Dance like no one is watching? Actually, dance like everyone is watching, if you dare.


As we know from our trusty psych textbooks social facilitation is the tendency of individuals to better on tasks when in the presence of others. The idea says that you will perform better at things you are already good at doing, so social facilitation shouldn't apply if you are terrible at dancing... although it is interesting to point out that social facilitation does seem to make make people perform considerably better at things they are absolutely miserable at doing on their own. A good example of this is running. You could be laying on the side of the road after a mile of casual jogging, but with a partner who runs daily, you might end up doing 2 or 3 more miles than thought imaginable, still ending laying on the side of the road. Dancing is one of those things that seems to defy social facilitation because more often than not I've seen people's dancing abilities seem to degrade further, if at all possible, in the presence of others.
Exhibit A


I enjoyed the video you posted. I think that this all comes down to the person's personality and how they deal with being around other people. Many people may be self conscious or reserved, but in the presence of others people may fall into a comfort zone that previously they could only be in when they were alone. It truly takes a lot of effort to go out on a limb and do something in front of people that you are close to, and may be even more difficult for people you may not know. The crowd encouraging this girl in the video was something that she needed.

As I studied dance from the time I was two I can honestly say that for people who study dance, you perform better when you have an audience. Having an audience helps you to step it up a notch. There was a girl that we danced with who would never put her all into a dance during practice - so you never knew if she would be able to do the steps in the show- but give her an audience and she would perform each step with perfection. I agree that having supporters help to bring out the best in a person.

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This page contains a single entry by gabri151 published on May 6, 2012 3:15 PM.

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