11 Tips For The Best Social Dancing Experience

11 Tips For The Best Social Dancing Experience

11 Tips For The Best Social Dancing Experience

If it’s your first time going social dancing, it’s highly likely that you’re nervous about what’s in store. Right from picking a partner (or being picked), to ensuring that you don’t ruin the dance for the two of you, there’s a lot you’re probably worrying about. But a little help can go a long way in allaying your fears. And so, here are 11 tips that can help you have the perfect social dancing experience.

1. Practice The Steps Meticulously

Nobody gets better at dancing overnight. There’s a lot of practice that goes into becoming a good dancer. Therefore, practice the steps in your chosen dance form meticulously, and keep at it until you’re confident enough to pull them off even when you’re nervous. This way, when you’re in a social dance scene, your body will remember and flow through the routine even if you’re anxious or nervous. And once your jitters wear off, you’ll be glad you practiced.

2. Don’t Critique Your Partner

People go out dancing in a social setting to wind down and have fun. Naturally, this isn’t the space for correcting your partner’s techniques or critiquing their skills if they aren’t as good as you hoped they’d be. Doing so can ruin the experience for your partner, and can dampen your mood. It can also bring an unnecessarily hostile twist to what could otherwise have been a great dance. So, adjust and encourage your partner.

3. Be Gentle With Your Partner’s Hand

It’s possible that in a fit of nerves, you could hold your partner’s hand a tad bit too tightly for their preference. It can be uncomfortable and impractical for a dance. If you’re following, don’t hold on to your partner too tightly. Instead, gently grasp their hands and let them lead you along. If you’re leading, ensure that you don’t hold your partner’s hand in a painful manner. Your grip needs to be firm enough to lead your partner, but not too tight.

4. Let Your Partner Know If They’re Hurting You

Conversely, it is always possible that your partner may not know their hold is too tight for you. Let them know if their grip is too strong for your preference. The same goes for your partner’s grip around your waist. If it gets too tight, let them know. You should also tell them if you sense they’re being a little too rough for your liking. This gives them a chance to adjust their hold, and then you can both have a great time.

5. Don’t Dance Above Your Partner’s Skill Level

If you have a dance partner whose moves differ from yours, or whose skills on the dance floor are not as advanced as your own, cut back on the temptation to flaunt your talent. It can spoil the evening for your partner, and then you’ll probably just be sorry about your little show of bravado. Instead, assess your partner’s abilities and dance at a level they are comfortable with. It encourages your partner, and it lets both of you have fun.

6. Make Eye Contact

It’s an amazing feeling when you connect with your partner on the dance floor. It takes the experience to a whole new level, and you’ll both have an evening you’ll never forget. Making eye contact helps establish that connection. Remember that it doesn’t mean you should stare them down. Instead, what you can do is lock eyes every few steps, or when there’s a dip in the routine. Even if your partner is a complete stranger, making eye contact helps you both bond.

7. Be Careful With The Dip

The dip may be the most dreamy dance move of all time. But it can be a potential disaster waiting to happen if you aren’t careful. If you’re on a crowded floor, ensure there’s enough space to dip and pull back up without your partner getting hurt or bumping another dancer. Also, look before your dip, and try not to dip too low. Another tip regarding the dip is that you shouldn’t surprise your partner with this move. Instead, come to a stop, and then dip.

8. Apologize If You Step On Someone’s Toes

An event that involves social dancing can sometimes get too crowded. In such a setting, it’s inevitable that at some point, you may step on someone’s toes or bump into another dancer. You could even step on your partner’s toes. Always be polite and apologize before moving on with the dance. It ensures that the person you bumped into or stepped on doesn’t lose their buzz and helps them enjoy the experience of dancing.

9. Pay Attention To Your Partner’s Body Language

Social dancing is called “social” for a reason. It’s an activity that requires you to connect with your partner and understand their body language. Pay attention to their moves because it can help in more ways than one. First, focusing on your partner ensures that you’re in sync, thus helping you avoid making needless mistakes on the dance floor. Second, it shows your partner that you are involved in the dance and that you respect them enough to stay focused.

10. Keep To Your Space

Unless you have almost the whole dance floor to yourself (which is rare with social dancing), avoid doing fancy moves that take up too much room. Social dancing etiquette dictates it is necessary to understand that the dance floor isn’t your personal stage. So, it’s best to stick to compact moves, especially when there are other dancing couples around. If you must perform an elaborate move, lookaround and ensure there’s enough space before you pull it off.

11. Smile And Have Fun

This is perhaps the most important tip to ensure that you enjoy your social dancing experience. Remember that the purpose of social dancing is that you relax, unwind, and have fun. So, take a few deep breaths, put on a smile, and go with the flow. It helps you have fun, and your cheerfulness will also rub off on your partner and other dancers in the setting.

These tips can make you enjoy the wonderful adventure that is social dancing. They’re also useful in that they make the experience enjoyable for you and for your partner, which is what the essence of socializing through dance is all about.

Social dancing in Burju Shoes

Photo credit: Komei Dancers: Miguel and Diana

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