General Dance Discussion > Why do you Dance?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Peter Lovatt, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Peter Lovatt

    Peter Lovatt New Member

    At the University of Hertfordshire we simply want to know why people dance.

    Why do you dance?

    You can answer the question by writing a few words or you can write and write and write. It's up to you.

    You can answer here, by replying to the thread

    For more information go to


    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    This is my story: When my relationship broke off, I was down the tubes. Especially my backbone and the discs were affected, because I used to crouch to fix the relationship. For one year I got physiotherapy then, and did Yoga intensively. Slowly I could feel and move my back, my neck, my shoulders, and my thorax again. But how to raise my head and my self confidence? The decision for dancing was absolutely unconscious. I never danced before. Moreover I found dancing rediculous for a man. By a strange and funny chain of coincidences I ended up in a Tango class. So I had the opportunity to reinvent myself: I learned to straighten my backbone, and a very lot about social, and gender behaviour. A movie was the initial spark, and this guy served as the model.
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    @ Peter

    I just read a little bit about your testosterone studies. As a zoologist I can not follow your findings. As I wrote Cynthia recently, testosterone seems to be a stress hormone first and foremost, helping us to cope with the physical exercise caused by dancing (effect on cartilages, joints, scarf-skin &c). But, I am only a zoologist... ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  4. Peter Lovatt

    Peter Lovatt New Member

    From an evolutionary perspective some scientists believe that pre-natal testosterone (Pre-T), as opposed to circulating T, organises a great deal of our physical and health related characteristics before we are born (see a great little book by John Manning called The Finger Book). What we, and others, have shown is that the way people dance in nightclubs and social settings varies as a function of Pre-T exposure. Furthermore, it seems that women use this information to make judgments about a man's level of attractiveness, dominance and masculinity. We also have some new, as yet unpublished data, which suggest that women dance differently depending on their level of fertility, both across the lifespan and across the monthly cycle, and that men use this information in their ratings of attractiveness of women while they are dancing. It's fascinating stuff. I was aware that cortisol levels increase in dancers while they are competing in ballroom competitions and that cortisol is considered a stress hormone. We are just about to start a project looking at changes in circulating T levels as a function of engagement in recreational dance in people from across the lifespan. Best wishes, Peter
  5. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hello Peter, welcome to DF. We actually have a couple past threads where people have indicated what motivates them to dance. You may wish to read through those threads. However, I'm not sure you're going to find the type of scientific information that you look to be interested in.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Interesting actually, as a competitive dancer. Since we are being judged by others who are being influenced by our physical make-up... and I don't just mean the superficial levels of grooming that we torture ourselves with ;)
  7. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

    Completed survey. :)
  8. I was always that guy who when asked to dance made up some lame excuse not to, basically for the sheer fact that I was afraid I'd be no good and embarrass myself. Well, Near the end of my senior year of high school I finally got the chance to date the girl of my dreams, my one and only crush, and she of course, was a romantic sap and a half much like myself. Well, in the course of romancing her over time and doing over the top romantic gestures, the one thing I never gave into was her love to dance, specifically she likes to Salsa. We eventually broke up, not do to unhappiness or it not working out, but due to distance as she went away to school and long story short, didn't want to do a long distance relationship. Now, where dance comes in! One of the last grand romantic gestures I had planned for her, was that I had always intended on taking a salsa class or ballroom dance class to learn salsa so that one night I could surprise her by dancing the night away with her. The plan was to make a seudo dance floor actually on the beach (we live right on the coast) and set up torches, and lighting, and music to which after taking her on a romantic moonlight walk, we'd come around the bend in the bluffs to reveal my dance floor surrounded by firelight and backed by the crash of waves. I would have a friend of mine stationed up on top of the bluffs controlling the music, and after that I'd simply pull her onto the dance floor and do the one thing I told her I wouldn't do :) I had everything planned out to, I even found a place that sold tiled hardwood floors that I could make the dance floor out of. However, that never happened, but, even though its been a number of years now since we dated, I still carry a secret flame for her, and I always will as she is just one of a kind. However, this last semester I was asked to take an american Ballroom dance class in which Salsa was taken, so with thoughts of maybe one day still pulling that romantic gesture off, I agreed to take the class. And now basically, I'm hooked, I really enjoyed myself this past few months, and I look forward to taking more classes and learning as much as possible! And thats why I dance really, because and for her. We still talk, but to this day she still has no idea.
  9. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Such a simple question, but with so many answers. I'm one of those people that never finishes what she started, so sticking with dancing for so many years (and wanting to stick with it forever) means I've gotten a lot, and continue to get a lot, out of dancing.

