Dance to your personality

Dance to your personality

Bollywood dancing is not for everyone. Some prefer the old-school Foxtrot, while there are others who can pull off the Brazilian Samba. There’s a dance for every personality. Sandip Soparrkar helps identify the one that complements your personality.

You may love it, you may hate it. But there’s no way you can ignore it. The mushrooming of dance classes all around us, that is. An increasing number of enthusiasts, across age groups, are enrolling in the neighbourhood Salsa class, while many ‘bathroom dancers’ are, perhaps, still gathering the courage to hit the dance floor.
 Times are changing. A few decades ago, dance was considered a medium to educate and appreciate art; it was a serious affair, calling for sincerity and dedication. Naturally, it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Today, though the principles remain the same for those who pursue dance as an art form, the approach has changed. As the name of the recent Bollywood movie ABCD suggests, today, any body can dance. Even those with ‘two left feet’! Besides being a great social skill, dancing is known to have an incredible effect on one’s body and mind. 

So, you are all set to join the dance class next door? Wait. What dance form will you opt for? Will it be Tango, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Break or our very own Kathak, Odissi, Garbha, Bihu or Lavni? Are you going to pick whatever is available closest to home or, perhaps, whatever your friends are going in for?

If you want to make the most of your dance experience, it’s essential to pick the right form. Many people drop out of dance classes because they get bored mid-way, or fail to connect with what’s being taught. So, save yourself some time, money and effort. Choose wisely. One way of doing it is zeroing in on a dance form that complements your personality type. 

With the help of Dr Anjali Chhabria, a renowned psychiatrist, I have attempted to understand the 16 personality types and their traits, while deciding on which dance forms are most suitable for each of them.

Before you gauge your personality and take a pick, please remember that you may have traits of more than one personality type. In which case, congratulations are due, as you have many more options to choose from!

The Mechanic

Traits: Mostly reserved and excellent at finding solutions to practical problems, these risk-takers live in the moment and are usually interested in extreme sports. They are loyal to their peers, but not overly concerned with respecting laws and rules. They tend to be detached and analytical.

Dance pick: Modern Contemporary dance is ideal, as this form needs the person to think out of the box and never follow the rules completely, yet be loyal to the performance.  
  True Artist

Traits: Known to be serious, sensitive, faithful, open-minded and flexible, they prefer to stay away from conflicts. They have a strong aesthetic appreciation of beauty. Typically, they are not interested in leading or controlling others. 

Dance pick: They enjoy the festive larger than life dances such as the Brazilian Carnival Samba or Frevo, Kompa from Haiti, or even Indian folk carnival dances like Dandiya from Gujarat or Pulikali from Kerala. 

The Nurturer

Traits: They usually put the needs of others above their own. Kind, conscientious and practical, they value security and traditions. 

Dance pick: Only a person with such a caring personality can do justice to Salsa and enjoy it to the hilt. 

Duty Fulfiller

Traits: Extremely thorough, responsible and dependable, they have well-developed powers of concentration and are usually interested in supporting traditions and establishments. They can accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.Dance pick: Classical dances, be it Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathakali or Sattriya, are their best bet.

The Protector

Traits: Highly individualistic, sensitive and intuitive, they have well-developed value systems, which they strictly adhere to and are generally respected for their perseverance in doing the right thing. 

Dance pick: Any form of tango is ideal, be it Argentinean, American or the International Ballroom.

The Idealist

Traits: Reflective, idealistic and interested in serving humanity, they are known to be loyal, adaptable and mentally very agile. Dance pick: They should take up street dances such as Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, Tutting and Afro.

The Thinker

Traits: Creative thinkers, they highly value knowledge, competence and logic. They tend to be reserved, but aspire to be leaders.

Dance pick: Ritual dances such as Bulgarian fire dance Nestinari, Sufi whirling, Cham dance from Tibet or our own Maibi dance from Manipur or the Gondhal from Maharashtra.

The Scientist

Traits: Independent, original, analytical and determined, they set very high standards for themselves and others. Born leaders, they have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action. 

Dance pick: Fight dances like the Spanish bull fight dance Paso Doble or UAE war dance Ayyala, which are powerful and demand a never-say-die spirit.  
      The Guardian

Traits: Practical, traditional and very organised, they are not interested in theory or abstraction unless they see the practical application. They have clear visions of the way things should be. They are loyal, hard-working and like to be in charge.Dance pick: The Russian Classical Ballet or the sensual Mohiniattam call for calm and graceful dancers.  
   The Doer

Traits: Friendly, adaptable and action-oriented, they live in the here-and-now and seek immediate results. They are loyal to their peers, but not usually respectful of laws and rules if they get in the way of getting things done. Dance pick: Fun-filled dances like the Jive, Jitterbug, Hustle, Rock ‘n’ Roll or the Bihari Nautanki. 

The Caregiver

Traits: Warm-hearted, popular and conscientious, they have a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They need constant positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. 

Dance pick: Traditional Ballroom dances like the Waltz or the Viennese Waltz.

The Performer

Traits: People-oriented, fun-loving and centre of attention at social situations, they love new experiences and dislike theory and impersonal analysis. They come armed with common sense and practical knowledge. 

Dance pick: The naughty Cha Cha Cha, the Mambo, or our famous Bollywood dance is perfect for them.

The Inspirer

Traits: Enthusiastic, idealistic and very creative, they have great people skills and a broad range of interests and abilities. As much as new ideas are exciting, the details bore them. 

Dance pick: The age-old Foxtrot or the Quickstep, as they have the skill to hold a conversation while shaking a leg.

The Giver

Traits: Very effective at managing 

people issues and leading group discussions, they are sensitive, externally focused, with concern for how others think and feel. They, usually, dislike being alone. 

Dance pick: Fun-filled party dances like the Merengue or Kompa from Haiti, the sexy Bachata from Dominican Republic, Rueda from Cuba or the Bhangra and Giddha from Punjab. 

The Executive

Traits: Intelligent, assertive and well-informed, they excel at public speaking; have an excellent ability to understand difficult organisational problems and create solid solutions. They, usually, have little patience with inefficiency or disorganisation.

Dance pick: They should take up Jazz or learn mixed dance forms like dance drama or ballets.

The Visionary

Traits: Creative, resourceful and intellectually quick, they enjoy debating on issues and are often into one-upmanship. They make for stimulating company and have an excellent ability to understand concepts and apply logic to find solutions. Dance pick: Martial dances such as Geommu from Korea, Capoeira from Brazil, Kalaripayattu from Kerala or the Chhau from Orissa.
So, now that you know what’s the dance best suited for your personality, go ahead, put on those dance shoes. The neighbourhood dance class may not offer all the options, but there’s a treasure trove of information on the internet. You may even get to visit the birthplace of your favourite dance form someday. More than anything else, dance is a medium of self-expression. No reason for inhibitions. Have a blast and burn some calories, too. 

(The writer is a renowned dancer and choreographer) 


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