I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the reasons people dance. I have spent far less time thinking about the reasons people don’t – or won’t – dance.
Today, in my mindless internet forays, I came across an article about a fitness expert who decided to gain and lose 70 lbs just to see what it felt like and relate to his clients here. What does gaining/losing weight have to do with this article? Not much. But his musings on why people don’t successfully lose weight got me thinking. The following is a hypothesis, and is certainly not backed up by any studies, but I figured I would share.
1. Lack of Confidence/Fear
Dance is social. Dance is visual. Dance revolves around connecting and opening to new people and familiar people (if you do it often enough). And, very often, people see it as inextricably linked to sex or sexiness. All of the above are definitely reasons why people do dance… but what if you have no confidence?
It’s true that dancing can build confidence – if you get good at it (or at least, think you’re good). But, to get to that point you have to pass a threshold that is an exercise in humility for both men and women. Although some “get it” innately, the pressure to look good, feel good, be sexy, get it right etc. create a massive amount of pressure to the new social dancer.
It takes a certain amount of bravery and self-confidence to be able to put yourself out there. It this is an area someone struggles with, social dancing can be a very scary thing. Thinking “I’ll never be good enough, I can’t get this, people won’t like me” etc. can sabotage many a budding dancer.
2. Bad Experience
For every dancer who walks into a room and loves the atmosphere and the music, there was at least one who got introduced the wrong way. Maybe they had a bad first lesson. Maybe a girlfriend or boyfriend who broke their heart loved dancing. Maybe it was the wrong style of dance or style of music for that individual. Maybe it was too crowded/sparse/dark/light/clubby/studiolike/alcoholic/notalcoholicenough/etc. for them. And hey, if it’s not a fun environment for you… why on earth would you invest in it?
I’m not confining this to only lazy people. I’m saying people who get home and are exhausted from work, people who want to stay in and do something quiet, people whom taking an hour of public transit is just too much, etc. And this is also perfectly understandable.
Heck, I’m an avid dancer and if you ask me to drag my butt out of bed on some nights… no. Times 200. Unless you guilt me – and even then it’s dicey.
4. Other Interests/Commitments:
Family, hard work, significant other who doesn’t dance, varsity sport, other styles of dance, etc. are all things that take a significant part of time. You make time in your life for things you want to do… that’s the way people work.
There’s nothing wrong with not making social dance a priority, but it’s silly to just say “I don’t have time” if the dance is accessible. Obviously, if you live in Nunavut and there’s no social dance, I don’t call it an excuse to not drive to Winnipeg to get your fix… but that’s another point. Point is, if you wanted to make time to social dance you would… it’s just not a large enough priority in your life.
Living without a dance community sucks (for me). I *still* drive 2.5 hours during the year to get my fix in Toronto. But, this is not a tenable option for many people. No matter how much you love the friggin thing… if you don’t have reasonable or affordable access, there’s just nothing you can do about it.
6. You Just Don’t Like It.
Yeah, I said it.
Unfortunately, there are people in this world who dislike dance the same way I dislike American Football or Family Guy. Not everyone will be allured by our fantastic world of late nights and flashing lights and wonderful human connection. That’s ok. I’m sure we’re missing out on epic *something* when we don’t like Football/Fashion/Simpsons/whateverotherthingyoudislike. Let them be. You won’t change them.
point # 6, I just don’t accept as is, because no one could just don’t like some thing, it has to have a reason why it is not like, e.g the other above point could be reasons why but saying I just don’t like something with no reason whether a good one or not but must have a reason even though someone may not want to reveal it or may not even realize the reason but there is one and if they analyze themselves they could work around their reasoning or even just continue to be the way they are but don’t just tell me I JUST DONT LIKE SOMETHING.
“…don’t tell me I JUST DONT LIKE SOMETHING”
Maybe, or maybe whatever that something is just simply is not important enough to figure out why I don’t like it. Like the books I’ve read which made so little impression I cannot remember them.
Now then regarding dance—I simply don’t get why people think it is fun. I find it traumatic few things (and I’ve experienced a few extreme things) are more stressful to me than my wife looking wistfully at a dance floor. ::shudder::
Yes, they can and they aren’t saying that you don’t like it they are saying that there are people that don’t like it but not you and if you don’t like it that’s your decision.
Just curious, what happened to make it traumatic?
Trying to relate, since I’ve always grown up with dancing at parties and family events it’s just a normal fun thing in my eyes, but I do find that a lot of my friends are kind of afraid of “messing up” on the dance floor. I don’t understand it really, but I’d like to.
