Love is a beautiful thing, but even the most intoxicating beginnings to a relationship eventually mellow and change as comfort grows and the years pass by. If you're looking for something to do together to really connect with your partner in a new way or add some spice back into your date nights, ballroom dancing may just be for you.
Investing as little as one or two hours a week to take a time-out to just dance together can do wonders for your relationship. Personally, we know this to be true. Professionally, we have to be observant, and we've taught thousands of couples to ballroom dance over the decades. What have we noticed to be the most beneficial aspects of ballroom dancing for couples?
The #1 answer tops our Top 10 list:
1. Sharing a Common Interest
Relationship experts preach that couples who find common interests and hobbies to enjoy together are happier in their marriages overall. Life is busy. Period. Most couples are going in different directions all day and the nights are short. Carving out couple time to take ballroom dance lessons gives you a common goal and skill to master together. It lets you learn and grow in something new as a couple, and tells your partner that romance, fun and closeness are still important to you.
2. Get Healthy Together
Research shows that we are most successful reaching long-term health and weight loss goals when someone we care for and respect is motivating and holding us accountable. The Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University conducted a study of married couples who joined health clubs together. They found that couples who worked out together had only a 6.3% dropout rate, versus a 43% dropout rate for couples who exercised separately.
Physically, ballroom dancing is a fantastic low-impact workout. It is great for your heart and lungs, improves your balance, strength and flexibility, increases your energy and endurance, and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Mentally, it's one of the best activities you can do to keep your mind sharp. Dancing frequently (4 times per week) has been proven to create new neural pathways and reduce risk of dementia by 76%!
3. Re-ignite Passion
George Bernard Shaw said, “dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.” With that special person, it can be! The sexy swiveling of your hips through the slow motions of a sensuous Rumba, or the intensity of a proper Tango, the heat rising as you move together... trust us. Try it.
You're a team in real life. While some couples have mastered the art of divide and conquer evenly, if we're honest and you've lived together long enough, there are some days you will each feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. A successful ballroom dance partnership requires a mutual reliance and trust, and can strengthen your teamwork and appreciation for each other off the dance floor, too. There's a give and take. There's a lead and follow. There's an agreement that you do your part and I'll do mine. For a dance to look and feel beautiful – or hot – you have to work together and pull your own weight. You have to appreciate what your partner is doing for you, and reciprocate.
5. Boost your non-verbal communication skills
So much is said without words. You know all your spouse's faces. You feel their moods. You're in tune with each other – most days. Ballroom dancing adds a new level. Discover a new look in your partner's eyes, a different smile. Each dancer has their own subtle nuances and style, and the slight movement of a wrist or pressure on the back mean something and offer direction. Not paying attention to your partner's signals is not an option on the dance floor.
6. Get out of your comfort zone
In the beginning of a relationship, everything is new and exciting. Years in, you've settled into comfort and it takes a conscious effort to find ways to try to feel those butterflies again. Learning to ballroom dance together could be the trick to feeling that spark again. Don't let nerves keep you from trying something different and creating a fresh chapter in your romance.
7. Connect in the moment
It has been said that dancing is like taking a mini-vacation. In ballroom dancing, your brain has so many different facets to focus on, your responsibilities off the dance floor drift away as your bodies connect and you move in unison. When is the last time you and your spouse held each other in your arms for an hour – no distractions, no to-do list running through your heads, no phones, no kids? Think about it. You deserve this!
8. increase intimacy
True intimacy is rooted in sharing a deep closeness and connection to one another, and marriages don't thrive without it. Ballroom dancing together heightens your senses and gives intimacy a chance to grow. You touch. You lock eyes. You smell that favorite perfume or cologne. You reminisce, moving in rhythm to the songs that played in the background as you fell in love. Your heart races as you hug a little tighter and steal a kiss after a dance well done.
9. Dance your way out of a rut
It is so easy for life to become routine. When you don't make time to work on keeping your bond strong, it's easy to fall into separate patterns, and when you lose that closeness, it's natural to be quicker to anger and slower to forgive. Ballroom dance studios like our Strictly Ballroom offer two different kinds of dates that can help pull yourselves out of a marital rut, if you happen to be in one:
Private ballroom dance lessons give you an hour to focus on each other in an embrace and develop a skill to enjoy together for the rest of your lives. And with an impartial instructor guiding you on your dance lessons, there is no need to argue over who messed up, because we promise, everyone makes a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Everyone. Learning to smile and laugh through your missteps on the dance floor is part of the fun, and success is that much sweeter when you reach it together.
Ballroom dance parties nod to a time of romance, where gentlemen were chivalrous, ladies were revered and manners mattered. You get dressed up, put on those fancy dance shoes and get in the car with excitement. The ballroom lights are dim, the atmosphere, sophisticated, and the dance floor has actual space to move freely in the arms of the one you love. Did we mention the complimentary wine and champagne? Toast to the night out you needed!
10. Have more fun
When you know how to ballroom dance, it's a whole lot of fun! As you learn and become a better dancer, your confidence grows, the way you carry yourself changes, and your self-esteem flourishes – and when you learn with your spouse, so can your marriage. So, turn up the music while you're cooking dinner and dance a little Salsa in your kitchen. Open that bottle of wine you've been saving 'just because', put on a song that means something to you and Foxtrot around your living room. Dance so much at the weddings you go to, the newlyweds look at you as an example to aspire to one day. Someone's got to show these kids how it's done!