Anyone who knows anything about boxing will have heard the phrase “styles make fights”.


All it means is that what makes a clash between two evenly matched fighters both unpredictable and interesting is the way their individual styles play out in the ring.


I think you can say styles make dances as well.


One of the most fun and interesting things about social dancing is when you dance with different partners in cross body style. The moves for the lady essentially don’t change, but the way the moves are led can be vastly different, and the way I style my dance therefore changes in response.


I may feel his musicality expressed in his movement quality and alter my own to match…soft and flowing or sharp and staccato.


I may feel that the way he shapes his body movement around the lead delivery lends itself to


I may feel his energy level rise if it’s a piece of music that he likes, and bring mine up to match.


I may echo his footwork in those odd half-bars where I can steal the opportunity to insert styling.


All of these help build rapport in the dance.


But they also help create a unique and sometimes magical moment between partners that can never be exactly replicated ever again.