If You Dance, You're Insane...

...say the people who don't hear the music.

The Doctor and the Medicine Man

I recently heard a story of a young doctor who worked in a hospital in the Navajo Nation. One evening an old Native American man with long braided hair came into this doctor's emergency room. The doctor approached the man, and asked, “How can I help you?”

The old man looked straight ahead and said nothing.

The young doctor, desiring to help this man, tried again. “I can't help you if you don’t speak to me,” he said. “Why you have come to the hospital?”

The old man looked at him and asked, “Do you dance?”

The doctor was puzzled by the strange question when it occurred to him that perhaps this man was a tribal medicine man who, according to ancient tribal customs, sought to heal the sick through song and dance rather than using some of the more modern medical practices.

“No,” said the doctor, “I don’t dance. Do you dance?”

The old man nodded yes.

Then the doctor looked at the man and asked, “Could you teach me to dance?”

The old man’s response was thoughtful and inspires great reflection. “I can teach you to dance,” he said, “but you have to hear the music.”

Can You Hear The Music?

In my nearly 10 years of partner dancing, I've come across a lot of lessons that can be taken from dance and applied to relationships. This story reminded me of one.

You can spend hours watching, learning and practicing a dance, but something magical happens when you put that dance to music.

The music breathes a life into the movements. It gives them meaning and purpose. Somehow dancing makes you one with the music... like your body is producing the notes while at the same time, the notes are moving your body.

A good dance to an amazing song with an amazing dance partner is the closest thing I've ever experienced to magic in my life.

In the world of relationships, there are many "dance steps" you can learn to help improve your relationship. There are tactics, and tips, and principles that you can implement with the hope of fostering more love and connection over time, but...

If you do the moves without hearing and feeling the music, the moves never feel quite right. Ever see a couple exchange pleasantries through gritted teeth when they are visibly upset with each other?

Right moves, no music

Have you kissed someone knowing you were going to break up with them later that night... and you just got this weird pit in your stomach like you're living a lie?

You were doing the moves, but there wasn't any music.

Ever agree to sex while rolling your eyes, or complain about bringing home dinner for the family, or give a compliment with a hint of sarcasm, or begrudgingly offer to help put the kids to bed?

The moves are there, but the music is not.

Sometimes we need a little help getting the music started up again.

It requires us to stop dancing for a minute and check our radio dial.

What frequency are we tuned into? Are we stuck on a station of resentment, exasperation and frustration? Are we listening to the exhaustion, impatient, and short-tempered show? Or are we tuned into the music of concern, gratitude, patience, appreciation, acknowledgement, service, kindness, and love?

When you get tuned into the right music, the dance transforms and becomes the most beautiful thing you'll experience in this life.

It's OK To Look Crazy

As you dance the dance of love you'll come across haters.

These people will give you a laundry list of reasons why love is a joke. They'll tell you you're delusional, idealistic, and destined to failure. They'll criticize you for your commitment. They'll argue that you're throwing away your freedom. They mock your displays of affection. They'll complain about their own loveless relationships to see if they can get you to do the same.

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” -George Carlin

These people will look at your dancing and think you insane because they are deaf to the music of love.

You're having a dance party in your car, and they're looking at you through the glass like you're nuts. If you ask me, it's their loss.

Don't stop dancing.


What do you do to hear the music and dance with your partner? Leave your thoughts in the comments!