Mythbusters: Social Dancing


Social dancers – what’s with them? They try to dance with no technique whatsoever, which they don’t worry about because they’re too busy trying to hook up in noisy dirty dance halls where everyone hangs out in cliques and blah blah blah…

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Sound familiar? Social dancers may have a bad rap, but today, we’re here to set the record straight. Let’s get mythbusting!


Myth #1: Social dancers have no technique.

Correction: Social dancers have a different focus on their technique. While competitive or performance dancing requires you to know a specific sequence of steps, social dancers have to plan on the fly, with partners who won’t know what’s going to happen next. That means there’s a lot more focus on staying connected and matching the ability level of your partner, as well as meshing your moves creatively to the music.


Myth #2: Social dancing is boring.

Social dance brings different qualities to the table, sure, but it’s every bit as fun, and challenging, as competitive dancing. Where else can you meet and dance with so many potential friends at once? Where else can you let yourself be a bit silly, without worrying about wrecking your rhinestones?


Myth #3: Social clubs are just places where people try to pick you up.

Every social venue has it’s creeps, but social dancing is no worse for that than most. It may look that way sometimes, especially in a sweaty Latin club with couples dancing closely together. Keep watching however, and those couples will thank each other and part ways as soon as the music ends. If they don’t, odds are they came in as a couple.


Myth #4: If I social dance, it will wreck my technique.

If you knew International tango, and you started training in American, would that ‘wreck’ your International technique? Of course not, it would just give you another style of technique you could switch to. As explained in myth #1, the basic technique doesn’t change, only the focus. Of course, if you completely switch over to social dancing and neglect your competitive technique, well…


Myth #5: Social dancing is about showing off your fancy moves.

Often the ‘fanciest’ social dancers are not the most popular. True story. That’s because no one dances to watch their partner show off, particularly at their expense. Popular social dancers know how to accommodate their partner, while still throwing in the occasional cool move.


Myth #6: If I don’t wear skin-tight or skimpy clothing, I won’t get any dances.

First, even your shadiest Latin bar will still dress classier than your average R&B nightclub. Second, while you will certainly get more dances if you dress nicely, that doesn’t mean you have to walk in half-naked… Unlike some competitive events I could name. Just dress in something that’s fitted to you and breathes well, smart casual or classier. You may not be the hottest Mama Jama out there, but you will look like someone who knows their body type and embraces it. Confidence = more dances.


Myth #7: If I don’t know anyone, they won’t dance with me.

While some people are more cliquey than others, most dance halls host plenty of dancers who aren’t afraid to meet a few new people. And if they’re shy about it, take the initiative and ask them! Plus, if you show up earlier in the evening, you’ll find more dancers who won’t mind ‘warming up’ with someone they don’t know. And once you’ve shown them you can handle a dance, that paves the way to many more.

Author: Ian Crewe – SocialBallroom.Dance
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review