From the dancefloor to dating

Pro says techniques are adaptable

Dancer Shawn Byfield knows he’s found the right person when he can’t help but smile.

The Rosedale resident has been dancing since he was six and teaching it since he was 15. Over these years he’s noticed a common thread between techniques professional dancers use and how they can be applied to romantic relationships, he said.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, Byfield urges people to carry the momentum throughout the year.

“So many people build up to that one day, but what about the rest of the year?” he said.

To answer that question Byfield came up with three basic techniques to help build a strong relationship (or get one) even after the day of love has passed.

Breathe: Dancers breathe more than the average human, said Byfield. Whether it’s through intense training, injury or stress you have to stay calm and take a breath, he said.

“Dancers are in the rejection business — they hear ‘no’ more than they hear ‘yes,’ ” he said.

“How you learn to cope through rejection shows how you respond in ugly situations,” Byfield added. “Stop, take a breath, and it will show your partner that you won’t freak out in a bad situation.”

Smile: Smile like you’re on stage, Byfield says. Concentrating on steps and sounds, Byfield never smiled when he started dancing. But passion invokes a smile and it reflects how happy you are, he said.

“People are attracted to smiles, that’s why we like theatre and movies,” said Byfield, adding a smile reflects how happy you are with yourself and your relationship.

Confidence: Byfield says dancers learn to bring confidence to the stage through the way they walk, project their voices and smile.

“Once you’re aware of your confidence, or lack of confidence level, that’s a sign of what you’ll be like romantically,” he said.

Byfield always recognizes a timid person because of their posture and if they drag their feet.

“The sexiest thing for me is for a female to walk into a room with confidence,” said Byfield.


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Posted: Feb 10 2012 4:15 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto
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