At a rough estimate I’d say about twenty five percent of our wedding couples consist of grooms who have been virtually dragged along by the scruff of the neck and about fifty percent where the groom is semi-willing but only doing it because his bride really wants to. So if you are feeling pretty reluctant about dancing lessons or even trying to avoid them at all costs, you are certainly not alone.
Girls in general have an easier time learning to dance, there seems to be something in the gene’s that make it partly so, but more than that it’s our Aussie culture that defines dancing is more for girls than boys.
It’s a common everyday matter in Australia for young girls to attend ballet school or dancing classes and always has been. Talk to a woman of any age and you’ll find that an overwhelming majority had some sort of dance classes as a child.
But boys are quite another matter and it’s rare to find male adults that had dance classes as a child other than perhaps the isolated odd mandatory class at school. Aussie boys are not educated to participate in dance and their recreational purists are focussed on sports, particularly football, cricket and swimming.
The difference that the cultural background makes becomes very apparent when I have groom’s from other cultures, for example a South American groom. He’s been exposed to dance and equal gender participation since a baby and the idea of dancing is completely natural and also enjoyable.
So our average Aussie guy has not only not been brought up to enjoy dancing with a woman, but he generally thinks he can’t dance and commonly feels stupid trying to dance and as a consequence spends most of his social life actively avoiding the dance floor.
And then, the wedding day looms on the horizon ….. is he going to have to overcome those barriers or can he continue to avoid this dance thing? If his bride is keen to dance nicely for their first dance as husband and wife, it comes to crunch time.
A bridal waltz / wedding dance is a partnered dance and generally comes under the umbrella of Ballroom and Latin dancing, which are dances that were made for a man and a woman. For a man, it is actually quite masculine, holding your beautiful woman in your arms and leading her around the dance floor. The dances, the steps and the moves are all designed and created with the relationship of a man and a woman in mind.
Some of the boys moves in Latin dancing for example are downright macho and as for the girls; very sensuous, feminine and flirty. There is nothing pooncy about ballroom and latin dancing for a man and believe me, a man who can dance with a woman becomes a chick magnet anywhere you may go out where there’s dancing.
The steps and moves of ballroom dancing are founded on natural body movement, ie: walking. If you can walk then you can learn ballroom dancing quite easily. There’s no mythical ‘natural rhythm’ or more than normal coordination needed, a basic dance can be learnt just following simple instructions. You don’t have to ‘bop’ or weave ar sway around. You don’t have to wave your arms about to add to the picture, your arms are wrapped around your partner. Done without a partner some of the basic steps of some of the ballroom dances don’t even look like dancing to the uninitiated, but done with a partner they suddenly become dancing and also feel great.
It never fails to amaze me how many people think they can’t dance because they have two left feet or are terribly uncoordinated, I just don’t know where that idea comes from. When people tell me they ‘can’t’ dance’ I ask ‘have you ever had a lesson’ and most say no. So of course my response is ‘ how on earth can you say you can’t do something when you have never been taught!” Most adults can drive a car, maybe they learnt easily and quickly maybe they had heaps of lessons, but at some point along the way we all had to be shown the ropes by someone and practice driving before we became competent and confident – it wasn’t just ‘natural’.
I mean, even something as simple as learning to tie your shoelaces as a kid, someone had to show us and then we had to practice – it didn’t just come natural.
So why do people think because dancing is not a natural ability and despite having never had a lessons, decide that they cannot dance!
Most of the above becomes clear to even the most reluctant groom in the first dance lesson. I find that once these initial concerns are overcome (by experiencing it in a lesson, not by nagging about it) the whole idea of dancing changes and in many cases the groom leaves my first dance lesson feeling excited about the idea of dancing with his bride and enjoying it.
If your bride wants to have some dance lessons so that you look nice on your wedding day and you really really don’t want to the best I can suggest is a compromise. Agree to have one lesson to see how it goes, at least then you’ve shown her you will at least try and if you really don’t want to have more lesson after that she can’t complain that you did not give it a go.