Project 10: Would you dance, if I asked you to dance?


Welcome, I am Daniel, let me open the doors on the world of social dancing. Pay ATTENTION you never known when one of them will come over ask you for a dance! We have sensual, speedy, seductive, and social. A few of the many inspiring and intimidating facets of social dancing.


Would you dance if I asked you to dance? NO! I am not here dictate or demand an answer. What I shall do is tell you what I believe. We can think of the benefits in three ways; Humankind –our friends, Health –or bodies, and Head –our wellbeing, but also the home of The big NO. Say Hello to big NO!

Humankind –our friends

The are only two places where men and women cuddle each other unashamedly. The brothel and the ballroom!

We are social beings. For many people the decline of local communal life and extended families can mean that school and universities are the last places they ever make great friendships where we share a spirit of adventure and esprit du corps with our peers. This is a tragedy. Social co-operation is one of man’s great evolutionary success.

Dancing reignited my social life in a way that work or parenting never has. I only started dancing in 2000 and have recently barely danced for 8 years due to family. Yet today 2/3 of my most active Facebook friends are related through dance and music and a 1/5 more from my general social life also share that dance interest. These people have been genuine. They were there to learn to dance with, there at my wedding, there as I held my newborn aloft, and they will be there again.

Health –our bodies

The quality of life is more important than life itself. Slips, trips and falls hospitalise 1/3 of the over 65s rising to 1/2 of the over 80s. It is fatal to many and costs nearly 2 billion pounds to the UK health service.

Imagine, if you will, a pride of lions between hunts. What do you see? Do you see them at rest and play or running circuits for fun?   A hunter gather’s life would involve 5-15 miles of walking and running a day to sustain a 2-3000 calorie diet. There is NO evolved advantage and thus NO pleasure (nature’s reward) in NEED-less exercise. We are driven to exercise by NEED.

Dance is great rhythmic cardio vascular exercise that boosts: balance and bendiness as well as coordination and creativity, and one might add daintiness and durability. An hour’s social dancing burns 700 calories. Most dance are two to four hours. On a treadmill you would need to 4-8 hours at 3 miles per hour to do the same. Rhythmic music makes light work of rhythm activities. No brainer! I’d rather party than be plodding away perpetually staring into the middle distance.

Heads –our wellbeing

Fear makes us feel our humanity! When I stood up one summers day to give my first seminar, whilst wearing a white cotton shirt, one of the lads pointed and said look you can see his nipples.

Furthermore, imagine looking out into a busy square at lunch time 1/5 to 1/4 of those people will typically have clinically significant mental and emotional wellbeing problems and many more will be struggling sub-clinically. If that is not bad enough one in 13 of us can’t sleep properly. Then come the nerves, nausea, and niggliness of the Big NO, whenever we push out of our comfort zones. Do my nips look big in this?

Dancing often proves to be the place where people start to turn their self-esteem and self-actualisation battles around, where they Win, where they begin to be Somebody, where they are in their Element. Dancing forces us out of our analyzing heads and expressively into our bodies, revitalising the brain by bringing new circuits to life and resting others.  Social dancing is securely-mature with structured-instruction and is serendipitously-silly. There are no mistakes in social dancing. Just future moves still in the making.  It is life’s kindergarten. A 21 year US study of the elderly found a 76% reduction in dementia with frequent dancing, but cycling, swimming and golf made no difference. Dance is cheaper than therapy.


In concluding, I want to draw on the wisdom of Randy Pausch. Have many of you heard of his famous last lecture –its taken 16 million YouTube hits? He was a virtual reality professor at Carnegie Mellon University facing his death due to liver cancer. The key piece of wisdom is based on the insight that if you let people do what they really want, in just the right way, they end up doing what they need to do. The educational “head-fake”

The example given is girls put off from programming skills because its dry, abstract, and as geeky as prepubescent boys. Randy hit upon the idea of creating a virtual reality soap opera with characters that can take on roles, express emotions and evolve story lines. You would be amazed at the programming skills the girls mastered ‘effortlessly’ bringing their soap opera to life.

I go dancing to have FUN, FUN, and more FUN. Dancing proves to be one of the best ways to create an educational “head fake”. “To touch, to move, to inspire. These are the true gifts of dancing!” If you took the FUN out of dancing you would put the SLOG back into living.

In battle we prove and improve ourselves, I choose to step up to the plate and dance, what about you?



Supplementary material

The power point show is available on slide share:


Spoof Why I hate Blues (Dancing)

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