General Dance Discussion > People who say they LOVE to dance, but have no desire to learn

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by RoyHarper, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    I wish that I could get my friends to try dancing. And by that, I mean "real" dancing of any kind -- swing, salsa, hip hop, solo jazz, whatever -- rather than the shapeless club-style wiggling that most people do.

    I realize that some people would find that comment offensive, but I'm hoping that you folks understand what I mean.

    Here's the deal. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who say that they absolutely LOVE to dance. Several of them regularly attend these community singles dances where people pretty much just wiggle, shake, or sway about, nightclub-style. (And no, I don't think they attend just to hook up. By all indications, they genuinely enjoy dancing.)

    I've tried to get them to learn some swing and a few other styles, but to no avail. They pretty much have no interest in learning any real dancing -- unless, of course, the Cupid Shuffle and the Electric Slide count as "real dances." One of them even said, "I prefer to just kinda shake it around, cuz y'know, that what I'm good at." (I didn't have the heart to say that pretty much everyone else dances the way she does.)

    Once, I did manage to get some folks to attend a local swing dance, which included an introductory jitterbug lesson. Instead of trying to dance swing though, even at a novice level, they just gathered in a circle and started shaking their booties about. I'll admit; I was a bit embarrassed by that.

    Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that everybody should learn how to dance well. Nor am I saying that there's something morally objectionable about shaking or swaying about on the dance floor. As far as I'm concerned, people can do what they want.

    Rather, I'm simply saying that I don't understand. Why is it that so many people **LOVE** to dance, and even dance regularly, and yet have no desire to develop any real skill in this regard? Isn't that kinda like saying that you LOVE to play piano, and yet will only play chopsticks and/or kinda bang away at the keys? Or that you love to cook, but prefer to just wing it when you put a meal together? I realize that these analogies aren't perfect, but I think they capture my sentiment fairly well.
  2. I hear you.

    Many people say how much they love dancing and all that.... but few WANT to put in the work to really LEARN how to dance.

    And to be good in anything it takes time and some people just prefer the easy way out and just do what they've always been doing.

    In your specific case, it seems to me like your friends just don;t want to learn the dances you want them to know...its okay, nothing wrong with that....just find a group of friends who like your dancing

  3. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    See my thread about people being too cheap to dance...partly the same thing although I was more addressing the people who don't pursue anything at all.

    Anyway, bottom line, the answer is that your friends like to do the kind of dance that they currently do, i.e. club/freestyle/line dance. It is just as "real" to them as other kinds of dance is to you. Freestyle dancing allows people to relax, express themselves freely, have fun, and not be concerned about "doing the steps right". That may be what suits them.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I think it would help to acknowledge that what you think of as dance, and what your friends think of as dance, is not the same. There are those for whom all other dances are but a murky reflection of ballet.

    To your examples, one can love to cook, and never take a lesson. And there are classes for people that want to improve their solo dancing to contemporary music, i.e., jazz and hip hop.

    I understand your frustration. You want to share your passion with your friends. But after a couple of tries, it's probably time to live and let live.
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Maybe they're having fun with what they're doing. Heck, I'd like to feel confident about club/freestyle, but having tried it, it was just never something I was comfortable with--I'd actually default to steps from our hiphop or dance team routines because I *knew* how to do that! It's just not structured enough for me. Maybe your friends just like moving to the music and aren't inclined to learn a technical style and figure if they're enjoying themselves, what else do they need?
  6. bd44

    bd44 New Member

    I understand what you're saying. I have introduced all of my friends to ballroom but none have started whether for money or other reasons. When I started a few years ago, I was a very different person. What ballroom has done for me mentally and physically is hard to explain but I think you know what I mean. I have changed a lot. It gets into your soul and each dance has a different emotion that you can express. I club dance too but do not get the awesome feeling with it like I do in ballroom. Anyway, it's just something that I think we want to show the people in our lives and it can be disappointing when they don't seem to understand what you're trying to share with them. You just need to make sure that you also spend your time with people that do share your passion because they do understand!
  7. Ecclesiastes3_4

    Ecclesiastes3_4 New Member

    Oh my gosh. If I had a nickel for every time I'vehad the following conversation:

    RANDOM PERSON: Our school has a dance team? Really? I LOVE to dance! Can I join?
    ME: Sure you can. Talk to our president.
    RANDOM PERSON: So what do I have to do?
    ME: Well, you have to take lessons and come to our socials.
    RANDOM PERSON: Oh, I don't want to take lessons...I just want to DANCE!
    ME: How do you plan to compete without lessons?

    It has been our team's biggest frustration. People who talk a big game, but won't put their money where their mouth is.
  8. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    Thanks for the comments, folks. I think that a couple of you might have misunderstood what I was saying, though. I'm not saying that people are wrong when they only do club-style dancing. As I said, people can do what they want.

    Rather, I'm just saying that I'll never UNDERSTAND how people can passionately love dancing and yet have no desire to learn stuff. I know that it happens a lot, but I'll never understand it.

