also a benefit of dance. Improvisation and embellishment are fun and leaders enjoy the challenge of blending figures, creating new figures, and leading the partnership to dance to music and both partners can have a lot of fun finding new ways to embellish with their free arms and feet without disturbing the other dancer. Students can enjoy competition dancing for many reasons, and includes the fun of playing with costumes and make-up, the thrill of participating in a physical sport, and the competitive gamesmanship of moving up in rankings. As joy and humor as concerned, there are dances in most styles whose moves and music seem fundamentally playful, lighthearted or even silly. (Merengue, Lindy, Peabody, and dances of the Swing family exemplify.)
Peace, beauty and aesthetics are very basic human desires. Many students are amazed by the ease they can experience when they begin taking dance lessons with a well-trained teacher, especially if they previously held negative beliefs about themselves (i.e. that they are hopelessly uncoordinated or are too old or out of shape to learn to dance). Dancing is an excellent way to relieve stress. When dancing, especially when first learning, students must focus their attention on what is happening in the moment. They come out of their heads and into their bodies, resulting in more inner peace. There are dances in most styles whose moves and music seem fundamentally beautiful. (Examples include Argentine Tango, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Bolero, to name a few.) Not surprisingly, role-equality among genders is also promoted, because anyone can be a leader or a follower, regardless of gender, dance provides opportunities to unlearn outdated stereotypes of inequality. Many students find a love a particular dance because its music is personally inspiring. Amongst our clientele, particularly technical professionals (accountants, doctors, engineers, among a few) are often fascinated by the similarities between dances and the way small components are endlessly combined to make new figures.
Of course, one cannot forget the role of dance in developing interpersonal connections. Dancing builds community as students of one teacher or from the same studio enjoy sharing a table at a local competition or event. Students and staff of a studio work together putting on a fundraiser for a non-profit organization. (Rhythm & Grace has an annual fundraiser at our own yearly "Peace, Love, Party Ball", where we invite participants of all local studios to have a dance off for our charity - this past year's being for Huntington's Disease.) Dance requires cooperation as a leader and follower work together to decode the silent language of leading and following to create something neither could have created on their own. Leaders and followers learn that "listening" to each other results in a better experience for both partners. Dance also provides a feeling of belonging as groups of students go out for a meal or coffee together after classes. Students develop loyalty to their studio and cheer for all of its teachers at a competition. Many teachers know couples who met in dance classes. Many wedding couples feel the time they spent on their dance lessons made their first dance a moment they will cherish forever. Leaders and followers can relish the appreciation they receive from satisfied partners. Friends and family are amazed by a student's accomplishments.
Dancing offers challenge and develops competence, as with a good teacher, a student builds competence in every lesson and learns how to keep it with every dance. Every time a more difficult technique of figure is introduced, the student has an opportunity to rise to the challenge. Competitions, medal tests, and performances can provide formal challenges as well. Dance lessons (particularly private lessons) often awaken body awareness in students who never paid much attention to their bodies before. Discovering what their bodies and minds do - and seeing their abilities grow - is deeply rewarding. Improvisation and embellishment bring creativity and self-expression into every partner dance. Choreographing routines and designing costumes offer additional opportunities to meet these needs.
If you are truly learning to dance, these benefits become abundantly obvious to you. Dancing, itself, doesn't have to "sold", it does need to be experienced. If you want to get the most benefit, you simply would need a studio that actually supports you in the experience, and a good teacher to help you get them. That is what we do here, all we do here and better than the majority. Dancers are people who dance for the well-being of themselves, and the fun, social interaction with their partners and friends, and they are made, most simply, with Rhythm and Grace (pun intended). Contact us now to get started.