Ballroom Beyond The Boardroom

Significant exposure through the venues of television and the internet has enhanced worldwide interest in ballroom and Latin dancing. As the popularity grows, it provides us a substantial opportunity to strengthen the knowledge, value and appreciation of dance in the corporate arena.

In times past, dancing in many countries may have been viewed in the corporate world as a reward for employees at higher levels. (board members, senior executives and management) Whether for performances or social events, this was likely the scenario you would find formal ballroom or Latin dancing. Corporations have intensified focus on their human resource employee base. Benefits are being offered through programs for individuals to improve cultural education, physical and mental health, diversity awareness, and team dynamics, all of which are impacted directly through dancing.

Let’s take a quick look at these points of interest.

  1. Education: Activating learning to study various dance styles increases knowledge of world cultures and historical backgrounds.
  2. Health: Stimulation and coordination of mind, muscles and movement; relieving stress while empowering mental and physical focus and endurance; teaching discipline and goal pursuit.
  3. Diversity: Awareness and sensitivity to differences and similarities in dance styles, techniques and music deepens understanding of varied cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and talents of people, heightening appreciation of complimentary differences and reinforcing similarities.
  4. Team Dynamics: Ballroom and Latin dancing require partnering skills and balance through lead/ follow principles with understanding and support between each partner. Improves awareness and respect strengthening network connections for employer – employee relations.

I have seen these elements effective in a corporate environment through the presentation of dance. Over a period of five years, I introduced two educational and cultural dance videos in several corporate diversity events. These branched into two personal performances and a statewide event for an executive/management competition which continued annually, in addition to group dance sessions to improve teamwork. In pursuing dance opportunities in a corporate environment, here are a few things to consider:

  • Professionalism – in attitude and attire, be respectful to audience and environment
  • Proposal – prepare presentation materials; study and know your customer
  • Patience – with perseverance; ask, then ask again – improving your content and presentation
  • Pleasure – whatever their response, leave with courtesy that they respect you and your art

Let’s help others recognize that dancing has been an integral part of living and communicating throughout time and will continue to thrive for ages to come. Find a way to encourage the corporate world to allow dancing to be a creative tool in improving lifestyles and increasing workplace relations and productivity.

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Avatar for Martha Harper

Martha A. Harper, M.Ed. Education Leadership, B.A. Sociology Martha embraces 16 years in Ballroom and Latin dance, 8 in American Smooth, Rhythm and Latin and 8 in International Standard. Currently training and competing Pro-AM, International Standard. Primary focus: enhance awareness of cultural development, artistic creativity and health advantages of ballroom dance while encouraging fine tuning of instructional methods. She is a retired legal secretary and is a published author residing in the United States.

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