    Please remember, I'm not saying that everyone should learn some sort of technical style. If people want to do nothing but freestyle, that's fine. The reality, however, is that most "freestylers" do little more than the same old squirming and swaying in place that you typically see at a nightclub. There's little variety and almost no musicality.

    toothlesstiger, you're right. It's possible to love cooking without taking any cooking lessons. I'm not saying that everyone should take lessons, though. Rather, I think it's more like saying that you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to cook, and yet are perfectly content to prepare nothing more than spaghetti and macaroni with cheese. If people enjoy doing that, that's fine, but I'll never understand it.

    Ultimately, I think that Leonid is right. People want instant gratification. If something requires effort to learn, then most people don't want to do it, no matter how much they claim to love doing it. That's society for you.
  9. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Yup. Also think of the analogy of people who say they love to swim. Many are not doing a perfect competitive butterfly or backstroke and never took a swimming lesson in their lives - they're just out there paddling around. And it works for them.

    To me, most freestyle looks like random monkey shimmies now, but if people like it, why not?
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well exactly...and this has been the hardest lesson for me with hello, reggae looks stupid with perfect posture...and uh...could you just let loose?...we all have different preferences
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    ETA: I should have said this first. Welcome to the forums!!

    Disagree with the comment, though. No musicality? Not a fair generalization, IMV. To me, musicality is a completely separate, confounding issue/variable. I've seen freestyle dancers who were one with the music and trained dancers who couldn't connect with music to save their own lives. Seriously. One argument at a time.
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    *shrug* I don't understand why people would put money and time into learning the 'technical stuff' and then not use it for competitive purposes. I swapped skating for dance when I discovered pro-am and realized I could do something besides take tests (I'm too old for standard competitive skating and would be relegated to the Adult track, and Adult ice-dance no less where the partner opportunities are thin on the ground and "solo ice dance" is just embarrassing). I swore with the new horse I wasn't going to show and now I'm picking out new ratcatchers and trying to figure out how to nicely ask Dad to fix up our old trailer. Heck, I'm planting a vegetable garden and plotting how how to get some of the produce to peak in time for the county fair! If I didn't have dance competitions to look forward to I'd quit. I'm hypercompetitive, it's my thing. And yet I know tons of people who do all of those things with just as much effort and enthusiasm as me just to do them.

    Would I suggest someone who just wants to social dance try competing? I might say "You should try it, it's fun", but if they pass I'm not going to sit there wondering why or keep pushing the idea. If they don't like competing, I'm not going to ram it down their throat.

    And sometimes if you love to do something for fun, the worst thing you can do is start getting technical about it. (For example, if you love to cook for the fun of it, okay, go take a class at Sur La Table, maybe, but by all that is holy don't go to culinary school. It's not "fun" if you like just casually kicking around in the kitchen.) For some people worrying about doing things right when all they want is to bop around to the music just takes something that was fun and turns it into another chore.
  13. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    +10 Excellent post
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Thank you. :) IME the surest way to get someone to quit doing something entirely is to push them into taking it too seriously. I have to remind myself not to be the pushy person when it's something I like to do!
  15. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Same here! I had to remind myself of that just one month ago when I was discussing something I really like with my sister!!
  16. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    We all have different priorities and different levels
    of interest in things, even in things that we profess to love...
  17. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Oddly enough, I'm one of those people who enjoys cooking, and knows how, yet I don't do it. I have a big pile of recipes and cookbooks at home, I own tart pans and souffle dishes, and I know the difference between bechamel and bernaise. Yet, what did I do for lunch today? I just threw some cheese, vegetables and fruit onto a plate. No preparation, no dips, no garnish, no sauce...just plain, uncooked stuff and I was happy with it. Why? I just didn't desire to spend the time and energy to cook. I was hungry, and wanted to eat right away. I suppose it's no different for dance, for many people.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    exactly...when I am social dancing, while I would like to hope that I am bringing my technique to the party, I DON"T want to worry about it there
  19. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i found an outlet for that - i help feed homeless people once a week, and i cook the first tuesday of every month - on a budget of less than $1 a person. the coq au vin was a big hit - more people have been showing up since then, telling their friends when the chinese guy is scheduled to cook!

    and *clean*. especially the cleaning.

    the economist in me would suggest that those who are content freestyling are on a different utility curve.
  20. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    I'm not disagreeing with you, Pygmalion. Some freesylers do have great musicality (I was watching one last night) and some with technical training do not. I think that you average club-style dancer really does not have much musicality, though. Certainly not in terms of matching the mood or energy of the music, or in terms of using varied moves.

    To revisit the cooking analogy... danceronice, you're talking about someone who has taken a cooking class, but has never gone to culinary school. I would argue that such a person has still made an effort to learn, though. So do many who try to learn different cooking techniques and recipes instead of just making mac and cheese everyday. I think that alone would distinguish such a person from folks who love dancing but have no interest in learning -- whether through self-study or actual lessons.

    Ultimately, I think it all boils down to the fact that certain things require effort. Some folks enjoy an activity but don't like investing the effort, and they're well within their rights in that regard.

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