I know we’ve all heard that ballroom dancing is one of greatest ways to help couples regain intimacy and improve communication and whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all found ourselves glued to the tabloids to see which partners are having an affair on the show Dancing with the Stars.
Based on my own ballroom experiences, I know it’s a great exercise that can help you re-discover your own sexy side, but following my own Dancing for the Stars performance, I wanted to sit down with my instructors Brian and Leigh from Cincinnati Ballroom Company to see what really made ballroom dancing such a great couples activity for improving (or even creating) intimacy.
They began answering my question with a simple definition: ballroom dancing is the act of two people moving in harmony to a rhythm. Just like with sex, they said, if you can’t find the rhythm, it just feels off.
They best relate the roles within dance to foreplay: Women want to be held and touched without going straight to sex. They want to truly feel the power and passion of the music and be sexy. Men want to feel strong, responsible and in control, and for both parties, they can act this out and release any drama that might have been consuming their minds earlier in the day.
Admittedly, every couple has its own dynamic, but don’t think for a second that it’s a secret between only yourself and your partner. Your body language is the biggest indicator of your relationship- how you hold yourself, your physical proximity and verbal communication all signals how you’re feeling and even what kind of day you’re having to the trained eye. Even the way you hold hands can giveaway who ‘wears the pants,’ and how in love you really are.
Having seen couples in all stages of their relationships, from those about to walk down the aisle to those who have been married for decades, even same sex couples, Brian and Leigh have without exception seen a positive change in confidence, communication and intimacy between partners. They attribute this mostly to the fact that dance forces you to rely on non-verbal communication and work together to tell a story.
One particular exercise they use that helps to build a mutual understanding between partners is a role reversal class. During this time, everyone is instructed to write out what they expect of their partner’s dancing, and then they switch roles with the women leading and the men following. As you can imagine, both parties discover that it’s not as easy as it looks. After that exercise they switch back to their original roles and often find they have the best dance ever based on what they learned from the exercise.
I know it’s often easier said than done to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, but knowing what it’s like to actually do it is a skill that can easily translate into your professional life and personal relationships.
As for you singles out there, don’t brush off dancing just because you may not have a partner-as a matter of fact, this is the perfect way for you to brush up on your skills and increase your confidence. In fact, you’ll be surprised how many people say “there’s just something different about you” just a few weeks into your lessons.
If you are still uneasy about going to a ballroom class by yourself and dancing with a stranger, there are also styling classes out there for ladies that literally teaches them how to be sexy and re-discover themselves. Women are often uncomfortable with the thought of touching themselves on their legs or hair in a sensual way, and practicing those moves with other ladies is not only fun and great exercise, but is also a great way to learn what sexy truly is.
As much as it pains me to admit it, even I was told a time or two that I needed to get in touch with my sexy side for my Dancing for the Stars performance, and the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve found that as women we are forced to choose between the over-the-top women from reality TV who parade around looking for sex, or the cut and dry businesswoman who has removed anything that could be remotely considered flirtatious out of her life for fear of professional consequences. Sensuality and seduction have almost completely been removed from a woman’s skill set, and finally there’s something to help us ‘bring sexy back.’
We’ve all heard the saying ‘you think, therefore you are,’ and you’ll find that whether you’re 20 or you’re 60, straight or gay, or single or in a relationship, dancing will improve your total well-being. You will have an increased sense of confidence and self-control, better posture and eye contact, and most importantly, greater intimacy and passion in the bedroom- and isn’t that what we’re all really looking for?