"And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord."
~Ephesians 5:21-22 (NLT)
Besides studying the Bible on the topic of submission, one great way to understand and practice submission is learning a variety of ballroom, or “Partner” dances as they are often called.
I’ve heard marriage referred to many things other than a dance…especially a business. Although I understand the underlying intent of referring marriage to a business, think about business today, even very successful ones and consider if you want a marriage like that? Think about the turnover and unemployment and one person doing multiple jobs out of balance. Those items alone turn me off from the idea!!
But a beautiful dance involving skilled partners is something that will take a person’s breath away when watched! It can never be compared to anything less than grace and skill!
Some such dances include: Waltz, Salsa, Tango, Swing, Latin. These dances not only allow women to act out the duty of submission (to “Follow”), but help her learn to trust her partner’s leading, leadership style, body language, and non-verbal cues…all while moving gracefully backward and in heels.
MarisaWright says on her hubpage, marisawright.hubpages.com, “"Lead and follow" is the secret to getting two partners dancing smoothly together. It's simply impossible for two people, dancing in close contact, to move as one if they're making their own decisions, choosing their own timing and doing their steps independently. They must coordinate their moves perfectly - and for that to happen, one person must be in charge. Politically incorrect it may be, but the convention is for the male to be in charge (the Lead) and the woman to follow.”
Partner dances also help men:
1. Understand and act out confident and strong leadership
2. CLEARLY understand the intricacies, nuances, and non-verbal cues of leading in an intimate and graceful situation, as opposed to a “business” situation.
3. Begin to grasp the concept of a woman’s need to be able to trust his leadership
BallroomJoe.com says to men, “But there’s one thing that all partner dances have in common. In any dance you are learning, one of the best things to focus on is how to be a good leader.”
The Waltz: there is a basic step/dance pattern in which both partners must know and understand, but the biggest catch is that the couple does not stay in the same spot while following the basic, or even more complicated patterns. The step patterns are performed and turned into a beautiful dance by the man leading the woman in a cycle of dance steps while flowing all over and around the dance floor, and oftentimes weaving and blending in with a host of other dancers.
MarisaWright also has this to say to women about how to follow:
1. Wait for your partner to tell you when to do each step and follow it instantly
2. If he doesn't give the signal, you do nothing
3. If he gives the wrong signal, you forget what you were expecting to do, and follow the new signal instead
Areas and Reasons for shared submission:
1. Danger avoidance
2. Increased communication/connection/creativity in the relationship
Danger Avoidance: Woman watches Man’s back and gives almost invisible cues about danger. Lead submits and changes direction.
Increased communication/connection/creativity in the relationship: Man allows for added input and creativity by woman in order to bring out and encourage more of her voice, style, and creativity, thus adding to the diversity and originality of the dance.
Wikipedia says, “A general rule is that both lead and follow watch each other's back in a dance hall situation. Collision avoidance is one of the cases when the follow is required to "backlead" or at least to communicate about the danger to the lead. In travelling dances, such as Waltz, common Follow signals of danger are an unusual resistance to the Lead, or a slight tap by the shoulder. In open-position dances, such as Swing or Latin dances, maintaining eye contact with the partner is an important safety communication link.”
“For many individual dancers, exploring the limits of the Leader-Follower relationship adds to the dance, where this relationship might better be understood as a conversation between partners, with each contributing to the style and mood of the dance through their connection. For other partners, the lead's complete control of the follower, and the follower's relinquishing a greater degree of creative or expressive autonomy is more personally comfortable or satisfying.”
There are an infinite number of other relationship and marriage communication lessons to be gleaned from partner dance, that can only be fully examined and digested within the context of formal ballroom dance lessons…so run out and invest in a class!