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Navigating Your First Social Dance Night

Updated: Nov 15, 2022


So, you’re ready to start social dancing! Maybe you’ve taken a few classes, or perhaps you have a friend who is dragging you out one night this week. Whatever the reason, I hope you have an awesome time. Before you go social dancing, let me help you understand what you should think about before you hit the dance floor.


You might be feeling a bit nervous about having to dance with other people – especially if it’s a stranger. That’s fine, and normal. Experienced dancers get nervous, too. The more you dance, the less nerves you will have. I always think the bravest people at the social are beginners, since they very often don’t know many people and are trying to get this whole dancing thing under control. If you have a friend, ask them for a warm-up dance. If you’re flying solo, look for people who aren’t dancing much. Many of them may also be nervous. Sometimes, there’s also a free lesson before. These can be a great place to meet other beginners. These are very good people to ask to dance.

Getting Dances

Depending on the style of dance you do, there may be certain ‘rules’ about asking or being asked to dance. For example, most Tango scenes expect the leader to do the asking by making eye contact. A follower accepts the invitation by nodding their head once, while making eye contact. That means you don’t even verbally ask for the dance.

Most other scenes are open to either the leader or the follower verbally asking for a dance, but there are some scenes where it’s still more common for the leader to ask. Keep in mind that in some scenes, especially swing or blues dancing, just sticking your hand out and not verbally asking is rude.

If you’re in doubt, follow the example you see from more experienced dancers ..... read full article >

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