Haptics: Touch Dancing
HAPTICS: TOUCH DANCING
As a Communication Studies major, I learn a lot about haptics, or what is more commonly referred to as touch. It’s funny because in dancing, you have to be comfortable with your partner. There is a degree of closeness that is only surpassed by few other human actions. There are amounts of space we reserve for different types of relationships and as you can guess, dancing is done at a personal distance of 0-18 inches.
Dancing not only involves a large degree of comfort with the person you are dancing with, but this comfort also involves trust. You must trust your partner. The woman must trust the man to be a good lead and the man must trust that the woman will follow his leads well. As they say: “It takes two to Tango.”
When wedding dance couples come in, of course it is a great thing because they are already comfortable with each other and trust one another. Since we cater to more than just wedding first dances, it’s important to know that learning any type of partner dance has a lot to do with touch. Therefore, it is important to know this and be acquainted with your partner in a way you believe you will be comfortable.
The other day, one of our students was talking about his first time taking a dance class and how overwhelming it can be to have someone touching you and not knowing how personal dancing can be. He said, “And then she was just touching me and I was like, woah, that happened suddenly.” But once you do it a couple times, you learn that just like any other kind of task-related touching, dancing can be incredible, fun, and exciting. Don’t be afraid of touching! It’s a good thing.
Article by Bella Ballroom Dance Studio Office Manager, Shelby.