R.F.O.N.: “Does it bother, you know…


…your significant other?”  I’ve never heard such a question before: “Does dancing bother your significant other?”  This isn’t something I’ve been asked personally, but it’s apparently more common than I initially thought after doing some searching around Dance Forums.

This got me thinking.  What an odd question to ask.  I can vaguely understand the questioner’s line of reasoning, but it’s still just…weird.  What other sport can cater such a question with such implications?  This, I have to dissect.

The question clearly implies that something about ballroom dancing can disrupt one’s relationship with his/her S.O.  Then again, any sport can.  Yet, there’s a tinge of a possible violation in it, a violation of intimacy?  If this is the case, this whole thing becomes a lot clearer.  Ballroom dance involves putting two people into a situation where physical contact is crucial.  I suppose that’s why it can be such a good cure for shyness.  It can get awkward if one or both parties are in a serious relationship.  I mean, what S.O. would let their partner dance so closely and so intimately with a person of the opposite sex?  And, it isn’t that much of mental leap to imagine the uninvolved party getting jealous.

Well, that’s the argument.  Time to destroy it.  As a dancer, let me say that this question, while reasonable from the outside perspective, seems to be rather paranoid from mine.  Sorry.  I’ll say this just once: Dancing, like many other sports, is largely mental, so it is what you make it.  I know it sounds cliché, but it really is just dancing.  That, and a good amount of acting, too.  And, I believe it’s the acting that can really increase the tension in the uninformed.  Dance is about creating illusions.  With my waltz, I want to make you believe I’ve fallen in love with my partner, and that we’re floating on clouds.  With my rumba, I want to raise the temperature of the room to a slightly uncomfortable sizzle.  But, I only want to do these things as an actress.  If the players in the dance are very good, the imposition of illusion causes a dream-like mental-emotional state.  When you come back to reality, you may be a bit confused.  I know I have.  Perhaps that’s where the questioners are coming from.  They have trouble separating the illusion of emotion from reality, which is difficult.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do love my DP very much.  But, it’s only in a platonic sense, phileo (brotherly love) rather than eros (romantic love).  That’s not to say that eros doesn’t exist in my life, or that I don’t desire it in some way.  I do.  It’s just not in dancing with him.  To conclude, if I ever have an S.O., I would hope that he wouldn’t mind my dancing with another man.  And, while I can’t speak for the people on Dance Forums, I hope the same thing for them, too.  Oh yeah, and try not to ask such questions.  One, it’s a bit too personal for most social occasions.  Two, they may have already heard it before.

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Authoress’ Note: I just wanted to provide some context for the words I used in this post, specifically, phileo and eros.  Those are both Greek words to differentiate among their three kinds of love, which appear in the Bible as well:

Eros roughly translates as “romantic love” and derives words like erotic.  Eros was also the Greek god of love.  From my experience, it tends to have a negative connotation among Christians, such as myself, due to its association with pornography.  However, I’m learning to view it as a beautiful union between two people who have longed for one another and are together at last.

Phileo roughly translates as “brotherly love”.  This is the kind of love that accompanies deeps friendship.  This person may not be a part of your actual family, but being in their presence induces a feeling of familial love.  Here’s an interesting fact: Philosophy literally translates as “love of wisdom”.  Phileo (love) and sophia (wisdom) create the word philosophia.  I like the use of phileo here because Socrates and company would often gather as brothers in intellect and discuss difficult questions.  You can hear their respect and love for one another in numerous dialogues.

Agape is used to describe a love that adheres with God’s very nature, as God is love. (1 John 4:8)  I like to think of it as “divine love”, a love that we humans can only express through God’s help.

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