General Dance Discussion > how dancing shapes a boy into a man

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by alemana, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    No I think that she just messed up on the title. I think it was supposed to be how a man can go to a gentleman when it comes to dance, and I think that what she meant was how guys manners change etc. No biggie. I've seen lots of men change at our studio, and all for the better! Some even wow me now! Who would have guessed that dancing had anything to do with that? ;)
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    FTR..OP means original this case, spratt...
  3. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Lol! Yeah, I realized that lol. ;)
  4. AzureDreamer

    AzureDreamer New Member


    That is a -much- less interesting question. The title won't turn people off as much, but its hard not to stifle a bit yawn of boredom at the thought of -that- discussion.

    To me, the (man -> gentleman) question is one about adopting a superficial facade of manners; submerging who you really are, that dynamic, assertive, decisive part. Its not that these manners aren't worth cultivating, there are times and places for them.. but pretty tepid and -boring-. A gentleman does not have fun, he might be (slightly) amused, but its not exactly "laugh out loud" fun.

    Lets face it... guys are not interested in male versions of 'My Fair Lady'; they read "Boy's True Adventures", "Shipwrecked", stories about joining the army, or becoming a cowboy. Stories about leaving home, experiencing new things, developing friendships, mentally shifting from 'selfish' to 'generous', and growing up. (Man -> Gentleman) is not something that has much relevance to men, its not something most of us will relate to or even care about. The experience of growing up (as opposed to simply growing older!) is very relevent though.

    but that is why the question as written is particularily apt; its about a fundamental human experience; about changes that go beyond the merely superficial. A child will worry about wanting to be accepted for who he is, its a very immature and selfish mindset, an unwillingness to change. A man will worry about meeting the needs of the people around him, and he will be open to new things if they help him do that. Its not merely superficial changes, its a totally different way of looking at the world... one where its about what do they need, and what you can do to meet their needs; a realization that what is important to you is other people.

    Non-competitive dancing is extremely good in that sense, because it does focus you to pay attention to your partner, its not about winning, or performing; its not goal oriented... its not primarily about yourself, its about paying attention to your partner, communicating with your partner, its about making sure your partner has a good time, and I think a lot of the enjoyment for men comes from being appreciated.

    (END RANT)
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    didn't sound like a rant ...just a really good answer, whether liking the thread or not, you certainly distinguished the developmental difference between something quite self absorbed and something mature...though it is true that age is irrelevant to that conversation, and you also noted how dance can hone those skills...I liked it andh i agree, I have no particular use for the topic of either thread on this subject but it is fair for OP to start one
  6. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    this is a common misconception of what a gentleman is.

    What you've described is not a gentleman, but rather a dilletante--hypocrite.

  7. AzureDreamer

    AzureDreamer New Member

    Gentleman: A guy with more money than common sense, who doesn't work for a living... someone who is more stuck on the quality of their birth than on the quality their character... someone who likes to go to the theatre and the opera, not because they enjoy the theatre or the opera, but because they feel like its something that they should do.

    ymmv. ;-)
  8. AzureDreamer

    AzureDreamer New Member

    and ladies: ick! I like naughty girls.
  9. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    No that's not being a gentleman. If it were, I would have stayed with my x. ;)
  10. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Mildly amusing...
    With almost the right hint of sarcasm.

    But, no.
    Not quite there.

    Try again.


  11. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    C'mon, guys! You're getting into a conflict over semantics! The guy Azure calls a man is the same guy Max calls a gentleman. If you spoke Yiddish, you'd both call him a mensch.

    One of my favorite definitions of gentleman:

    A gentleman is someone who never offends anyone -- unintentionally.

    "That guy," whatever you call him, is not someone lacking in or denying being dynamic, assertive or decisive. But he is aware that those qualities in themselves are powerful and that their effects can be good or bad. That guy exercises his self-discipline to ensure that those qualities are directed toward good ends and away from causing pain. What makes that guy attractive is not his testosterone, but the strength with which he controls it.
  12. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

  13. AzureDreamer

    AzureDreamer New Member

    well, I think that's really where I disagree with the whole "concept" of gentleman. I see life, and relationships, as one of taking risks. If you have a girl you are great friends with, but want something more... do you 'risk' offending her... take a chance on that relaionship becoming something more or do you play the safe route, not offend anyone.

    If you really like a girl, you don't kiss her chastely on the cheek and then go home and sigh about what could have been; you run your fingers through her hair and draw back her head to expose the throat, smell her hair and bite on the neck. but there is no ambiguity, no hedging, you are either in all the way, or you aren't.

    My manners are impeccable, but I am no gentleman ;)
  14. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Hmm... I think I need to work on raising my game. ;)
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yes, the topic... I realize that the thread title may have been a not-so-good choice of words, but I'm going to take it somewhat literally here. I'm going back to well before my ballroom-dancing days, back to when I really was a boy, of 17 to be specific (what century was that? Shaddup! :p). The high school where my brother went wanted to host a dance in their gym. Although I didn't go to that school, I'd been around there enough that the school officials knew me and accepted me being around.

