Flowers on the Wall: Asking the Nagging Question

Here’s a question that’s been plaguing me ever since I found my love of dance in the eighth grade:  Why don’t men dance?

Let’s start off by stating the obvious: Some men absolutely love to dance.  Ballroom probably wouldn’t exist if all men disliked dancing.

I ask this as a generalized question based on my observations as a dancer in college.  If you haven’t already noticed ;), I adore dancing, especially ballroom.  Unfortunately, finding a guy even remotely interested in ballroom is quite a tall order.  The closest I’ve gotten was when a friend of mine decided to be bold–and exasperating–by asking one of the guys about his feelings concerning dance.  Note to self: Never tell friends of desire for dance partner as they may see it as synonymous with romantic relationship. *rolls eyes*

Friend: Hey So-and-so, do you like to dance?

S&s: Not particularly, why?

Friend: Alaina is looking for a dance partner *grins*.

Me: *mental face-palm*

Turns out, he knew how to dance Swing, but still didn’t like dancing itself.  I couldn’t help but wonder if he had taken mandatory dance classes as a boy.  This question is one that nags at the heart of many, many dancers.  It has become a component in relationship questions, and general exasperation.  I’ve thought about this carefully, and I’ve come up with some several hypotheses.  Please note that these are just hypotheses and are in no way definitive answers.  Nor are these meant to be offensive.  With the mandatory disclaimer taken care of, let’s proceed.

Not-So-Hypothesis: Some Guys Just Don’t Like Dancing

Might as well get the obvious out of the way.  Some men just don’t dance. Period.  My father is one of these.  If dancing is genuinely not your cup of tea, we can still be friends. 🙂  But for those whose propensity is still in question…

Hypothesis #1: It’s Scary

Maybe he had some bad experiences with dancing where some overbearing girl tried to force him on the floor.  Or, maybe he’s never tried it, and the prospect is scary.  No doubt about it.  Take it from me, dance can scare you witless.  And, of course, no one wants to end up looking, or feeling like an idiot, so the prospect of being a beginner in dance is terrifying.  Read my ballet journal, or think back to your “firsts”, and you’ll get the picture.

Hypothesis #2: Culture

Dance isn’t really rooted in the American culture, so dance is either acquired (as in my case), or ingrained (in the case of dancing families with children who dance).  Some cultures, however, are more prominently based in dance, so the activity is very common.  Hence, men of certain cultures may be more comfortable with dancing than others.

(Intolerable) Hypothesis #3: It’s Effeminate

Note my word choice in this one.  It’s really a euphemism.  What I really can’t stand is guys who dislike/refuse because they believe it is “queer” and/or “gay”.  They believe dancing is unmanly.  Those who do dance, may fear that their “friends” will start questioning his masculinity.

Dancers are athletes, and that is a fact.  Like any other athlete, dancers have to practice hard and build muscle in order to perform better.  Ever seen a male ballet dancer pull three to four tours in the air?  That takes serious muscle.  Sure, it may look easy, but it has to because dance is also a performance art.  It isn’t exactly genteel to let the audience see you sweat.  Here’s what I have to say to any who may share this hypothesis: Either find a more educated reason for your dislike, or just, I don’t know, try it.  But, don’t resort to name-calling just to make yourself feel better.  Okay?  Okay.

I would like to apologize if this seemed like a rant, tirade, etc.  I’ve met too many people with hypothesis #3, and it gets to me because there are much better reasons to dislike something than to just go with the sour grapes attitude.  So what do you think?  Do you have a significant other that likes/dislikes dance?  Anything I left out?





The floor is yours now.

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