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What are we doing wrong when creating lasting friendships in social dance?

In the battle against depression, the power of friendship often goes underestimated. When we start social dancing, we enter a positive, upbeat world where everyone is exploring, learning, and improving their lives together. However, this sense of community can sometimes feel superficial, leaving us lost in a crowd. In a world where we can have our superficial needs met with zero effort, have we forgotten how to build good friendships?

A study involving rats underscores the power of friendship. In the experiment, isolated rats were more likely to consume drug-laced water, showcasing signs of addiction and depression. However, when these same rats were placed in a stimulating environment with other rats, their preference shifted significantly towards plain water. This fascinating study illuminates the profound impact of social connections on mental health, suggesting that, much like rats, humans are less likely to succumb to depression when surrounded by supportive friendships.

So, how do we create and maintain lifelong friendships with dancers or anyone?

Be Open and Approachable

The first step in making new friends is being open and approachable. Smile, make eye contact, and show genuine interest in others. A friendly demeanor invites people to engage with you.

Eat Together

Find opportunities to eat or drink with your friends. Shared meals provide a time to give each other undivided attention, fostering deeper connections.

Start Small

Begin with casual interactions. Simple gestures like remembering little details or celebrating another person's achievements show the kindness and understanding we all seek in friendships.

Be Genuine

Authenticity is key to forming lasting friendships. Be yourself and share your true thoughts and feelings. Genuine interactions foster trust and help build a solid foundation for a potential friendship.

Show Initiative

Don’t be afraid to take the initiative. Invite someone for coffee, suggest a group outing, or follow up after a casual meeting. Showing interest in developing a friendship can encourage the other person to reciprocate.

Joining a social dance community is one of the best ways to make new connections and, without a doubt, the hardest step in developing our social health. Now is the time to take the next step, to make the first move, and show genuine interest in and care for your classmates.

From time to time, we may still feel lonely, but we do not need to be alone.

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