I’ve heard many, many phrases all amounting to the same thing: “Real men don’t dance.” I don’t know where this came from, nor do I care. Dancing is like any other hobby. You can either do it or not. I’m willing to concede that there’s a definite bias towards women, at least in my experience. However, what’s stopping the men? Culture? Possible teasing or ridicule by friends? I don’t know. (This post is directed towards men that may want to dance or have never tried. It does not apply to those that have tried and left unsatisfied. Dancing isn’t for everyone.)
I know men dance country western, salsa, and swing. I know men dance ballet. There’s plenty of hip-hoppers and tappers, too. Your self-expressions are what you make of them. Each person is going to go about it uniquely. One of my studio’s co-owners likes to hunt and go to the shooting range when he’s not dancing. His personality and teaching methods are not girly in the slightest. Even if he did exhibit more feminine traits, it wouldn’t make him less of a man in my eyes.
My main concern here is to get erring men to understand that there is masculinity in dancing. It might not be what they think, but it’s there. I don’t know what the general consensus of manliness is among men, so I offer my perspective instead. Take it what you will.
Strong men are very attractive, and I’m not just talking about physicality. And, there is much strength in dancing. Case in point, for a man to lead a woman in a dance requires mental focus to maintain frame and quick thinking to create a sequence of steps. There’s emotional strength in asking for a dance, quite nerve-wracking at times. But to me, the greatest strength of all is that of a steadfast gentleman.
I’m a strong-willed, independent woman. Yet, there’s something internally that longs for the ideal knights of old, warriors and lovers. A man has to physically strong to lead a woman, especially if she’s a back-leader. It’s the strength of taking control of the situation that makes dances like the tango so scintillating. But the most alluring strength is the ability to soften and be vulnerable. The way he can sway his hips, styles his arms, and facial expressions, well, *fans self*. Put simply, dancing is manly because it gives men an opportunity to show their tender, sensitive side. (I am such a woman, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 😉 )