The benefits of social dancing are endless. The truth is that once we become adults, our friend making skills seem to get a bit rusty. As children it seems much more natural to go outside and join others in play. As adults we tend to lose this natural environment in which to be social and connect with others. Social dancing is one of the best ways to get over the awkwardness of making friends and learning new skills by doing something healthy and fun. Even those who connect with others easily seem to get stuck in ruts and have a difficult time meeting new people outside of the bar scene.
Where do I begin?
If you’ve never taken a dance class or been much of a natural dancer, it may feel odd to even think about involving yourself in a dance class or going to a salsa club or dance event. But there are many fun ways to get into the activity of social dancing that will make you feel at ease and bring some fun and new people into your life.
● Search online for dance clubs and classes in your area. If a dance class or dance night is easy for you to get to, you will be more likely to attend.
● If you are searching for a dance class, word of mouth is a great way to find the right instructor. Ask friends and co-workers if they know of any good dance instructors that will make you feel comfortable while you are learning. There are often informal dance classes that also double as wine nights, or social meetings held in restaurants or night clubs. This is a great way to combine the learning of a new skill with the making of friends. If you find that you are intrigued by the idea of dancing, it is also a great way to check out your local teachers before deciding where you would like to take more formal lessons.
● If you are new to social dancing, group lessons are a great way to begin. Group dance lessons are easy to find, a great way to meet people with similar interests, and are very economical. Learning to dance and socialize in a group is an easy way to add a spark to your social life. As everyone is just starting out there is much less pressure to be perfect and everyone can learn and have a few laughs in the process. For the people who find the idea of learning in a group setting either too difficult or those who just need more one on one with the instructors, private lessons can be a great way to jumpstart your dancing and make future group classes easier as well as more comfortable.
Getting over my fears of dancing in public and meeting new people
● Once you get yourself out there in the dance world, there is often a lot of trepidation about showing off your new skills among strangers. Many people feel judged even if no one is paying any attention to them. Know that the majority of these feelings are coming from within and are not because you are actually being judged by other dancers. Oddly enough, the best thing you can do, is get on the dance floor and dance next to the very best dancer on the floor. It is a well known fact that our eyes are drawn to good dancers so no one will be looking at you at all. So, get over these fears by simply dancing through the intimidation and awkwardness. The most important thing is to just get on the floor whether hiding in the middle of the crowd or dancing next to the divas. Just get on with having a great time dancing!
● When others see your fearlessness of making a few mistakes, they will be interested in who you are. Not being afraid to show that you are a beginner and that dancing should always be a super fun activity, not a stressor, will make you more attractive to those around you! It shows a sense of adventure and an ability to laugh at yourself, not take yourself too seriously and a willingness to try new things. Experienced dancers will be drawn to you because they see someone who is not afraid to take on a challenge, and newbies will feel comfortable around you and be inspired by your ability to just get on the dance floor and enjoy your new moves.