I'm a software engineer by trade, but today I'm writing about a different passion of mine:
Six years ago, swing dancing changed my life. Now I dance tango, waltz, swing, and blues. I wanted to share dance lessons -- not the footwork, but the developmental ways in which partner dancing has helped me personally:
* Resolve Few people actually have "two left feet". The first times you go dancing, it's awkward. Doubly true for guys, having to lead. Stick to it, and within about two months, that feeling passes. Practice, learn, get better.
* Leadership Guys have to be confident and lead the dance, think ahead, and watch where it's going. But the best ladies will, given opportunities, lead stylistically. Sometimes slow, sometimes energetic; it depends on the song.
* Listening Listening to the music is easy; you can practice by concentrating on one instrument in a song. Dances can be styled on those cues. Listening to your partner is the most difficult. It's called...
* Connection At a base level, it's physical touch, but involves respect, intuiting your partner's actions (crucial in Tango!) and, wordlessly, dancing together to the music. It's very personal. There are great dancers I can't connect with; conversely, there are newbie dancers that I can. Somewhere in 'connection' is a metaphor for interpersonal relationships of all kinds.
Feel free to write if you'd like to hear more (I can expound for pages). Or if you're in the Bay Area, to come out dancing!