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The dancer’s connection

He is among India’s best known ballroom and Latin American dancers. Recipient of many awards, model, entrepreneur, celebrity dance teacher and RJ, Sandip Soparrkar talks to Spice With Sam about the spiritual connection between ballroom dance and the dancer.

Traditionally, in Christian weddings, why is the first couple dance after a wedding so important? Christians believe in the wedding vows very strongly. The first dance after a Christian wedding is typically a ballroom dance. It carries a lot of weight because in this dance, there are 7 basic postures that talk about the 7 vows! How many of us think about those vows?

How does dancing together bring couples closer to each other?

Dance brings you closer spiritually, mentally and socially and that is why therapists the world over recommend dance in couple therapy! # Spirituality comes when you dance with someone you care about. From the ballroom dance context, it’s that connection when you look into somebody’s eyes and you both know what step the other is going to take next. Especially in the first dance after a wedding, with the bride and groom’s depth of postures, each vow comes in as they accept each other the way they are, till death does them part.. # You build trust when you dance with each other, you want to believe in the other person. This trust in your partner does not come in when you do a hip hop or a group dance because the connection is different. # Dance will allow you to share the "connected" experience with somebody you really care about or are connected to – when the person is special to you. When you dance with that person, life becomes even more special. # You live your dance and there’s so much joy to it.

You say that dance contributes to one’s physical, mental, emotional health. Can you explain?

People look at ballroom dance in a frivolous manner. Some as a hobby or a way to meet the opposite sex. It is not about having a drink or a smoke in one hand and a good looking partner in the other. Yes, socialization increases but there’s so much more to it!

How has dancing kept you positive?

My dance helped me live through COVID, cope with the loss of my grandfather, and also guided me through my divorce. I have seen my students de-stress, discover themselves just like I have. Dance protects you from going into negative zones, it heals you. We are all born dancers, rhythm is in our breath, in the beating of our hearts...

What according to you are the stages of a dancer’s life?

* Dance is looked at as entertainment, 95 % people are on this first level. * It is an education. You learn so much about the dance form and culture with each dance. Dance teachers get this concept. * It evokes thoughts inside you and choreographers show you how to bring them out. * You evolve as you work on your dance so you bring out social issues through dance, get involved in charitable causes and you grow. * As you evolve, you empower yourself and people around you. * Then you start getting enlightened. When you reach this position, you are on a spiritual high. Only true gurus reach this stage. So put on those dancing shoes or sway to the music barefoot, for as the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, “I would only believe in a god who could dance.”

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