I have to come clean, my wife and daughter have sucked me into another season of Dancing with the Stars. It is only my second season, but I was adamant at the beginning that I did not need another TV show to watch. My daughter loves the dancing and Bruno’s emphatic evaluations, so I find myself drawn in, sharing in her joy.
Tags: intimacy | marriage | masculinity
As I watch, along with millions of others, my wonderings turn to why this show about ballroom dancing is so immensely popular. Along that line, why is ballroom dancing rising in popularity? And I watch and I wonder.
Then this week a possibility occurred to me. It’s men and women.
More specifically, it is men being encouraged to be the man and women encouraged to be the women and the beauty that results when those roles are embraced.
In a culture that had encouraged men to check their ‘man card’ at the door and be more passive and docile, less forceful and more Easter bunny, happy to play video games and have their moms make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with crusts cut off) – within the context of this kind of culture we are drawn into this world of dance where the man must exude strength. Strength both physical and in leadership.
The man guides the dance, leading the steps and guiding the frames of both partners. He must maintain a firm grasp on his woman. He must lift and support and swing and twirl the woman as they, as one form, a single unit, navigate the expanse of the dance floor.
Yet, it is not a partnership where the man is holding the woman down. His strength has the purpose of showing off the woman. Giving her the platform for her beauty and grace to shine through. In the good dance couples, the man draws our attention to the woman; she is his treasure to be showcased.
In this dance of equals, the woman allows herself to be led. Knowing that in the hands of a capable man, her beauty will be allowed to shine forth. She must trust his grasp, firm enough so she won’t fall, yet not so much that it inhibits her movement. Her movement prove her trust in the strength of her man.
In all the dance, the man holds the woman’s best interest first and foremost, not because he is the partner that does not matter, but because that is what he was designed for – what his role is. For the woman, she places her complete trust in the man, now because she is the partner of lesser worth, but knowing that is what will allow her to flourish and be showcased.
The dance is beautiful when both partners embrace their roles and don’t resent or fight against their part. This is our ideal of what a relationship looks like. What our souls are restless for, but which is so hard to obtain in our cultural system. So we tune in to get a glimpse on the dance floor of what could be in our own lives.