The Perfect Pair
Updated: May 22, 2019
Ballroom Dancing and NLP
Works for boys and girls of any age!
A Perspective from David Gillman, NLP Master Life Coach
Dancing is a game changer!
It’s natural to assume that I only promote ballroom dancing because I’m familiar with it. It’s true to say that I’m passionate about ballroom dancing for very many reasons, but I’m also passionate about any other activity that brings people together for fun, relaxation and enjoyment and ballroom dancing certainly qualifies on all counts.
Among its many other attractions, ballroom dancing is a wonderful secret weapon in the fight against loneliness, a power-booster in the battle against low self-esteem and a magic tonic in the war against boredom. If you’re struggling in the dating scene, or feel that you have a personal journey to undertake in self-improvement, dance is one of the greatest activities in which you can participate.
This is from a guy who has spent most of his sporting life competing in clay target shooting!
Before I started, if anyone were to raise the subject of ballroom dancing, the first thing that would have come to mind would have been a camp movie called ‘Simply Ballroom’. I vividly recall taking one look at the previews for it when it was being advertised on a morning TV program decades ago. I winced at the over-the-top insanity of it, stuck my tongue out at the screen and mumbled something derogatory like, “Sissies!”
I was born and grew up in an era that still watched John Wayne movies, all that swagger and manliness under a ten gallon hat. What a role model for an impressionable kid! Then along came Top Gun, Rocky, Rambo, Terminator, all that amped up testosterone oozing from every pore of heroic male stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger. They were the epitome of masculinity and idealised what being a man really meant.
Hero worship and avid interest however, did nothing for my love life. Tom Cruise might have always got the girl, but it sure wasn’t working for me.
I want to share with you the reasons I chose to become a ballroom dancer and how this choice has impacted on my life. But I want to share this story with you, not just as a dancer, or as a crack-shot shooter, but as a NLP Master Life Coach Practitioner.
In a quick summary, ballroom dancing provides you with the perfect opportunity to improve Self-esteem, Confidence, Stamina, Memory, Fitness and Focus.
It provides opportunities for new friendships and relationships. It also offers a golden opportunity to build better rapport with not only your dance partner but also your life partner. If you’ve been through challenging times, dancing helps you give yourself a fresh start, especially if your old lifestyle wasn’t working for you.
You develop “grit” and this persistence helps you build character.
In my case, my outlook and my old beliefs about life kept me stuck in a non-productive, soul destroying dating scene. All that changed that first night, when I pushed through the swinging door of the Essendon Danse Academy. (This is the correct spelling for this studio if you’re wondering!) I had decided to place myself in a ‘target rich environment’ and a dance studio was definitely full of likely female candidates for a guy who just wanted to take a nice girl on a date. All I had to do was get myself in the door.
I won’t lie to you. It took me three attempts at walking through that door before I plucked up enough courage to take my first lesson. My clay target shooter’s “swagger” and reluctance to put my manly ego on the line for an activity that had always seemed “sissy” to me, was holding me back.
I won’t share with you what I’d rather have done in the early days to get out of learning to dance, but if you want an idea, watch Angry Video Game Nerd’s videos on YouTube, particularly when he is commenting on a game he hates playing. (Warning to sensitive readers: viewer discretion is advised, strong language is used)
But the pain of loneliness and my belief that I absolutely needed to change, kept me coming back for lessons. Amazingly, the more lessons I had, the more my confidence grew. The more my confidence grew, the more my beliefs and mindset changed.
Eventually I started visiting other dance studios, met more women and before I knew it, I had started dating. Eventually I found the amazing woman who is now my wife. But that’s not all I got. There were secondary payoffs that followed.
I was no longer bothered by socialising with women and could hold friendly conversations with them that in no way threatened their relationship with their life partners.
I became a mentor and for a while, a dance teacher, which then lead me to become an NLP Life Coach. Dance Sport competitions greatly contributed to my confidence and abilities as a public speaker and as a contributor to my branch at Toastmasters.
I do admit that I have accumulated a lot of trophies in my cabinet at home as a testament to my adventures in the dance world, but trophies are simply a reminder of some of the many happy memories and hard earned lessons on my journey in the dance world. The trophies can be replaced if lost, but the memories, the learning, the friendships and camaraderie are treasures beyond price.
As a life coach, dancing provides and constantly reinforces all the values of self-development and self-improvement. These are skills that are necessary to change the course of your life.
Dancesport is an activity I thoroughly recommend to everyone, no matter who you are, where you’re from, what your preferences are and which walk of life you’ve traveled.
It’s given me so much and I expect it will do the same for you.
Author's Note: I have written this article of my own volition and no-one, including the Australian Dancing Society or any other affiliates, has paid for my endorsement. I am, quite simply, a passionate believer in the power of physical movement in general, and dancesport in particular, to help people learn and grow.
Contact: David Gillman - The Mindset Mechanic