Dancing is stupid

I always considered dancing stupid. A pastime for those unable to engage in more intellectual conversations.

We, the intellectuals, holding drinks, contemplating politics, religion, economics, technology and other “important things” are the ones playing the real game, solving problems so that others can dance.

We have been fooled into thinking that, in the long run, we will be the most knowledgeable, the richest, the most respected, and therefore the happiest.

Knowledgable? Sure. Richest? Sure. Respected? Maybe. Happiest?

I have seen many people angry or sad after discussing “the important things”, complaining about their situation, or depressed after overdosing on TED talks and injecting too many Wikipedia articles. But rarely a sad one after running, meditating, working out, singing, or dancing.

I’ve never heard of a family being divided because its members dance different styles, but I am in one divided by political and religious opinions.

Does intellectualism make you happy?

There are eight types of intelligence. We, ignorant people, believe that some of them are superior to others. We intellectuals believe that logical and rational intelligence is the silver bullet to solving all problems.

Maybe if you spent some time developing social intelligence you would be able to show understanding and convince others of your opinions without escalating conflicts.

Maybe if you spent some time on interpersonal intelligence you would notice low mood states and support others instead of arguing and falling into a spiral of insecurity.

Maybe if you spent time on bodily intelligence you would know how to take care of your body, and gain access to the purest joy from the movement of bodies. You would develop sensuality and sexuality.

Dancing is a great test of what part of your brain dominates. Good dancing is when you stop thinking and just let your feelings lead. The less you think and the more you rely on your feelings the better you dance.

Dancing forces you to be here and now—connecting you with your and your partner’s body. Dancing is a means of irrational communication. Dancing is a conversation between two people where the means of communication are your bodies. Mood, confidence, domination, sensitivity, openness, attraction, you communicate them without a word. You can’t talk about politics while dancing, but it’s a feature, not a bug.

Even the greatest thinkers have seen dance as a “guide to the good life”.

As Nietzsche said, “When humans don’t learn how to move their bodily selves, their senses grow dull and they lose the capacity to discern what is good for them.”

When evaluating any value, idea, practice or person, Nietzsche asked:

Does it dance? Does it catalyse a joyful affirmation of life? ~ Human, All Too Human (1878)

Does your work catalyse a joyful affirmation of life? Does your relationship make you more joyful? Do other aspects of your life dance?

Alfred Adler saw the good life as a dance, he said:

Dance, and appreciate where you get. Don’t expect your life to go somewhere. Just dance, and follow where the dance gets you.
~ The Courage to Be Disliked

If programming is your dance, and you love doing it, then do it professionally, but this is where your dance has taken you. If you start programming to become a professional programmer but fall short, you will end up feeling meaningless. Focus on the journey, not the destination. Life’s goal is not to get somewhere, it’s to dance and get somewhere.

So, do you dance?

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