Partner dancing invites us into listening. Listening with the body. What does it mean to listen? There are many sounds around all the time, of course, but to listen to them is to bring them into the body and be moved by them. When we are dancing we are moved by the music when we listen to it. When we are dancing we are moved by our partner when we listen to their body.
Partner dancing offers us the opportunity to listen to creative expression. Expression produced by other human beings. Other people bringing though their energy, and when we are dancing this is energetic expression of joy, creativity and deep feeling. What an opportunity to be moved by something so delicious!
When we are in spoken conversation it is easy to express complaints and anger about the world. Not just from speaking to others, but from the news and social media. How often are we surrounded by this and asked to listen to and absorb this energy? But physical expression in the partner dance doesn't bring through this energy, it is where something lighter and brighter is expressed.
What does it mean to listen with the body? Music does quite literally move us. When we allow ourselves to tap into how music makes us feel and release inhibitions around being seen in that expression, we allow ourselves to be moved by the music. Then our dance partner can to listen to what we have to express and be moved by that.
Our sense of touch also plays a huge role in partner dancing. Of course it does, it's a physical activity. Listening with your physical touch will tell you much about your partner and allow you to be moved by them so you can create a dance together. This applies in both a lead and follow context. Follows listen to the music and also listen to the lead to bring their part to the dance. Leads are also listening to the music and need also to listen to their follow in order to create a satisfying, expressive dance.