Even if you only learn to dance a little, the process of becoming a dancer can put you on a path to better dating. You may become more attractive, more in touch with your partner, and possibly even a better person.

There’s a theory about great dancers having great genes; ergo, they make great mates. Maybe that’s true, but that’s not where we’re going. Dance is the original “speed dating,” so it’s a great way to mingle with potential dates. Still, that’s not our game at the moment. Our goal is personal development and connection.

While you won’t become a rock star, here are five ways dancing can give you an edge – and help you to become a successful dater!

  1. Overcome Shyness and Break Out of Your Shell

If you’re shy, learning to swing dance may make you less shy. If you have average social skills, learning salsa may help you to become above average. Whatever level of resistance you’re at, dance can help you crack that ceiling and move a little higher. Social dancing is a well-scripted ritual of boy meets girl. The romantic nature of dance and the etiquette surrounding it create an ideal place to practice social interactions, especially getting comfortable with strangers and new acquaintances. From approaching the object of your affection, to invading his or her space, to flirting and touching, it’s all part of the routine.

  1. Learn to Flirt and Put It to Use

Dance, part of the mating ritual, is flirtatious by design. Not only do many dances have moves that openly flirt, but you also have permission to use them without consequences. Or you can flirt for real, with consequences. And that’s the point. Dance is a place to practice and deploy provocative moves… and not-so-provocative moves. It’s a place to get comfortable just making eye contact. As Frankie Manning, the grandfather of swing dancing, always advised: pretend you’re in love for three minutes.

  1. Communicate and Connect on a Deeper Level

Dance is a conversation between two people. But it goes way beyond talk. There’s eye contact, body language, touch, rhythmic movement, a dance connection, collaboration and art. Unlike most activities, tango and rumba require a partnership. The goal is to bond. Also, there is chemistry on the dance floor like there is chemistry in conversation. If you enjoy both dancing and talking with someone, make note: you may have a connection that goes beyond dance.

  1. Discover More About Your Partner

Talk is cheap, but dance is deep. It’s easy to misrepresent with words, but we have less control of our body language and behavior. Watch your partner for clues that suggest personality traits. Watch for signs that he or she is having a good time, indicating a good connection. Some say dance is a metaphor for life: how you behave on the dance floor is said to be how you behave in real life. Is your partner relaxed or stressed? Is your partner physically rough? Does your partner go with the flow? Handle mistakes well? Like to show off? Like to play? Does your partner take himself or herself too seriously?

  1. Become a Better – and More Desirable – Person

Dance is a chance to give yourself a little makeover, inside and out. It can help you become more confident, from the way you walk to the way you interact socially. It can help you become more attuned to etiquette, which will make you more polite and aware of other people. You can learn to be a better partner, maybe how to be more intimate. You may start grooming yourself better. You’ll get more exercise, both physical and mental. You’ll learn to move your body with more grace and with better posture; and a better posture may make you look a little younger, taller and thinner. Dance can build character, like how to resolve conflicts, how to take care of your partner and how to not take yourself too seriously. Others will see your willingness to step onto the dance floor—to take a risk—as admirable. Learning a little ballroom, Latin or swing will improve your rhythm. It’s no fun going through life without rhythm.

There aren’t many evening activities to do on a date—mostly drinks, dinner, dancing and movies—right? A dance floor is in your future whether you like it or not (including the ultimate, your wedding dance). After you finally meet a cool Jewish single through JDate, one that’s a keeper, wouldn’t it be nice to be enthusiastic when your date suggests dinner and dancing?

James Joseph is the author of “Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing” and he blogs at http://ihatetodance.com. You can connect with him on Google+
  1. You should also mention contra dancing and English Country Dancing, my 2 favorite styles of dance! Contra dancing helped me overcome my shyness, and I met my ex-wife and last 3 girlfriends at contra dances. The dances are fun and flirtatious. If you do couple dances such as waltz, tango, or swing, and you do 9 dances in an evening, you will have danced with 9 women. If you go to a contra dance or an English Country Dance where longways sets are the norm, if the dance isn’t too large, at the end of the evening you will have danced with every single person at that dance. That’s women and men, boys and girls. It’s an awesome way of meeting dateable women, and you’ll also become friends with all the other women, and eventually, the guys, too. Plus, it’s aerobic exercise and you will have danced to live music.

  2. I have four strikingly beautiful daughters. Fortunately, they take after their mother. There is no lack of attention from boys, however for the most part , these boys (and men) are clueless when it comes to basic dating and courting expectations and expectations tiquette. They have the healthy drive and know that they want to be with girls, unfortunately, most don’t have the faintest idea of how to do this in a meaningful and respectful way.
    Social networking has its important place. But it is also destroying something very special, particularly with some critical and even wonderful experiences of youth. Dancing provides what is missing or very endangered: appropriate physical contact, looking at each other’s eyes and the girl being respected and even honored enough to receive a live voice invitation. In turn, boys will start to feel something that they have not generally. They will fill the energized confidence and excitement that come only through face to face communication and the ensuing dance. It’s the ideal controlled environment where these in-person interactions take place.
    The girls have a level of control during the dance. The boys do too, and these, plus a hundred other benefits will never occur via social networking. Yes, there are the situations where the boys requested dance is rejected or a girl attends the entire dance without a single invitation. As older adults, we have all been there to some extent and survived nonetheless. As a father of four daughters and three sons, I plead to bring back regular dancing of all different types . The difference, the improvements, and the desired results will absolutely follow. Guaranteed!

  3. My first, nervous where do my eyes and hands go dance move was he left and right, right and left, left and right, stilted, leg moves to the beat. But, probably in the primordial soup we all evolved from forward back forward back…a later move of the feet..though more menacing potentially. Do anything to the downward bass beat of the music at first then ad up to freak. Men have luck to be leading. Most gals wil try to follow…but its all to the bands or dj’s beat which is the real leader. Until..you take lessons.

  4. I never thought about how dance could improve your communication skills. Dancing is all about speaking without words, like you said. I think I’ll look for a boys dance program for my son. I’m sure he’ll thank me in the future. Thanks.

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