The Basics of Social Dancing

The Basics of Social Dancing

Social dancing can be described as non-competitive ballroom and Latin dancing.  Ballroom and Latin styles include dances like Salsa, Cha-Cha, Foxtrot, Rumba, and many more.  The nice thing about social dancing that it is intended to be used at various, yet practical functions: wedding receptions, nightclubs, business functions, and even local social events.  

When I get to work with couples who wish to learn how to dance socially, I often think of this video; it gives a perfect sneak peek to how social dancing lets you escape from the humdrum of our day-to-day errands.  I also share that there are five quintessential components to social dancing: leading and following, posture and dance frame, sense of rhythm, multitasking, and floor craft. 




Leading and Following

The most important skill for good social dancing (and dancing in general) is Leading and Following.  This is the non-verbal communication from the leader to the follower indicating the direction, timing, and style, among other things. It is one of the hardest things to learn, so naturally it does take time. My personal advice to the followers is to be patient with your dancing partner as they develop the skill to leading. 

Posture and Dance Frame

If leading and following is a message, then good posture and dance frame would be the antenna broadcasting the signal. Having great posture and frame helps with reading the leader’s signal, which ultimately makes you two look better on the floor.  And as an added bonus, having good posture benefits your health! 

Sense of Rhythm

Now this particular component of social dancing may be extremely clear at first glance, however once you begin to learn how to dance, it becomes the least of your worries. Let’s first learn those basic steps!  I will share, though, that being familiar with certain time signatures and dynamics found in music can be beneficial.  However, having a musical background is not necessary in order for to learn how to dance or be a good dancer.  


When you think about it also relies on your multitasking skills. Being able to multi-task, like having a conversation with you dance partner, does require some practice but in the long run it will be worth it – I promise!  Plus, practicing to multi-task also benefits and strengthens a dancer’s ability to lead, follow, blend, moves, and floor craft all in the same time.  

Floor Craft  

Last but not least, you need to know floor craft for social dancing.  Floor craft can be understood as the ability to smoothly float around the room, without running into other couples.  In other words, it’s how to best navigate around the dance floor.  It is important for dancers to be able to blend and connect their dance moves while simultaneously avoiding fellow dancers on the floor.  Check out this helpful guide to floor craft! 


Your First Steps towards Social Dancing

While there are types of dances that people can fake their way through, social dancing isn’t one of them.  It’s a style of dancing that, when done well, immediately sets the dancer apart, and that all begins with private lessons.  

A single private lesson by a reputable school can replace countless hours of group instruction or instructional videos.  At Lake Shore Dance Academy we always put our students first. Our mission is to share a passion for dancing through our community. We also strive to inspire our students to achieve their individual goals, while discovering the many physical, and mental benefits of dancing.

We ensure that our students’ goals are met by tailoring each lesson to meet their specific needs and desires. In addition, we provide opportunities for each student to stretch and expand their dancing skills, while building greater poise and confidence through our dance parties, social dancing events, and dance showcases. Lake Shore Dance Academy is the best place in town to learn social dancing!