    So the school decided they wanted to host a dance in their gym. Since they had no equipment whatsoever, and my brother and I had contacts with the local music scene, we volunteered to handle the sound and lights. We rounded up turntables, a board, amps, speakers, and lights, and set it all up. We spent a day in the gym tweaking the system and had it sounding very good, a good clean sound with a decent level without being overly loud. And I had managed to borrow a pair of strobe lights, which were hard to come by back then, from another school's physics lab. The faculty who were coordinating the dance were very appreciative.

    So the dance starts and my brother, me and two friends are taking turns on sound and lights. I spend most of my time on the board, seeing as to how I don't know many people at that school, certainly not any girls. At the time I did not think of myself as attractive, and I probably wasn't: my hair was long and scraggly, and I was sickly-thin with next to no muscles. So I made a couple of half-hearted attempts to get dances, got turned down, and just gave up on the idea.

    But at one point, I got up to go get a cold drink (our equipment was in a loft up near the ceiling, and it was hot), and I got intercepted by one of the school's teachers. Now, this particular teacher was a very attractive young lady in her mid-20s. She was one of the faculty members who was coordinating the dance. I'd met her before, but she mainly knew of me through my brother. Anyway, she asked me if I'd like to dance! Totally blown away, I'm sure I said something bright and witty like "Yeah". :rolleyes: So when the song playing ends, we walk out onto the floor. And my compatriot up in the loft puts on Pink Floyd's "Us and Them". Now, you might not think of Pink Floyd as prime dance material... but those of us that did dances back then regarded "Us and Them" as our "secret weapon". Everybody liked that song! It was a great slow-dance song, which the girls liked, and it was Pink Floyd, which made it acceptably cool to the guys. :D

    We get on the floor, and instead of the typical arms-around-and-stagger-like-a-couple-of-drunks typical slow dance, she gets me into what I would much later find out was a dance frame. And, I swear, we did some approximation of a rumba! Now, I didn't know what any of this was until years later. But I liked it a lot! At the time, it was a totally new experience to me. I was dancing with an adult woman... for the duration of that dance, she wasn't a teacher; she wasn't an authority figure. She was a lady, trying to give a boy a glimpse at gentleman-hood. Of course, it wasn't overtly sexual, but there was no doubt that it was a woman and man dance, not something else. She wasn't forcing herself on me, but she wasn't avoiding contact either. It was so different from anyone else I'd ever danced with. Fortunately, I minded my manners, kept my hands where she put them, and thanked her at the end of the dance. She thanked me and hugged me.

    I walked off the floor and noticed that every other guy in the gym had his jaw on the floor. Man, did I feel like the stud! Truthfully, it was my first experience with that type of adult relationship. As the night went on, I never did see her dance again. I don't know why she chose me. But I knew I liked it, a lot more than any contact I'd had with the fairer sex of my own age. Unfortunately, it was to be quite a few years before I'd find that kind of connection with a women again. But there's no doubt that that teacher was a lady. And her introductory lesson put me on the road to becoming a gentleman.
  16. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Ahh, the mistaken (but seemingly common) notion that to be a gentleman is to lead a severly boring life.
    The sublimation of one's self to a stricture of restraint and abstinence.

    Well, see...there's the rub isn't it--because it is not.

    If one understands, suspects, or have reason to believe, that the lady will indeed take profound offense
    if one were to deny her a hand running lazily through her silken hair,
    or her parched proferred lips were not met with the same passion,
    or otherwise taken by the waist and thrown onto the floor while whispering breathlessly "darling carrot-stick, take me, NOW..."
    (with such compelling ardour that all the household's smaller domestic animals scamper for cover and dear life...)
    or other such collar-warming liberties ,

    (which by the way seem to reflect some of the competition Rumba I've spectated lately),

    then the gentleman will make sure he doesn't offend.
    He understands that must rise to the occasion and lets loose the skills required.

    Acting or not acting upon the moment can make one a temeritous idiot or a timid mouse--depending upon how the lady would take offense.
    A gentleman understands the difference and will act accordingly.

  17. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Nice, Cornutt!
  18. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Liked reading this story, Cornutt. Super post! :notworth:

    When I was back in junior high I was one of the guys that djed the dances. Never had an experience like you described, yet asking the girls to dance always felt like an honorable thing to do. I recall getting around to as many of the girls as I could fit in while still djing the dance, too. We used a very basic stereo system plugged into the gym's amps and speakers, played records, and acted politely to the girls all night long because we were beginning to realize that girls were ok to hang around and because we liked to dance, even though we really didn't know what partner dancing was really about.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    :cool: you are most welcome to try:cool:
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and let me thank her b/c you have no doubt become quite the gentleman...and she obviously chose you b/c she saw the potential

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