Dance!

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Dance!

Post by FormerlyShyGuy on Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:03 am

One of the things I got out of reading the blog early on was the need to have enjoyable hobbies that put you in social contact with people in general, and hopefully your prefered gender for dating.  For me the hobby that has best provided joy and helped me socialize has been dancing.

So I thought I would create a thread on dancing, what Styles do you enjoy, what tips or tricks do you do to both enjoying yourself and socialize? Or conversely what avoidable mistakes have you seen people do that that would hinder them in making friends/finding dates in a respectful way?

For myself I love Kizomba, Semba, Salsa and Bachata.  My best recommendation to do well at both the hobby of dancing and socializing is to take as many class as you can and to start social dancing as soon as you can. The classes for me are like a less awkward version of speed dating more like speed "friend making", You meet a bunch of people for a second then dance a little with them as the class goes on. This provides for me at least a relatively low stress way to meet people for the first time. As for social dancing that is where you really get to know people by following up with the ones you have meet in class or if you feel comfortable meeting new people there, also this is where your dancing can be most enjoyable and helps you get better tremendously.  The biggest mistake I see and I work hard to avoid is letting your hygiene go while dancing with someone. Bad breath, being smelly or excessively sweaty can all be avoided or greatly mitigated if you put in some effort.

Also this is my first post on the forum instead of the blog so... Hi everybody!!!

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Re: Dance!

Post by Gman on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:22 am

Hey FormerlyShyGuy, nice to meet you. Just like you, I am a big dancer in general - I mostly dance salsa and Bachata, but I also know the basics of Kizomba and West Coast Swing! I wanted to try a lot of dancing styles, but I wounded up getting confused and overwhelmed from trying to learn so many styles at once, so for now I am focusing on bachata while dancing some salsa here and there too. 

You pretty much nailed all the basic elements that makes dancing such a fun and sociable experience. The hygiene part is really important too -  a dance partner that smells bad or is super sweaty - can really ruin a dance. This is why I always carry with me some deodorant (or I borrow from a friend who does have one) and a pack of gum (preferablly the kind that refreshes breath, like mint) when I go dancing, at the bare minimum. The more serious dancers go ahead and bring with them a small towel and even a replacement shirt or two for when things get extra sweaty. The places where I dance usually have strong A/C and/or Fans, so I always take a dance or two to cool off in front of them before continuing (and thus avoiding excessive sweat situations).

One of the first things dancing encourages you to do is to practice cold "approaching". In the context of the dance scene, it means knowing how to approach a dance partner and asking them to dance - while also knowing how to gracefully leave if being rejected, no matter the reason. I feel that this has helped to at least somewhat mitigate the sense of dread I usually feel when cold approaching in general (doesn't matter if it is for dating purposes or not - even for simple things like asking directions on the street and small things like that). 

As far as tips/tricks for enjoying the dance and more - one of the most important things that I have learned early on and that really made a difference, is knowing how to be a proper "leader" in the dance. What I mean by this is knowing how to lead the moves you want to do and how to do it in a confident and assertive way. Note my wording here - this isn't being "forcefull" or trying to force a certain move on a dance partner. This is more about being confident in a move, not doing it in a hesitent or half-hearted way. This is, in my opinion, hands down, responsible for about 70-80% of how enjoyable a dance is to both sides. Iv'e been told a lot of times now that it's really fun to dance with me and that I am a great "leading" partner. The funny thing about this to me is that my dance variation knowledge is pretty limited compared to some of the top tier dancers in my scene, but it stands to prove that a good leader can create a fun dance even if he isn't the most sophisticated dancer there is. Do take note that this isn't something that you can instantly learn in one day - because this is tied directly to your sense of self confidence, it's important to remember that this is a skill and just like learning a certain dance variation, this too takes practice. You know your in the right direction when you start leading things in accordance to the music - in ways that just "feel" right - that's when, as a leader at least, you start dancing in a more "natural" way, so to speak. 

As for the social part - well it's a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I did make 2 close friends who I enjoy hanging out with from time to time, but with most people I am mostly an acquaintance. I find it extremley difficult to get to know people outside of the dancefloor when i'm in the scene. I feel that because of the nature of the place - where I am constantly switching partners and dancing as much as I can (otherwise I feel like I am "wasting" precious dance time), I shouldn't be socializing too much (which ironically is EXACTLY what these places are designed to do). Without being able to get know people a bit better, I can't really ask anyone out for a date and such - because besides the dancing part, I don't really get to know people. It's a problem I'm trying to figure out for myself right now.
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Re: Dance!

Post by Jayce on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:50 am

I prefer hip hop and group choreography, both which aren't partnered dances at all unless there is some specific parts of the choreo where you partner up.

