Want to be a popular social dancer?


Want to be a popular social dancer? Apply ‘Fish’ philosophy!

What’s so exciting about a fish market? Can you imagine making a visit to a fish market a priority on your vacation? Well, that’s what I had to do last November when visiting Seattle. The Pike Place Fish Market is not only known for its exceptional fish selections and quality of product and customer service, it is also known as a very entertaining tourist destination! In his book simply named “Fish” Philosophy, John Christensen chronicles the daily ‘goings on’ at this quite ordinary fish selling market place. From his observations, he developed this simple but unique philosophy to improve “organizational culture” or quite simply “the workplace”. The four ideas are simply: 1. Choose your attitude 2 . Playing at work 3. Making someone’s day and 4. Being present

Adopting this philosophy has proven to improve the workplace. But this philosophy can cultivate a better environment all around whenever applied.  For instance, an Arthur Murray Dance Studio would be one such environment! It is with this in mind that we begin this 4 part series. If I wrote about all the scenarios in which we could apply this philosophy, I know I would be writing multiple volumes. I’ll settle on a few examples today and address in particular the Arthur Murray supervised dance practice.

  1. Choose your attitude

Of course the attitude to choose is a positive one. The dance practises can be intimidating if you are a new student. You put off attending because perhaps you don’t feel ready, you don’t know enough steps and it seems everyone is much further ahead. The dance practice is the reality portion of your dancing program and it’s a great way to accelerate your learning and the fastest way to get you comfortable and confident for your outside dancing. If you find an evening too much to face at first, then start small. I had a student who was avoiding the parties for the above reasons. I convinced him to come for just the first 10 minutes. He did. I then encouraged and challenged him to make it 20 minutes the next time. He did. Pretty soon this student was no longer noticing the time and was dancing all night long till the lights turned on! He was having a blast and was dancing every dance.

Perhaps you’re a higher level dancer and there are many new students. Again, choose a positive attitude. Take the opportunity to focus on your leading or following ability. Gentlemen, are you able to make this new student feel comfortable and dance more than she knows? A good leader can do this. As a woman, are you able to boost that gentleman’s confidence by following even his mistakes? A good follower can do this. Be an encourager when you dance with the newbies. They will stick around and quickly become one of those excellent dancers.

Or perhaps, the ratio of women to men or men to women is 10 to 1. Again, you guessed it. Be positive. Don’t sit out. Take the opportunity to practice your patterns by yourself while waiting for your next dancing opportunity. School figure checkouts will be a breeze.

Choose a positive attitude when it comes to the dance practices and you will notice your dance card will always be full and you will find yourself not wanting the party to end.

Stay tuned for our next ‘fish’ application…. playing!


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