Dancing and emotions

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Carna, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Carna

    Carna New Member

    I started ballroom/Latin dancing, late in my life as an absolute beginner, 15 months ago, and I am now at the Bronze intermediate level and have been at a handful of pro/am competitions.

    Besides performance anxiety before competitions, I often have intense emotions during dance lessons, positive and negative.

    Do you experience that too?
    chomsky likes this.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    not sure why this is in articles, but....to answer; when I was a beginner; yes (often)...now; occasionally...and I think it makes perfect sense
    chomsky likes this.
  3. Carna

    Carna New Member

    Sorry, I am brand new, have to find my way around.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no problem...welcome...I will move it to a more appropriate location
  5. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member


    Not sure why this is an issue...
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  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    precisely
    chomsky likes this.
  7. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Dear Carna, I have the same experience and it's more often than not. Dance is deeply emotional for me, it brings out all my emotions sometimes negative sometimes positive. I don't think I control it and that's the nice thing about it. I'm not just working on my body I'm working on my soul and it leads me to a better understanding of myself too. A very interesting thread, well done and welcome to the dancing comunity then, not just DF!
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Of course but rather the negative ones :( I´m a leader and always quarreled with my difficulties and slow learning speed at lessons. It took some years till I could enjoy my own dancing. Positive emotions come easier when I dance alone in my flat. Of course I like to get compliments from women for my (social) dancing, but this rather is a cortical thing, nothing really emotional. Outacting other guys at socials or competitions also is a source of self-confidence. But I fear it rather feeds the narcissist in me. Forgot to say that I like being led (at socials). Then at least I can immerse into the music and forget about everything around me. These are kind of transcendental moments. But it´s hard for a guy to find an appropriate leader. So this happens only one to twice a year.
    chomsky likes this.
  9. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    Carna, welcome to DF. I don't think I have ever been an openly emotional person in my life until I started dancing, now I am a mess and I don't get it. It all started with my first lesson; about half way through I realized I can learn to dance and the next thing I knew I had tears in my eyes (I had always told my wife's friends and instructors that they just didn't understand, this is something I am simply not capable of and it took me a long time to take the first lesson and I took it 30 miles away from everyone I knew who could dance). In the days leading up to my 1st comp I found myself very emotional and would get misty just thinking about dancing (OK, sometimes more than misty). After the comp was terrible, I actually ended up somewhat depressed and very needy for a couple days (depression has never been a part of my makeup). So, yes I do and I really don't get it and don't think I like it either. As a person who has always had control of his emotions, I find this somewhat embarrassing. If I am not alone in this, it appears I am not, there must be some psychology behind it. Before I do another comp I am going to have a shrink on retainer.:)

    Maybe there is a psychologist on DF that can start a group just for us
    chomsky likes this.
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Active Member

    Yup. I chalk it up to needing to let go of the analytical, controlled side of me - the one I default to and use most of the time. It took some time, but for me to dance, and I mean really dance, I need to just feel... the side effect is the emotional roller coaster that comes with letting go and dancing with abandon. Still working on not letting things get too free :)
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  11. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Dancing, for me, was an exercise in letting go of my type-A personality, and learning to enjoy the act of following well, and cooperating with my DP. When that finally happened.....as strange as it sounds.....joy was the result. Not that I don't have frustration and negative emotions from time to time, but that is the exception, rather than the rule.
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  12. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Okay, only yesterday, I realized that my frustration is uncontrollable sometimes, so much so, that I actually don't follow. To be honest, I do think that dance works as a stress relieve...
  13. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    At some point, I realized minor dehydration made me a raging, frustrated *&^(*&( in practice and lessons... does that count? :p
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  14. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I don't know whether it was coincidental but I think dehydration is what made me feel dizzy, then unable to concentrate, then sad I wasn't getting it and then more dizzy. So, I always drink a zip and get back on track!!!!
  15. Carna

    Carna New Member

    I'm glad that I'm not alone with my intense emotions! I experience quite a range. From top-of-the-world when everything goes well to frustration and anger at myself, especially when I make the same mistake over and over again (like anticipating!). My partner is very emotional too.

    I suppose dancing brings out emotional "stuff" that we tend to repress in our daily lives.
    chomsky likes this.
  16. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    You can say that again! I need to find a bit of emotional discipline because it gets to my dancing lately. I love it that all my frustration in life is directed towards dance because it is creative but I hate it that there are times when stress is uncontrollable in my muscles and body and at a subconscious level.
  17. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Probably a very similar effect... "unable to concentrate" and "sad" progressed rapidly into anger for me, apparently :p No dizzy, though.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    blood sugar can also be a culprit
  19. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Active Member

    Or lack of sleep.

    I am a distracted, sarcastic and difficult-to-teach cranky pants on days when I don't squeeze in a post-work, pre-dance power nap. I am just not built to get home from the studio around 11 (still needing to shower and eat) and get up for work at 6-ish.
  20. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Is it the dancing that becomes stressful for you at times, or is it that stress from other aspects of your life creeps into your dancing? I find that dancing is a significant relief from the stresses that carry over from other parts of my life, although I have to work on certain aspects -- stress creates certain physical symptoms in me, such as an inability to get my shoulders to relax. I do have to monitor my frustration level at times. My instructor told me a while back that she had learned that with me, if I'm not getting something, she can only work on it so many times before we have to move on to something else.
    chomsky likes this.

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