The Life Changing Question

The Life Changing Question: “May I Have this Dance, Please?”

 Quite often the topic of my blogs has to with what we are training on with our staff. This month we selected TED talks for our monthly book club. If you’ve never heard of TED talks, (where have you been!) they are amazing and often short inspirational, modern talks on topics that are relevant today. Topics span from health, wealth, business, social economics, and Ballroom Dance!

Ted Talk: “May I Have this Dance, Please?” by Pierre Dulaine is an incredible speech about the amazing benefits of Ballroom Dance. If that name sounds familiar, Pierre is not only a 4 Time World Champion but part of his dance journey is depicted in the movie “Take the Lead” where Antonio Banderas portrays Pierre.

     Currently what most people have is a love relationship with their computer, iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. We have become experts at isolating ourselves. We don’t make eye contact while getting on an elevator, on public transportation, or waiting in lines. (My favorite thing to do on an elevator is stand facing in. It really messes with people!) Albert Einstein said, “I fear the day when technology takes over our human interaction, we will have a generation of idiots.”

 Why is the question – “May I Have this Dance, Please?” an important one?  It is not only a question that has been asked by many people, but that question is the beginning to what leads people to experience the power of Ballroom Dance.

Real human interaction is a basic need for our health and happiness. A great conversation, a hug, or in this case, holding someone in your arms and moving to music are a few of the most important things in life and what makes us human. When you touch someone with respect, something changes.

Pierre reminds us that dancing can change our physical demeanor. If you are shy…you could become confident and self-assured. It teaches us essential life-skills such as: self-respect, discipline, team-work, compassion, and good manners. Dancing breaks cultural and social economic barriers. You could develop trust with someone you don’t know.

   Albert Einstein Institute of Medicine states that Ballroom dancing 2 to 3 times per times a week reduces the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s by 76%! Cross word puzzles came in at a far 2nd place at 47%, while doing them 4 times a week.

Studies show that kids dancing in schools show an increase in grades, a decrease in bullying, and an overall better school culture. This is exactly what Antonio Banderas (I mean Pierre Dulaine) did in the New York City public school with, as he put it, ” unruly 11 year old children.” His philosophy is, “Change the children, change the parents, change the future.”

     In Pierre’s most recent movie, he takes his quest to change the world through Ballroom dance to the extreme. “Dancing in Jaffa” is a movie following Pierre taking his “Dancing Programs” back to his home town of Jaffa, Israel.   Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches 10-year-old Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish- Israeli children to dance and compete together. Dancing in Jaffa brings dancing to the classroom where children are forced to confront issues of segregation and racial prejudice. Essentially these kids are asked to dance with the enemy. With the help of Pierre, these kids learn to dance together and trust one another.

Give yourself and someone else the gift of dance.  The simple question, “

May I Have this Dance, Please?” can open the door to countless opportunities of self-improvement, love, respect, and fun.

Change your life, one step at a time.

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