I've tried various styles like breakdancing, locking, popping, house style, but hip hop and dances where you follow a choreo appeal the most to me.
Something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNDgViytDjU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5E5NKB6tqk

It's a pretty good way for me to meet lots of new people. There is not really things like leading in this style, or switching partners, or being a good partner, its more about working well in a group so I get to meet everyone else in the class which is fantastic. The groupwork element when it comes to choreo really pushes people to work together and is a wonderful opportunity for people to get to know each other more. Dancing in a group really feels kind of like being in a play, we all get assigned stage positions and directions of where to go, how to switch and when to do it. I find it really cool.

But the thing is, I actually find dance hard. It's definitely a skill that I'm not good at. I've performed on stage twice for it in student showcase shows ran by the dance studio. It took quite a bit of practice and time to remember choreo or certain hard moves like floor drops or various body rolls. It's great fun and I love it though.


Last edited by Jayce on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dance!

Post by FormerlyShyGuy on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 am

Jayce wrote:
It's a pretty good way for me to meet lots of new people. There is no such thing as leading, or partnered dancing in this style, or switching partners, so I get to meet everyone else in the class which is fantastic. The groupwork element when it comes to choreo really pushes people to work together and is a wonderful opportunity for people to get to know each other more.

But the thing is, I actually find dance hard. It's definitely a skill that I'm not good at. I've performed on stage twice for it in student showcase shows ran by the dance studio. It took quite a bit of practice and time to remember choreo or certain hard moves like floor drops or various body rolls. It's great fun and I love it though.

That is a good point, partner dancing is less helpful for meeting people of the same sex since most of the time you will dance with and get paired with the opposite sex in class.

Personally choreo comes easily but body movement OMG Crying I have to work 2 maybe 3 times as hard as the people I see around me!

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Re: Dance!

Post by Jayce on Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:01 am

I have nothing against partner dancing though. I admire that grace and amazing ways two people groove and move together. It's so mesmerizing!!

I listen to mostly very poppy music and the dance styles I'm into uses that kind of music. Also I enjoy being on stage as well with a group of people.


Also I've met plenty of people of both genders in the classes I go to. The dance styles I learn attract a much more younger crowd though so there's a lot of people around my age there. So its perfect for me.

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Re: Dance!

Post by FormerlyShyGuy on Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:09 am

I am the same in reverse, I enjoy watching solo and team dancing the skill involved amazes me. I can dance with a partner pretty well in the styles I do but put me on a dance floor alone I don't got much other than cheers

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Re: Dance!

Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:32 pm

Rock 4 temps(1 year) and the basics of lindyhop. Also, +1 on leading well being important. Dancing helps to know how much force to exert and when breaking the touch barrier feels natural.

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Re: Dance!

Post by Gman on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:16 pm

FormerlyShyGuy wrote:

Personally choreo comes easily but body movement OMG Crying I have to work 2 maybe 3 times as hard as the people I see around me!

While I think that I mostly handle choreo just about on an average level like others around me, yeah body movement is some serious buisness that requires A LOT of practice. Like I literally used to stand in front of the mirror in my room and just practice some body waves and some basic body movements before I could even get close to applying them in my dance. But everyone has there relative strengths and weaknesses. My strength is musicality - it didn't take me long to memorize some songs and dance accordingly to them and once I learned about the way songs are structured, I began identifying breaks and changes in songs I never heard before too. 


FormerlyShyGuy wrote:I am the same in reverse, I enjoy watching solo and team dancing the skill involved amazes me. I can dance with a partner pretty well in the styles I do but put me on a dance floor alone I don't got much other than cheers

While I don't dance hip-hop and such (which is PERFECT as a solo style developing dance for mainstream music) I do sometimes find myself throwing elements from my other dances. It really made me feel confident even while dancing in clubs and such (which I don't go to often these days as I used to)
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Re: Dance!

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:21 pm

I've done some swing dance classes where they kept the dance hall open for a few hours after for a sort of nightclub/practice thing. That was a great way to meet people. I've recently started belly dance classes because its a good novelty draw on stage to see a guy doing it. Turns out there's a similar but distinct style for men that's very machismo heavy, almost Latin style. Semi-coincidentally I ran into someone I've been kind of interested in who already performs but who I don't see often and things seem to be hitting of well.

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Re: Dance!

Post by KMR on Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:58 pm

I've been taking beginner ballroom dance classes once a week for about four months now. My boyfriend has been doing ballroom for several years and got me into it after we started dating. Because the classes I've done so far rotate dance styles, I basically just know 3-4 moves in a broad range of styles, including Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Merengue, and Quickstep. It's been a lot of fun, and I look forward to learning more with it. Unfortunately, I can't really give advice on using dance as a medium for meeting people since I don't actually do it to socialize (I don't even dance with anyone besides my boyfriend), but just to learn the skill.
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Re: Dance!

Post by AmandaFr on Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:28 am

Hello everyone!! I fond of dancing after watching the film "Step Up")) Grin Grin Grin and you?
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Re: Dance!

Post by FormerlyShyGuy on Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:06 am

Hello AmandaFr! I love watching dancing but like many things for me it is so much more interesting to do than watch, I wish I had more patience to watch videos. There is so much more I could learn/enjoy.

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