So confession time. I am extremely prone to dance crushes. I mean really, really, really prone to dance crushes. If I’ve had more than two good/ fun dances with you, chance are you’ve now joined my every growing list of dance crushes. Now having dance crushes isn’t bad per se. It’s actually really awesome to find people that you have good dance chemistry with. It also takes some of nervousness away from going to out-of-town events if you know some partners that you love to dance with are going to be there. The problem arises when you start to wonder if you’re starting to develop a romantic crush on your dance crush, which I will refer to as “DCs” for the rest of this post.
Now, this was a problem I frequently faced until the last year or two. I would start to wonder if I had an actual crush on my DC and then overthink my interactions with him. I would get really nervous about asking him to dance because I was terrified he would think I was a crazy stalker-type person, or would simply realize I was starting to like him and then reject me and never dance with me again. Even if I didn’t have a real crush on him, I would still be nervous about asking my DC to dance too much because I didn’t want him to think I was interested in him as more than a dance partner.
It would almost be a relief when I found out my DC was in a relationship because at first I would be like:
But then I would realize I was free from them being interested in me romantically and I could put any romantic feelings I was starting to feel aside and just enjoy them as a dance partner!
Now, having a romantic crush on your DC doesn’t have to be a bad thing (though some people have a strict “no dating other dancers” policy). However, I think it’s important to be aware of the fact that dancing causes our brains to release endorphins, those feel-good chemicals that give us a natural high. They might make you think you have a crush on someone, when in fact you’re brain is just telling you to have fun. Those butterflies in your stomach might be nothing more than an endorphin induced high that is caused by that wonderful exercise known as dancing, and not simply by your chemistry with your dance partner. So I have made a list of questions to ask myself when I start to feel infatuated with my DC in order to determine whether it’s worth my time to allow myself to have a crush on them or if I should sequester my feelings for them in the part of my brain reserved for dance crushes.. Hopefully this list can help you as well!
How to tell if your dance crush is an actual crush:
- Have you actually had a conversation with them?
- Were the conversations about something other than dance?
- Have you gotten past the small-talk phase of your friendship?
- Are you just as happy to sit and chat with them as you are to dance with them? (if the answer is yes, you might have an actual crush on your DC)
- Have you spent any time hanging out outside of dance events?
- If not, try and plan a non-dance get-together with a group of friends so you can gauge what your DC is like outside of the dance world.
- If you like spending time with your DC outside of dancing, you might have an actual crush on your DC
- Do you like anything about them other than their dancing? (see number 1 for a way to find out the answer to this question)
- Do you have similar senses of humor? (this one might be more important for me than other people, but it definitely helps me gauge if I have more than just dance chemistry with a person)
- Be honest with yourself: would you like this person as much if they didn’t dance or if they didn’t dance well?
Now that I ask myself these questions, I find that I’m less likely to develop romantic feelings towards a dance crush. This has greatly helped me relax with the social side of swing dancing. I no longer worry about impressing a dance crush with anything other than the fact that I really enjoy dancing, and I no longer worry about whether my partner will think I am infatuated with him. Dance crushes are a perfectly healthy part of dancing as long as you take those butterflies in your stomach with a grain of salt and just take them as a sign that it’s time to get over there and ask your favorite dancer for a dance.