    - When I first started, I was a brand new freshmen in college with no new friends and a floor full of girls who were not my type (typical college drinkers). I went to tons of clubs, and the ballroom team/club was where I found a group of friends that I really clicked with. My team is still the group of friends I hang out with the most, years later.

    - I can't dance! Or at least, I couldn't.

    - Dancing and ballroom technique really connects me to my body in a way I've never been. It's a very fulfilling connection. I've always had good posture, but again, I've never been a dancer.

    - It's fun - both competitive training and social dancing.

    - It's a challenge. I'm primarily a competitive dancer, but I practice to improve my dancing, not to do better at comps (that's just a side bene).

    - Exercise! Plus, I've noticed ballroom keeps you young. I once danced with a spry old guy at a social dance... I'd have guessed mid 60's, but he was 82! He'd been dancing his whole life.

    - It gets me out of the house! I'm always glued to my computer, so it's rare to find something I enjoy enough to travel (I often travel 2 hr round trips 3 times a week... ugh)

    - Oh yeah, and the costumes are fantastic :D It satisfies my urge to play "dress up" while still letting me be a tomboy the rest of the time.
  10. dcharmd1

    dcharmd1 New Member

    It's great for my physical, emotional, spritual, social, mental, physiological, psychological, I discover and still discovering that dancing helps me in so many ways, for one thing, it keeps the depression away and it gives me a natural high. One word I always find myself using when describing dancing is that it's exhilirating. The feeling I get when I dance is just pure bliss and it gets me thru the day a lot smoother and I find it makes me look forward thru the week until I get to dance again. The ballroom dresses and shoes and the hair and make up is additional plus for me.
  11. waltzguy

    waltzguy Active Member

    I think dcharmd1 took the words out of my mouth, much the same reasons for me.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    because movement can say so many things far better than words...
  13. hold

    hold New Member

    I fell in love first with the music, and then while I was moving brainlessly to the music, I caught myself in the mirror and though 'Oh no!'. So I signed myself up at the nearest dance studio, and learnt international latin. 6 months later, due to job change, I moved to a city, and naturally stopped dancing...but found that it couldn't happen. 2nd week at the new place, I started driving around the new town looking for dance studio for international latin or standard. So I started dancing because of my love for music, but now, I don't even know why am I still dancing anymore. I simply couldn't stop.
  14. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    One thing I love about dancing: I love expressing many of my favorite songs--being swept away by them. Not just hearing them, but being in the song. One quote says, "If you cannot be a poet, be the poem..."
  15. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    It makes me happy, even when everything is going wrong. :)
  16. Ecclesiastes3_4

    Ecclesiastes3_4 New Member

    I believe setting goals ("I will learn a Viennese cross this week if it kills me!") and reaching them is very rewarding. It's also a lot of fun to look back and say, "Wow, once upon a time I couldn't do rumba walks, and now they're nothing to me!"

    I also find that dancing is a way to catch people at their best. Nobody is ever in a bad mood at a ballroom event.

    And it's way more fun than the gym in terms of exercise.
  17. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Perfectly said--all of this. Achieving things that you only had dreamed of before. The atmosphere of the ballroom. And exercise that is so fun, so lacking in tedium, that you forget you are exercising!

    "If you cannot be a poet, be the poem."
  18. Daniella

    Daniella New Member

    Life without dance is like life without love....
  19. MultiFaceted Dancer

    MultiFaceted Dancer Active Member

    Dancing for me is a My Way of Expressing how my Heart and Soul feels through the Music and my Partner. Dancing Allows me the Freedom of Expressing ------------------------------------------------------Extreme Joy,Heartache,Passion,Anger,Peace,Love,Sadness,Sexiness,Willfullness,
    Beauty,Playfullness,Lightheartedness,Sensuality, Elegance-Emotions most people are afraid to Explore,to Admit too,or even to Feel. My Dancing is something I Own-It's All of me wrapped up in the Music and Shared with the Partner I am Dancing with.
  20. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Daniella, which logically means that dance = love. Agreed...

    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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