I remember showing a picture of myself in my Latin dress to a professor of mine. He responded, in his signature, sarcastic way, “You know, you should wear real clothes sometime!” He was teasing, so no harm done. Still, in retrospect, I sometimes wonder how a usually physically modest person can have enough pluck to dress in a leotard with a gaping hole in the back, not to mention a “convenient” slit in the front that shows a bit of cleavage. Here’s the nagging question: Can there be beauty and grace in the sensual dances? Is it all just a bunch of evil promiscuity, reminiscent of Babylon? I decided to be a nerd and look up the formal definition of the word promiscuous, courtesy of thefreedictionary.com.
- Having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners; indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners
- Lacking standards of selection; indiscriminate
- Casual, random
- Consisting of diverse, unrelated parts or individuals; confused
Happily, the first definition is irrelevant from a personal standpoint. I’ll leave things of that nature to Mr. Bond. I think the second definition applies mostly to what I’m trying to say. It’s quite an interesting balance when you consider that I’m of the Christian faith. Oh, but it gets better! When people ask, I refer to myself as a non-denominational Christian. However, I am under the authority of the Baptist Church because, well, I’m a member of that church, though I still don’t adhere ideologically to any particular denomination. [insert Baptist dancing joke here.] Dancing has been quite controversial throughout history because of its general sensuality. But, is sensuality, in of itself, evil? My answer is a very emphatic “no”. Really, anything sensual, is that which pleasures the senses. A gorgeous, panoramic view of the mountains can be sensual. A gooey, chocolate cookie is also sensual. Dancing, too, is sensual in a variety of ways. There’s the beauty of sparkly dresses, flowing airily from the woman’s body as she dances a waltz. There’s that wonderful sense of platonic intimacy from the physical contact. This brings me to my most important point: frame of mind.
How one thinks about things is a very crucial life skill. It applies to my dancing as well. My mantra is “It’s just dancing.” Of course, this can be used as an excuse for promiscuous behavior. However, this is where motivation comes in. Why do you dance? Are you dancing primarily to try to pick up men/women? Is it for exercise? Are you just trying it out? I already know why I dance. It gives me joy. My motivation is not promiscuous. This is a tricky thing to convey when I try to dance something like the Rumba. As a dancer and actress, I want to provide a sensual experience without going overboard. Latin dancing, personally, is less about sex appeal and more about the beauty of the human body. I really haven’t figured out how to convey this yet because it’s difficult for me to be beautifully sexy when I dance. I need to find that balance. I’ve kind of been stumbling through this because this whole thing is kind of complicated to thnk about. Perhaps when this whole thing becomes clearer I can write a more articulate post.