Dancing teaches communication and leadership skills

Dancing teaches communication and leadership skills

I was blessed to sit in on a Soldier360 session this week.  I had looked forward to this day, because they were going to use salsa dancing as a good communication exercise for couples.  As I thought about it, I had to say – GREAT IDEA!

Have you ever danced with someone, couples dancing? Officially – someone leads and the other person has to follow.  Traditionally the man leads and the female follows.  I must confess… my husband has accused me of trying to lead before (imagine THAT! Haha).

Of course you can’t both lead and you can’t both follow, and you shouldn’t be trying to determine that in the midst of dancing.

The instructor said to remember, “It’s not a competition, you’re working together.”

Oh!  I just took a little break, as I was asked to participate.  How fun!

Okay, back to the blog…  Not only is couple’s dancing great communication skills but it also teaches great leadership skills.  As the follower, you take your cues from the leader.  In today’s lesson we rotated through different partners.  There was a big difference between each guy’s dancing style.

As the follower, you take your cue from the leader.  If you don’t know what you’re doing and your leader isn’t giving you the clues of what to do, you’ll find yourself standing still wondering what is happening.

As the leader, you need to lead.  You’ve all heard that phrase, “lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  If you aren’t going to lead, don’t take a leadership role.  That doesn’t mean you have to be a hard ___ leader.  You can lead so that others will follow.

In the dance scenario, the leader can be a very strong leader and whip their partner out into a spin.  That works, but somebody might get hurt, and the woman may not want to dance with that guy again.  OR the leader can lead with subtle cues.  A thumb tap on the hand can cue you into which foot to step off on.  A slight flick of the wrist can set the follower into a turn.  Gentle pressure on the small of your partner’s back can give direction.  Subtle leading can make the whole dance seem effortless.

What is your leadership style?  Is it time for you and your spouse to take a dance lesson together?  Try it, it could be fun.


*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*




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