A long while ago, I mentioned that I take a ballroom dance class...and enjoy it.
It's true. Really. Damn lot of fun.
The class I take is social ballroom dance through the Ballroom Dance Club at the University. It's a great way to meet people, get to know people, have something in common with them, have an excuse to interact with them.
Taking these lessons has done several things for me. First, I've become remarkably more balanced and lighter on my feet. I walk more on the balls of my feet, rather than on my heels. I feel like I move with a little bit more grace and ease, I feel more comfortable with my step, more sure of where that foot will land.
Friends of mine who have studied martial arts of various sorts say the same thing about their balance and surety of step. They speak of how the are more aware of their physical self. Martial arts also tend to add a grace and beauty of movement to the practitioner. The similarities end there, however. Where ballroom is an dance of graceful seduction (if apply to that end), martial arts is a dance of graceful violence.
The second things that I've really gotten out of the class is a bit more ease with the opposite sex. I've always been a bit awkward in my interactions, unless I become friends with a woman, which in itself is a whole other story.
The class is configured as such: the leads all stand in a line on one side of the gym, the follows on the other. The steps are taught to each side individually, and then the follows are told to find a partner. The pairs dance a for a bit, familiarizing themselves with the move. After a few moments, they are told to switch partners and the follows switch down one partner.
So what does this have to do with me becoming more comfortable with woman? Every semester I dance with forty different woman, some I know, most I don't. I have to make them comfortable with the idea of dance with me, even if it is only going to be for a moment. I doing so, I also have become more comfortable with asking my classmates to dance - there are occasionally open dance periods. It all stems from confidence gained from becoming slightly more skilled at this whole thing.
Granted, I've become a bit of the old man in the group. This is, after all, a University club. Many of the students are undergrads, and, more so, freshman undergrads. I'm older then most by about ten years. Not really an issue, since I'm neither creepy nor obsessive (nor ugly, if I do say so myself).
All in all, it has been a really good experience for me. It's a great skill, although, one that has is harder and harder to find the appropriate social situations in which to use it. It's a great social tool, enhancing interaction, and a remarkable amount of fun.
 Now, I'm not using the phrase "light in my loafers," if that's what your thinking. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
 As you can see, I'm still really lax on the art of the conclusion. It's as if I start these things with very little idea as to where I'm going. I know that I've had this discussion before, but I'd like to point out that I'm pretty much writing my essays in the same format as I learned in high school. You know the format: an introduction, two to three middling points, and a conclusion. This format is rather tried and true at getting one's point across.
Let's look at this essay a little more critically, through the lens of the high school essay format.
First off, the introduction makes not point at reference what it's going to talk about, other then ballroom dance. No mention of physical movement or opposite-sex interaction. So we're left wonder where the hell is he going?
Secondly, how are these points tied together? Did the art of physical movement affect the author's opposite-sex interactions? It was described as a dance of seduction, if applied correctly. Has the author applied it correctly? If not, the author should supply us with a story of it applied incorrectly, described with great flourish, humor, and self-deprecating commentary. If there is no story, the author certainly hasn't been doing this often enough.
As for that conclusion, holy crap, it's lame.
My advice to the author: don't quit your day job.
 Hey, now, I appreciate your criticism, but let's remember, this is just an exercise. I'm just writing about what I know and feel about a particular subject. There isn't necessarily supposed to be too much connecting either part.
 Well, look at it this way. Your now having a public dialog with your internal critic. You've just bumped up against the crazy ceiling. I was just telling you what I thought about your writing, but now I think you've slipped into something more along the lines of a crazy nutter.
 I was merely responding to your criticism, and here you go responding with name calling. How's that for being the internal critic. Not very constructive, mind you. Not helpful at all.
 Bloody crazy nutter, you are.
2 years ago