The Ballroom Dancer’s Guide to Life and Relationships

1. No matter how much talent you have, if you don’t practice and develop it, talent is all it will ever be. 2. The leader leads with sureness and clarity, but never forces. 3. Planning is necessary to lead well. So is flexibility. 4. It’s damned hard to follow. 5. The leader initiates a move; then both partners do it together. The follower finishes it with a flourish to give the move ‘oomph.’ 6. Both strong connection and personal space are extremely important. 7. A gentleman treats a lady with appropriate attention, giving her the appreciation she deserves. 8. A lady follows a man’s lead unless there is a reason not to. 9. Sometimes, back-leading is necessary. 10. Etiquette is always important. 11. Blaming each other never gets anyone anywhere. 12. It’s about working together to strive for a common goal. It’s not about who has the better interpretation, or who’s doing something wrong. And if each ‘does their own thing,’ the disunity is ugly. 13. Most mistakes are forgivable. 14. The best way to find a good match is to be picky. 15. It’s all illusion. The ease of the dance, the woman’s flexibility, the blatancy of the dancers’ emotions … the truth of blatant emotional displays, the man’s inflexibility, the ease of the dance… 16. Seven year olds in revealing costumes doing sexy things is disturbing. (Okay, so this is not news to anyone. I just had to say something about young children’s Latin Dance costumes.) 17. Patience and humour. 18. Strong couples are well synchronized. The moves either match or complement, but they’re always done in unity. 19. Subtlety appears obvious when it is done well. 20. The suggestion of lust is more powerful than the reality of lust.


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