Shall We Dance? 5 Life lessons from the dancefloor

What can dance teach us about relationships?

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Partner (henceforth P) and I have started having ballroom dancing lessons in the village hall. P has danced before and won medals, (no pressure there then) but my pre-teen ballet at least means that I can count the beats and find the rhythm.

Although I love to dance, dancing with him has been a challenge and here's why:

  1. I'm not good at letting him lead
  2. I'm not good at following
  3. I'm not good at not knowing which way he is going to go or turn
  4. I worry too much about getting it right to relax
  5. I'm not good at surrendering; to him or the dance

It may just be a dance, but when I look at that list I see that these are issues that come up in my relationship with him and I also see it with friends and clients.

When you look at the list you can see that behind all 5 points is the issue of trust: trusting our partners and trusting the rhythm. of the music and more importantly, the rhythms of our life. So often we work when we are tired, we try hard when we need to relax and we control when we should let people and situations do their own thing.

So what can dance teach us that can help us trust in the music of our lives and loves more?

  1. Things will go wrong. We will tread on each others toes, bump into other people and go the wrong direction - get used to it, laugh when it happens and keep dancing
  2. The music rises and falls; some of it fast, some slow, some happy and energetic, some of it slow and sad - dance to it all, find beauty in it all and dance as the music ebbs and flows, always changing.
  3. Relax, let go, breathe; the music will carry you.
  4. Your partner can't dance without you. It's not that he is in control or that you are out of control, you are co-creating and each of you has different personalities and roles..only together is there a dance
  5. No one is watching to see if you are doing it right - they are all too worried about their own dance so focus on having fun.

Happy dancing,


Julie Leoni

Life coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Dr

I am a well-being coach who helps people find their 'thing'; the thing that lights you up and gives you joy and energy. Listen to my podcast; 'What's your thing?' to get inspiration.

I support people to create a less stressed life, to boost their well-being, to ask for what they want and to look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life.

I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches.

I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011.

I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy.

I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 30 years ago and I'm a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.


Go to the profile of Vicky Stanton
about 5 years ago
A great entertaining read Julie, with a great message.
Go to the profile of Julie Leoni
about 5 years ago
Thank you Vicky. We did the Cha Cha Cha last night..much bumping of knees and ChaChas in the wrong direction!