This article/post has actually been a long time coming. I have only written it now because I have had the time to properly think about the REAL cause behind the question why women dance better than men.
I actually have been thinking a lot about a number of things that I have read about the differences between men and women. I have also been thinking about the different responses that I have been getting from the men and women that I have spoken to while helping them to find better ways to learn dance. Finally, I have also been thinking a lot about what I have read by other experts on dance and learning dance. After spending time considering these things, I am pretty sure that I now understand why it is that women do dance better than men.
As you might know I also have an email list where I email subscribers things I find that help people learn dance faster*. I cover a lot of different things in these emails. One of the things I focus on though is training your body so that it naturally moves well. In part 2 of the e-book Dance Better Now I go over the key exercises that I have found to help most. However, I learned most of them from a man called Ron Brinded who released a book called Code of the Natural, which you can read more about via the link below.
This book was specifically aimed at men, but Rob told me that the exercises he covers inside work just as well for women in freeing up the body for more attractive movement. I tried them and they worked really well. I then got a female dance friend of mine to also try them and she found the same thing. However, the product was aimed at men so I only told my male subscribers about it. The women still could learn the exercises in Part 2 of my e-book anyway.
Another issue I cover is confidence and feeling attractive enough to think someone would want to dance with you. This lack of confidence actually limits a lot of people from dancing socially as much as they would like. This is a real shame because social events are an excellent place to get the best kind of practice in. For men, the best program I came across was the Authentic Man Program (AMP). It was set up by a group of guys who felt that if you could be authentic and true to yourself then you would feel (and actually be) much more attractive. To see what I am talk about, you can click on their link below. This was very clearly a product for men so I only sent it to men.
When I sent these emails out the response I got from some men was quite remarkable. The best word to describe it was hostile. Also, because of the language used I can’t really reproduce the comments here. At first you might think that people found such products to be offensive, but the thing is I tell women about similar products for women too. Not only that, but I assumed if people were offended, then they would simply unsubscribe from the email list; not go out of their way to voice their hostility with such anger, which requires a much greater effort.
One of the keys to dance is body language. If you have attractive body language, then you will be a better looking dancer. A woman by the name of Patty Content, who once used to be a professional dance competitor, found that her body language skills in dancing actually carried over to helping her feel better in very day life and attracting men. She codified these ideas into an e-book on femininity. I figured that women who wanted to be more attractive dancers could use her lesson on body language so I sent a link to her site to me female subscribers. You can see her product by clicking the link below.
The response I got from the women on my email list? It was the exact opposite of the reaction that I got from the men. Actually, it was one of the most positively responded to emails I ever sent out. I recall one woman saying ‘These are things my mother just never taught me and it’s time I learnt.’
Why were women so open to learning about ways to improve their dance, even if they seemed to on a tangent from dance, but men were so hostile to them? Given the nature of the products and the stereotypical view of men and women in modern society you might have expected the opposite.
I had to think about this question for a while. I am a believer that positive actions and comments come from positive emotions and that the negative emotions bring about negative actions and comments. That meant that for some reason women saw opportunity and men saw something like a threat, thus the hostility. Then, while I was thinking about this, I came across two related articles written by some people who I sometimes read (I read about a lot of topics so I can’t give too much attention to any one person).
The first article was written by a guy called John Allanis. John is basically like a dating expert and advises men on how to present themselves so that women would want to approach them; John actually thinks this is the way dating is meant to work. I am not sure if I agree, but I think he makes some interesting points. You can read learn more about him and his ideas here.
One point he made that I found interesting was to do with the fear of looking stupid. Men are ‘told’ by society that they should always be competent. Therefore, to learn something new a man will need to transition through that period of incompetence that makes him look incompetent, and foolish. This can cause great fear, which can then result in hostility toward that which he needs to learn. A man might even decide to never really try so that he need never look incompetent, and then never improve. Therefore, men need to have the courage to look foolish if they wish to become better.
The second article that left an impression while thinking about this topic was by Peter Lovatt, who is a research psychologist and a dancer. He found that men are always less confident than women when it comes to dance and attributes this is a lack of training. The opposite is true however, when men are over the age of 60, when they no longer seem to care too much. You can see the article here.
So if men lack confidence in dance and feel threatened by taking serious action that might seriously reveal a lack of skill and ability to improve their dance, then thy might respond with hostility. This is why I think I got the response that I got – the men saw something that they were not good at (being more attractive to women for better dance ability), and became fearful of confronting this. Women on the other hand were prepared to confront a lack of similar skill and try to become better.
This is of course a generalisation. Some women might also be hostile toward the notion of looking incompetent to become better and some men will be able to confront the fear. The lesson for all dancers is that if you wish to become better, then you will need to confront this fear. You also need to remember that there is a lot to dance, and the things you will need to confront could be very diverse and reveal all sorts of inabilities you never thought you would need to deal with.
You will need to confront these inabilities in a positive manner and actually view the confrontation as a chance to improve. If you do choose to think of each event that might display your inability simply as a step toward improvement, then the fear will subside. And then you do not even have the issue of fear to deal with in the first place.
So how do you respond to people offering new and challenging ways to improve your dance? Or any other skill for that matter?
* If you’re not signed up, then you might want to. You get a free e-book when you do and you will get extra information on how to learn dance that will augment what you get from this blog. You can sign up here.