Dancing is a magnificent celebration of eroticism. I recommend it whether you’re in a relationship or flying solo. Dancing is all about celebrating our bodies, expressing ourselves nonverbally, letting our souls soar through our moving bodies. Dancing is sexy– as George Bernard Shaw said, dance is “a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”
Dancing is also an erotic form of communication with a partner, with many partners, or with ourselves — letting the lift of an arm, the swing of a leg, or the roll of a hip communicate a much more complex and subtle language than words.
Robert and I met in the line dance class I teach, and we’ve been dancing together ever since. When Robert and I dance, whether we’re line dancing separately, across the room from each other, or in a close embrace in a romantic dance, we’re aware of our own and each other’s body moving expressively, sending each other messages. We entice, seduce, sometimes just entertain each other with our vertical body language. We’re lucky enough to dance together regularly–we teach a line dance class together, and practice together for fun.
If you’re single, whether or not you’re looking for a sexual partner, the need to be touched is basic to humans. Dance is a safe, even dignified way to get your touching without pursuing intimacy. You’ll hold a stranger (or a series of strangers) safely at a distance in “dance position” and learn moves together. You won’t need to admit out loud how enjoyable it is to settle into the arms of a temporary partner and respond with your body.
During dry spells between relationships in my past, I would joke with a male friend that dancing was my whole sex life. Indeed, it felt like that: being held in a man’s arms, agreeing tacitly to follow wherever and whatever he led (so different from the rest of the way I run my life!), making eye contact–sometimes sensually, sometimes playfully, sometimes just acknowledging the cool dance moves–then saying “thank you” after three minutes and moving on to someone else. Thank goodness for dance!
With the popularity of television shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, you may think you have to be skilled, disciplined, and committed to perfection to succeed. Not so! Dance is about self-expression and freeing the natural dancer in all of us. It’s not about judges or weekly eliminations. And you don’t have to be gorgeous or a star hoofer to attract partners – just be friendly and enjoy yourself and your partners.
If you’ve thought that you’re too old to learn to dance, you’re wrong. In my line dance class, for example, dancers in their seventies enjoy rolling their hips and strutting their stuff alongside dancers in their twenties, and it’s the same in every social dance class I attend. There’s a special kinship, I think, among older dancers – we love and acknowledge the vibrant physicality of it, we feel graceful and handsome, and we enjoy each other with warmth and joy.
If dancing isn’t a part of your life, I highly recommend it. It adds a dimension of self-expression, body appreciation, and sensuality to the way we live our lives. And it’s so much fun! Just about every community offers dance lessons: ballroom, swing, Latin, nightclub, country-western, and more. To find places to dance, search “dance” (or the specific type of dance you want) plus your city or county on the Internet, look at the calendar listings in your newspaper, and find local dance studios, rec centers, and health clubs in your Yellow Pages.