Balancing your internal world to become a better dancer…

Ask most people what they are dancing with and you might get a few different replies.

Some would say their feet.

Others might say a partner.

Some may say they dance from their heart.

But when you look around a typical social floor, what you will notice after a while is that people are definitely not dancing from the same place at all.

There are people who dance very much in the physical realm – they approach the dance from the perspective of muscles and joints, moves and steps.

Bodyparts all arriving precisely in a certain place at a certain time and hopefully looking aesthetically attractive along the way.

There are some who approach the dance from their minds, as a conscious thought process – you literally see the cogs turning as they try and figure out where they are in the music.

There are others who dance from their sensory system – their experience in the dance is tuned in to what they hear, see and feel.

Some are governed by their emotional response – you can see their emotional state embodied in the energy of their movements. Sometimes the energy gets projected outwards in an uncontrolled fashion, and their movements get bigger and more boisterous.

There are others who are at the mercy of their brain’s survival auto-programmes…constantly in a state of panic or freeze. They always look and feel under pressure, like a rabbit caught in headlights. Their movements are tense and tight.

Now the ideal is to have a balance between all of these, so you can interpret the music and collaborate with your partner, exploring the way your bodies move and enjoying the connection.

Using your senses to connect to the music and your partner – being fully present with both.

Expressing your emotional response to the music, but concentrating the energy inwards first, so what you transmit to your partner doesn’t overwhelm their experience of the dance.

Being in control of your body as it moves through space, making conscious choices about styling and movement quality – dancing as opposed to just stepping.

Using adrenalin and endorphins to get that feelgood buzz – without feeling like every dance is a rollercoaster ride that you want to get off of.

So next time you are out social dancing, notice where your attention is.

What are you hearing, seeing, feeling?

Which instruments are most prominent and resonate with you the most?

How are you expressing that in your movement?

Are you in control of your movement? Is your partner overpowering you? Is it all happening automatically?

Which body parts are you thinking about? Which are doing their own thing?

Do you have time to style, or are you just “getting your feet round”?

Does it feel smooth and effortless, or ragged and out of control?


The answers to these questions will give you clues about how what you need to work on and how to balance your internal world to become a better balanced dancer on the outside.