social dancing

The Great Benefits of Social Dancing

Social dancing

Social dancing is one of the most effective ways to meet new people and potentially find a love partner while you have great fun. A powerful and unsuspected tool for communication, social dancing has a tremendously positive effect on individuals and even businesses.

What could we term “social dancing”? 

rueda salsa moves - social dancing

Any dancing activities where partners are in direct contact with each other can be considered social dancing. Such dances include Salsa, bolero, rumba, chachacha, etc. Generally speaking, a male and female partner join each other to dance, and in some social dancing, more than two partners dance together (Rueda de Casino, for example). 
We could also term the activity dance networking since people generally befriend each other on the dance floor. Salsa dancing, for example, is a great way to meet new people while having fun. These social dancing are safer in their environment than dance clubs and bars; because they tend to reunite people with a similar mindset. Since most of these dance activities happen in a dance studio before hitting a bar, dancers tend to know each other beforehand. That’s extremely useful, especially if you are a beginner and do not feel comfortable being all by yourself. 

Why Social Dancing could do great for businesses

In another life, I used to work for multi-national companies that always had some team-building activities. Anyone who had such experiences probably remembers the feeling of being somehow monitored during these sessions. The monitoring, as subtle as it might be, is there, and if you toe the line, even a little, you are reminded of the time when you did not behave according to the “rules”. The negative effect of such activities is that you never really get the best out of individuals because they come with a suspicious mindset. That, in turn, renders the whole team-building session completely useless. I also remember when people who went to these team-building activities being completely relieved when it was over.
Another issue with the activities is that they often don’t address the key problem that prevents communication, namely breaking the distance between them.
Social dancing could rectify the whole process in one go.

Social dancing for team building

Just take a look at the following Rueda de Casino show. The partners work all together to create a choreography that shows unity. Individually, everyone gets away with something, which is to have fun while working for a common goal under the pressure of spectators. 
The other key point of this example is the physical contact between partners. Again, the barriers are broken, so everyone is in each other’s “personal space”. Not only that, but the dancers realize it’s socially acceptable to be that close to another human being. Imagine you standing that close to someone in an office or on an uncrowded train. Chances are you will receive complaints for misbehavior.

Social dancing for networking

Another positive aspect of the example I gave previously is what happens after the dance is over. In almost 99% of the cases I witnessed, people who danced together ended up exchanging with one another. Social dancing breaks down this protective barrier we put around us and allows us to communicate at a “lower level,” one where the true personality of an individual shine.
I used to think companies knew best when they used to task HR to organize team-building activities. I now know they are clueless. One might say, “people need the training to be able to perform such dance,” and my answer is, “it is easier to get people who have fun to train together, and social dancing is all about fun”.
When we think of a network system, we tend to think of a spider web where every element is connected. Just take a close look at the picture below. Do you see anything that looks like the creation of a web?

social dancing with Casino rueda dance

Social dancing to find love

Well, love is not the only thing you can find on the dance floor. Friendship is also created there since, as I mentioned earlier, people communicate with each other afterward. I witnessed the creation of plenty of couples on social dancing nights. Some of them lasted the short-term period of those who caught the fever of hot dances such as Salsa. Others ended up in marriages. There is such a strong level of subconscious communication between partners that no words need to be exchanged. Dances such as Salsa are the types of dance that allow people to find each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

Social dancing to fight depression

Mental health issue is a big topic these days. While we all have direct access to billions of people, the connection that exemplifies humanity seems to go to waste dangerously fast. The feeling of loneliness is therefore accrued, which can lead to depression. Social dancing is the perfect medicine if you suffer from this issue. For one, you will meet people with the same objective: to have a good time.
Moreover, you will likely meet someone with whom you can share things and become friends. Finally, do not underestimate the physical activities of some social dancing. You are trying to move your body at a rhythm that can go fast while at the same time exercising your brain to handle space, time, and one or more partners. In some cases, the dance activity is such that it is harder than the gym.

What you should not do in Social dancing?

It might seem obvious, but occasionally you can see misbehaviour from men…and women which should be avoided. 

Don’t refuse someone a dance thinking you are better…you are not

When I first started to dance Salsa, I used to go out and ask ladies to dance. Many times, some women would start a few seconds with me, then break away and leave. That’s because I did not know how to dance, and I did not make them “shine” well enough. Of course, I used to think to myself, “you just watch one day”, and of course, as I became the great dancer that I am, the situation changed drastically. However, unlike these ladies, I never turned down someone who asked me to dance, no matter her level. A good dancer knows how to adapt to the opposite partner. Failure to do so is a sign of a lack of maturity. Avoid this, especially since you were once in this person’s shoes. And it’s because a dance partner did not turn you down that your level and confidence improved.

Hunting for sex

From a man’s perspective, the key NONO is to try and go on a sexual hunt. People are there to have fun dancing. Whatever happens next happens, but dance is the order of the day. In all truth, and that’s why I recommend social dancing rather than nightclubs, these kinds of behavior rarely happen. Moreover, since people tend to know each other, the misbehaving person gets blacklisted pretty quickly.

Space matters

Another point that applies to both sex is to be careful of the space you occupy when you dance. Men should be looking for flying elbows, pointy shoes, etc., from other dancers. People new to dancing might not have good control of space, and it’s easy to get small injuries.

Be shy

That’s another one you should not do in social dancing. Know that you will get rejected by silly dancers. That’s great because it means once you find someone that accepts to dance with you, he or she will be a perfect partner for you to dance with. I have danced countless times with female dancers with little dancing skills. Still, they asked me to dance many times because I provided them with a feeling of safety and ensured they enjoyed the dance thoroughly. I even “tricked” dancers into believing they could dance. If you have enough control, you can guide someone with no dancing skills but the will to have a great time.

Is social dancing good for anyone?

The answer is obvious and is yes. Unfortunately, after a certain age, many become shy and are afraid that they will get rejected because of this. The reality is quite different. Most people who practice social dances look for the same thing. Meet new people and do a fun activity. In Latin America, there is no such thing as an age class for dancing. Older people dance with youngsters, men dance between themselves, women dance with their dads, etc. You are a dancer if you approach the activity with the same mindset.

The untold story of social dancing

I mentioned that there is a subliminal level of communication when people dance with one another. Dances, especially African dances, were forms of communication or worship. Some dance to honor the god of dance and seduction, others for the god of earth. Brazilian slaves used dance to hide their martial art practices. Not everyone realizes how powerful this tool is.

Safe environment 

One of the positive advantages of the different forms of social dancing is the environment in which they are practiced. From the studio to the bars, dancers are, generally speaking, very polite and well-behaved. The complexity of this type of dance attracts people who want to learn a new skill. It, therefore, shuts the door down on people with a different mindset. You can quickly meet people and form groups who can go out together. Moreover, the organizers of social dance events are dancers and are very wary of their reputation since most of their customers are dance students.

Discover new, untapped materials

Learn Cuban Salsa, Bachata, Improv’ and many other dance styles. Check out these videos and see what you can achieve in less than 3 months. Private lessons available for just £35/Hour. Free body movement and basic salsa and bachata lessons provided.

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