Social dancing is partner dancing that is informal, relaxed, and danced for the enjoyment of the partners - rather than to meet the criteria of a dance school or an audience. Social dancing is danced for enjoyment, health, socialization and recreation. The test for social dancing success is how much the dance partners have enjoyed the dance and not how "correctly" they have danced.
Social dancing has no standardized teaching or learning curriculum. Social dance teachers teach steps and techniques they have come to prefer or what they hunch their students will prefer. The steps and techniques taught by one instructor can vary considerably from those taught by someone else. Social dancing is also dynamic. The types of social dances and styles change with the times.
While Ballroom Dancing is designed to be danced in ballrooms, social dances are frequently held on small or crowded floors such as the dance floors in restaurants and pubs. If Ballroom dancers wish to use their dancing skills in social dance environments, they do need to change and adapt their style and steps. Tips on how to adapt Ballroom Dancing skills to social situations can be found under Floor Craft.
Types of Social Dances
Spot or Slot Dances
Salsa, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, West Coast and East Coast Swing, Jitterbug, Charleston, Lindy, Blues, Street Hustle, Nightclub Two Step, Nightclub Freestyle, Tango Nuevo, Neo Tango, Hip Hop and related dances are spot or slot social dances. Couples establish their dance spot or slot and do not drift around the dance floor. These dances are best suited for nightclub type dance floors.
Traditional Argentine Tango, Country Two Step, Social Waltz, and Social Foxtrot are progressive social dances. They need a somewhat larger floor that permits travelling around the dance floor. The close embrace, small steps and absence of embellishments in milonguero style Argentine Tango makes it well suited to dance progressively on smaller floors.
Adapting to the Dance Space
It is not uncommon to see a progressive and spot dancers sharing the same floor. In this case, the progressive dancers dance along the edge of the dance floor while the spot dancers occupy the centre. For instance, Country Two Step dancers can dance on the edge while Swing dancers can dance in the centre of the floor.
However, in order to dance a progressive or travelling dance in a small space, it is necessary for progressive dancing to be customary in that dance place. If spot dancers dominate the space and dance along the edge, a progressive dancer should not start pushing their way around the dance floor. In these situations, is best for everyone to dance a spot dance. A Waltz, for example can be converted to a spot dance building on the box step. Instead on dancing a progressive Foxtrot, dancers can dance Swing or Freestyle Nightclub. Tango dancers can dance Tango Nuevo or Neo Tango - Tango that uses circular spot patterns such as the molinete, the calecita and short walks, rather than the progressive caminar.
The Quickstep, Standard or American Tango and International Ballroom style dances in general, are not suited for small dance floors. Quickstep dancers can dance the Jitterbug or Charleston. Progressive Samba dancers can dance spot Samba patterns. Dancers trained in ballroom style dancing must learn to change their style to social style dancing and adapt to the situation. Otherwise, like fast sports car drivers who feel every narrow city street is a freeway, they can become a menace and danger on small dance floors.
» Social Dancing
» Ballroom Dancing
Argentine Tango Descriptions
» Argentine Tango
» Nuevo Tango and Neo-Tango
Latin Dance Descriptions
» Bossa Nova
» Samba Gafieira
» American Ballroom Smooth
» American Ballroom Rhythm
» International Ballroom Standard
» International Ballroom Latin
Argentine Tango Videos
» Argentine Tango Videos
» Nuevo Tango Dance Videos
» Tango Lesson (the movie) Clips
» Tango (the movie) Clips
Latin Dance Videos
» Samba Gafieira