1. Social dancing is the term used to refer to partner dancing that is done for leisure and pleasure. The alternative to social dancing is competitive dancing. Competitive dancing is done professionally, for money, as with any other sport. Social dancing is a great way to get out, meet people, and get some exercise without the drag of going to the gym.

    The Focus

    The focus of social dancing is to meet people who enjoy dancing as much as you do. Most classes will focus on moves and patterns with a little technique rather than being technique heavy. The idea with social dancing is to be able to do the move properly and safely without worrying about every little detail.  Some people who start with social dancing find that they want to learn more about technique and choose to take more intense or private lessons. Some people find they are happy with group lessons and casual dancing. Both are valid choices. It’s entirely up to you how much time and money to invest in dancing.

    The Crowd

    Social dancers are made up of all types of people. If you choose to go ballroom dancing, you might find a heavier population of Baby Boomers and Generations Xers.  Swing dancing might attract a wider range of ages, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. Wherever you go, whatever dances you choose to focus on, you’ll meet a crowd of friendly, outgoing people. 

    The Dances

    Social dancing can be broken down into several major categories or crowds.

    Ballroom – Ballroom social dancing usually includes traditional dances such as Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango. You’ll also find Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing as well as some Samba and Salsa.

    Swing – Swing dancing often refers to what is known as East Coast Swing. You might also hear the term Lindy, which is another dance, in the same phrase. Many people do both Lindy and East Coast Swing altogether.

    West Coast – West Coast Swing also has it’s own crowd and competitions. West Coast Swing grew out of East Coast and Lindy but now has its own distinct style.

    Salsa – Salsa is a popular enough dance to have its own following. There are multiple styles of Salsa that are popular in different parts of the country.

    Tango – If someone says "I’m a Tango dancer" they’re likely referring to Argentine Tango. Argentine Tango is very different from the Ballroom style of Tango. Argentine Tango involves more improvisation and is more about the connection between dancers.

    Country – Country dancing can include anything from Two Step to Polka, Shag to Whip, and any of the many line dances out there.

    This break down is by no means perfect and this is certainly not to say dancers don’t crossover or do multiple dances. These are just the headliners you might see for a given night or as the focus of a class. If you find you don’t like one style, don’t be afraid to try another.

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