In the flow – The magic of dance flow

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Dance flow

The concept of flow in psychology can be used also to describe the dance flow. Flow in social dancing would be summed up as follows; (to read the full article go to Dance the World )

In a state of dance flow you are completely absorbed in the dance, in the movement. You are fully in sync with the music. You feel a deep yet effortless connection with you partner. Every movement naturally after another. You are in no strain to maintain the pace, direction or movement. You lose sense of time, your inhibitions, your worries, your aching muscles and whatever else is normally in the back of your mind. You are not distracted by your surrounding, but in complete harmony. Nothing is able to break you concentration in that moment, you are completely involved in the dance.

Flow + social dancing = magic

You can achieve flow in many things. Artists or any persona performing creative activities like singing, playing an instrument, drawing or painting tend to experience flow. Also sports is a good arena for flow, both individual and team sports. In a sports context people also talk about “being in the zone”. Playing games, like chess or why not even WoW, can offer the feeling of flow. Some people can find flow even in their work and day-to-day mundane tasks.

But one thing that makes flow in social dancing so special to me is that magical feeling of two individuals – even complete strangers – sharing the moment of flow together. Not just experiencing a state of flow in the same physical space, but sharing a single state of flow. Some people have used the words “breathing the same air” to characterize this. The moment can be a special second or two, or it can last for five, ten, thirty, sixty minutes – however long you can hold a continuous movement with your dance partner. Does this mean that a person in the state of flow turns into a zombie? No. But it can feel like a heavenly dream.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this shared state of flow somewhere else too? All I can say is, kudos!