Responding to Trice:
“What made it traumatic?”
I’m oversimplifying this but here goes: Nothing “made” it traumatic it simply is. I understand other’s find dance fun, some even see it as a form of communication. Me, not so much.
1. My first exposure to dancing was 6th grade PE class. The second was high school prom. Neither was enjoyable for me.
2. I don’t know any dance steps. I’m also poor at picking out or keeping a beat. Years and years of trying various instruments wasted, because I simply don’t get it. “Just move to the beat. Huh? How? What beat?”
3. Because I don’t know what to do on the dance floor. I feel lost and incompetent. I hate that. It now feels that the learning curve is far too steep. Oh, I’ve begun making arrangements for a weekend away to include a dance lesson. Because the nearest adult dance class is over 2 hours away it will be a weekend getaway for us. But I don’t place much hope in it. My wife will be happy that I’ve made, yet another, effort.
Usually when people only say I don’t like something, that’s because you’re not the first, second, tenth, twentieth person to ask. After someone gives their detailed answer over and over again, they reply with the short version and just say I just don’t like. It also depends of how you approach someone. If you ask the question aggressively, it might prompt people to think “You won’t understand my explanation anyway. If I give you my reasons you will only argue that I’m wrong or that that’s not enough not to like something, etc.” all that is hypothetical. You’re right though. They all have a reason not to like dancing, and if they don’t tell you what it is, they simply don’t want to tell it to YOU in particular. But you’re in luck. I since I have some free time and I feel like writing, I will write a comment saying why I don’t like dancing. So read it. It will be a new comment.
There is nothing fun about dancing.
I find dancing on par with dental work, except dental work is necessary.
I just don’t like dancing. I don’t need a reason.
Since you dont accept ,,I dont like it” I will say that i feel terrible and like my brain will burst in flames when someone is pushing me to dance. Part of that is probably i dont know shit about dancing but i dont really care or regret. I just dont feel like i should move my body.
Dancing is simply not fun. For me, it’s a sweaty waste of time with zero to show for it when you’re done. It’s not traumatic, I didn’t have a bad experience with it and I have no anxiety or depression. It is simple pointless movement to sound. I love music. I am highly introverted and I just prefer quiet time in thought more than socializing. Dancing is socializing. I don’t enjoy socializing. As a result, I don’t like dancing. It’s boring to me. I can dance just fine. While I’m dancing, I couldn’t hate anything more than what I’m doing at that moment. It’s not about self expression. If I have a need to express myself I’ll do it with my mouth. I enjoy watching people enjoy themselves when they’re dancing but Id rather be strapped to the front of a train at high speed, than join them. At least Id end up somewhere interesting.
I understand that the vast majority of people love dancing but not every single person on the planet likes, enjoys it or finds it fun. It’s a chore. A boring pointless chore. It’s just how it is.
I am a solid 6th. I am moving to learn to dance in a minimal stressful manner to cheer my wife, who absolutely love to dance. I have to figure out how…
I think it is odd that a major part of humanity does not recognize why somebody could be allowed not to love dancing.
I have told my mum that I just don’t enjoy dance and she said that it is not a good enough excuse so I go and cry in my room because I am being forced into something I don’t want to do
I may’ve missed it while reading the 6 reasons and subsequent comments, but what about simple “lack of physical coordination”?
I once tried to get out of dancing with a woman who asked me to dance with her, by explaining that i had *three* left feet. She didn’t accept that. So, i tried. When we were done, she agreed that i had three left feet. Lol
I can enjoy watching people dance. And i definitely love music, rhythms, the beat, etc. I love doing physical things that require balance & precision & immersing yourself in the activity (working outdoors, running, bicycling, sailing, hiking, etc). But i *don’t* personally enjoy dancing!
I’m a staunch believer that coordination is among the things that can be overcome – if one enjoys or wants to dance! If you don’t enjoy it, that’s another matter entirely.
I was raised Pentacostal. Pentacostals don’t dance because they want to avoid sexually-tempting gestures that could be misconstrued as lustful. So, I never learned to dance. I’m an atheist now. I still don’t dance. It’s pointless sweaty flailing…
#6-7 Musical specific anhedonia is another reason.
Some people don’t make an emotional connection to music. They don’t ‘feel’ the music, so they have no impulse to move or dance in response to it.
To those people, dancing looks insane.
People don’t need to give you a reason for why they don’t like something.