OK, OK, so ScienceDaily trumpets the health benefits of dancing, and other studies have indicated that dancing may very help to prevent dementia, but I can tell you for sure that dancing provides an additional — and very important — benefit that none of the scientific studies have touched.

Dance crushes.

A dance crush is one of the most delightful experiences ever. It is one of the best parts of dancing. It is a creature of convenience – no commitment, except for the duration of the dance; no needing to talk, except for the body-to-body conversation on the dance floor. A dance crush is immediate and unconditional during its finite, but intense life. And, above all, it’s fun without consequences. (If it’s “consequences” you want, don’t look for them in a dance crush.)

Here’s how a dance crush works. Naturally, you need to know how to dance. No, you don’t have to be Ginger, but you do have to know the steps and be able to follow. (The dance floor is one of the last bastions of political incorrectness: men lead, women follow. Period. No discussion. Really.)

Being able to dance and follow easily is important, because you want to be able to dance without much conscious thought so your body can take over. Once you are dancing, you simply give yourself up to the music and the moment; you give the dance everything you’ve got. That means that you look in your partner’s eyes and are totally responsive to him. And he will, in turn, respond to you completely as well. You go where the music and the movement take you. Without limit. Until the music ends. And when it does, so will the dance crush. You say good-by with a quick, meaningful and sincere hug and a word of thanks. That’s it. Pure pleasure. Nothing more. Until the next partner, when it begins again.

In the interests of full disclosure, a word of warning: every dance partner’s not a dance crush. (See: All that glitters, etc.) But, it’s a whole lot easier to find a good dance crush than a good boyfriend or husband – and a lot more fun. (With a lot less down-side.)

As for me, when I dance salsa — hot, sweaty, fast-moving salsa — my salsa dance crushes are sexy, flirty and playful. And when I dance tango, with the sinuous drama that is so much a part of that dance, my tango dance crushes have a more intimate nuance and a more sensual vibe. But with both there is always the intense physical interaction, the music and the moment. And no need – or desire – for anything more. Because it’s simply enough as it is.

What delicious freedom.

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  • Elizabeth W. April 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    At a wedding this weekend, I remembered the post about dance crushes. Moving to the music in the arms of a good friend, I couldn’t have been happier. Song ended, I found a new partner, and more fun and joy.
    Just what my soul needed, and part of the larger wedding celebration for two very dear friends.