Stop working on connection

I often ask people what they’re working on in their dancing, either out of curiosity or because they are my students and I’m checking in with them. A frequent response to the question is “connection” – to which I inevitably reply, “What do you mean by that?”

We all want to have better connection with our partners. I get it. I really do. Connection is basically my number one value in partner dancing, because without it, how can you have a comfortable, effective, and successful partnership?

But here’s the thing: connection is not something you create unto itself. It is the product of other things, namely movement and body mechanics. Connection is created through movement of one’s body, either towards or away from a partner. So if you want to improve your connection, you work on movement and body mechanics.

I’ve written before about the importance of doing specific, concrete actions and it’s the same when working on improving your connection. Connection is an abstract by-product of other concrete actions – not something you tackle directly but rather indirectly by working on other things.

So stop working on connection and start working on the things that will actually improve your connection.

What are you working on to improve your connection? How has your instructor provided clear and specific actions for improving connection? Teachers, how do you help your students understand and work on connection?

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