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May 29, 2007

A Dancing Fool

Astairerogers I’m weighing in a little bit late, but Allen, like you, I take pride in not watching “reality” type shows, including this one. So I can offer no comment except this: Social dancing, meaning something with rules and structure, has been a shared universal human activity since the beginning of time. Yes, even ancient societies produced folk and formal dances of some sort. So it is with great sadness that I say somehow Americans have lost the art of social dancing.      

There is a dearth of men willing to learn ballroom dance; I know because I love dancing. There have been plenty of times that I have shown up for lessons only to wait until a guy’s available. Aarrggh. I think guys see this as a womanly activity. (Not that you suggested it, Allen.)

What poses as today’s American social dancing isn’t the swing or cha-cha, but a lonely self-indulgent repetitive jiggling of sorts. 

What I like about ballroom and folk types of dancing is they require you to connect physically or at least rhythmically in some way with your partner or group. The difference between the two is that ballroom is a lead-follow dance and in the other type you have groups of people doing the same things—like line dancing.

Besides the physical activity, dancing is beneficial because it teaches manners. It requires you to learn rules and etiquette like: Learn the steps and turns; learn the art of polite conversation; pay attention to hygiene and dress; gals, don’t be noodles; guys, don’t squeeze too hard. 

So if this celebrity dancing show encourages at least a few people to sign up for lessons, I’m all for it.

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