Is Dancing Becoming a Lost Art?


Throughout middle school, high school and college, I regularly attended dances and had a blast dancing with my friends to the popular tunes of the seventies and eighties. (Yeah I know, I’m totally dating myself here!) I studied dance--ballet, tap and jazz--throughout my childhood and teen years and grew to appreciate the artistic expression of music through movement.

My daughter recently attended her high school Homecoming Dance with a group of male and female friends which, on a side note, I think is GREAT! When I was in high school you either had a date, or you didn’t go. But anyway, back to my topic of dance…

Despite the popularity of shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, I’m concerned that dancing is becoming a lost art. When my parents and grandparents went to dances they really danced. They waltzed, rumba-ed, and fox-trotted their ways around the floor. And my generation, well, we danced. (Disco counts, right?)

But as I sat talking with my daughter about the events of the evening, and “casually” asked if she’d danced with any boys, she replied, “No, mom. Besides, nobody really dances anymore anyway.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” she paused delicately. “The dance floor is pretty much divided into two areas. The center is the ‘mosh pit.’ It’s a big group of kids all squished together in the middle of the dance floor where everyone basically…” she hesitated again.
“Basically what?”
“Well, they pretty much have sex with their clothes on.”
“What?!”
She explained the ‘dance moves’ going on in the mosh pit and I was flabbergasted.
She continued, “On the outer edges of the mosh pit are more couples doing the same moves as the kids in the mosh pit--except they just have more room—then there’s the rest of the kids who just jump up and down to the music.”

I was shocked, and the more I thought about it, disappointed. What’s happened to actual dancing?

I read an article about a community program offered in Rancho Bernardo, California. It would be so awesome if programs like this were implemented across the country. The senior citizens of the area teach children ballroom dancing through the school district’s physical education program. Every year they teach over 1500 students the fox-trot, waltz, rumba, swing and merengue. And the kids love it!

Teens today are missing out on how even simple steps like the cha-cha, can be so cool. And remember the infamous scene in the 1992 movie, Scent of a Woman? The one where the blind character played by Al Pacino dances with a young woman. Not that I want to in ANY WAY encourage inappropriate dancing amongst teens, but if they’re looking for hot dancing, can it get much better than this?

Scent of A Woman Tango Scene





I’m sad. What do you think? Is dancing becoming a lost art?

Image by Jerry Daykin

1 comment:

NanaRuth said...

Boy, do I ever miss being able to do this! Old age is the pits, if you don't maintain some of your agility. All you youngster better enjoy it while you've still got it!