I need to smile more and maybe you do too. Even just a reasonable expression would sometimes be an upgrade for me.
I was at a club before the holidays and somebody caught me in 4 or 5 photos while shooting people in the club.
They posted the pictures to their Facebook album, and tagged me in one of the photos. Facebook sends me a message ("You've been tagged") and, wanting to remind myself of my incredibly handsome face (read: being vain), I checked it out, then looked through the rest of the album and found that I could be seen in a few other shots taken during the same dance.
Darn! In every one of the photos, I wasn't smiling. Not even close. The expression on my face was appropriate, but only for falling down a flight of stairs or fixing leaking plumbing around the house, rather than dancing with a beautiful follow to great music.
I was happy they didn't tag me in all the photos, or everybody else would see my "unhappy" mug for what appears to be the complete song. (OK... I didn't like my dancing lines either... but that's another article.)
Worse, I've danced with this follow before and we always have a great time. I look forward to our dances so it wasn't her, it was me. I'm sure I asked her to dance (since I often do that if we're in the same club), and I dance with her because we have a good time regularly. I'm embarrassed by my expression, or I would link to the photos...
Apparently my facial muscles missed the memo that I was having fun. If I'm looking unhappy with a repeat partner where I expect a great dance due to previous experiences, what the heck do I look like with others?
Seeing the photos was a rude awakening for me since I thought I was doing better. I decided I needed to make some changes and work on smiling more.
Maybe the few photos were the couple moments I let my guard down, but I suspect I'm just not as happy looking as I think.
In my classes I always tell people they need to smile. If you don't smile occasionally, most people assume it's because you hate the dance or your partner, not that you're worried about yourself. (Often my issue.)
Females should smile even more, but us guys shouldn't look like a prostate exam is in progress. There is a happy middle ground, and more smiling is better than less.
Everybody is a better dancer if they appear happy while doing it. But sometimes you do need to fake it. I've never believed in trying to only fake it on the floor. See if you can smile more off the floor, then it becomes easier and more genuine while dancing. That said, even a fake smile is better than a sincere murderous expression on the dance floor.
Now I'm working on it, no matter how I feel.
That said we don't need a clown face the whole song. Even an occasional silly grin would be an upgrade for me, so I'm also working on it outside of dancing. In the car, at the grocery store, dance classes (both taking classes and teaching) and even if I'm just by myself. (This makes others wonder what is wrong with me... which makes me laugh to myself.)
The irony for me is that I love dancing, so why doesn't my face reflect it? I can understand one photo where I look unhappy, but not 3 or 4 in the same dance. I need to grow and the same may apply to you.
Every time I see a mirror I'm working on "happying up", and looking like I'm having fun even if I'm not. If you see me and I'm not smiling, remind me by smiling to yourself or just slapping me in the face (gently).
Next time you see me, I'll be smiling more and I hope the same applies to you.
Let me know what you're doing to improve your dancing expressions.
He liked to like people, therefore people liked him.