Dezember 08, 2009

Is Dancing a Special Form of Communication?

I have been dancing for several years now and while a was watching a video of some very good swing dancers recently I began to think about dancing as a form of communication. I actually find it a wonderful way to practice to really listen to each other. The roles of leading and following are clearly allocated, thus creating a perfect and secure space to practice communication along given lines.

One could obviously object that the communication happening among the dancing couple is not the only communication happening. They also narrate the story of their personal identities to some sort of audience most of the time. Still, besides this probably more egocentric interlocution, the dancers must communicate very carefully with each other.

Especially in swing dance, which becomes alive through improvisation and must not cling to determined step sequences, it is vital that the follower is constantly in a state of intent attention whereas the leader gives him or her exactly the signals he or she needs. (There is no determined role assignation concerning male and female either.)

Is this not the perfect communicative situation? Absolute concentrationon each other and each others needs. Swing dancers say that the follower is the queen (as mostly there are females dancing in the position of the follower). Yet, she is supposed to make her leader look good, whereas he or she is supposed to make the follower feel good. Would this not be a great strategy in everyday communication either?

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