Acknowledging Your Dance Partner

On my way to a dance last week in bumper to bumper traffic, I stopped to let a car change lanes in front of me.  It was stuck in a left turn lane and evidently had been having considerable trouble getting anyone to let it in.  As the car moved into my lane, a flurry of hands emerged from every window waving at me in gratitude.  It caught me by surprise and felt like a huge group hug.

Did anyone see that great dance move?

And of course it got me to thinking about the power of acknowledgement.  When I have an inspired moment on the dance floor and my partner breaks into an appreciative grin, or says something like “Wow, that was great!” it doubles the fun of the moment.  When we dance well, it’s wonderful to know that someone else noticed.

That rare perfect dance

That person is usually your partner, the most important person to acknowledge your moment of greatness, but sometimes it’s other people.  Sometimes it’s spontaneous, like the time a crowd gathered to watch me and a French guy enjoying a particularly spectacular connection during an evening dance in Sweden.  When that rare perfect dance happens and you wish you had it on video, the next best thing is to see at the end that others saw and admired it.


Sometimes it’s planned and rehearsed, as in a performance or contest.  Many people are motivated to do well by working toward a goal with an audience.  My goal may be to have great social dances, but I love the attention of a spontaneous audience and I understand the motivational draw of preparing a performance.

Performing a dance or doing it socially

I love to perform too, and  audience appreciation (along with the paycheck) is the reason for dancing professionally.  And why do so many dancers perform for free?  Well, that’s another blog and then some, but for most of us, it’s the high that comes with dancing well and being appreciated for it.


So this next time you are dancing with someone, and later you say to your friends, “Have you danced with that guy?  He’s really fun!”  try to let go of your shyness and say it to him or her as well.  We all appreciate knowing our dancing has pleased our partner.


by LaurieAnn Lepoff
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