By Zoe Samuel on April 24, 2018
Dancing is one of the best things humans enjoy. It's fun, it's free, it's exercise, it's a way of bonding with others. It can be by turns reassuring, romantic, entertaining, challenging, and even beautiful. Before kids can speak in full sentences, they are usually delighted to dance: even in their cradles, they will bop along to a good beat. Many animals use dancing to attract a mate, and certainly many humans try that particular tactic, albeit with enormously varying success. Even so, dancing is a way to bring us all together in celebration, fun and flirtation.
As Sir William Lucas says in Jane Austen's beloved novel, "Pride and Prejudice," "What a charming amusement for young people... There is nothing like dancing, after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies." Still, we mustn't forget the reply from Mr. Darcy: "Every savage can dance."
The difference between dancing, and dancing well, can be a very substantial one. Good dancing technique will elevate something clumsy or ridiculous into something beautiful and transfiguring - and that means study, practice and knowing the craft.
Dancers, like experts in any other field, typically study for 10 or more years to become really good, and in so doing they pick up a vast vocabulary. Let's see if you know it!