HI! Ive just started swing dance and I am going to my first social. I am really nervous about not having enough experience do you have any tips for a newbie going to a social?
Hi! Oh man, this is such a beautiful time in your dance life! Everything is so exciting and you can have so many positive experiences, if you just remember that you are new to this. No one is expecting you to be an incredible dancer with flawless technique and you shouldn’t either.
Just go out to have fun! Listen to the music and your partner and don’t worry about whether or not you are doing every single thing right. Of course, we are always aiming for good technique and ultimately you will want to be a good lead/follow in order to get the most out of your time on the dance floor and express yourself and make your partner happy…BUT, I don’t think any of that matters if you aren’t really dancing.
What do I mean by that? I mean that what I want to see from beginners is that light in their eyes that says that this is really fucking fun, and that they care about and are connecting with the music, and also that they care about their partners.
If you are a beginner lead, then I want to see that you are more concerned about keeping your partner safe than with leading every flashy move you have ever seen someone do. If you are a beginner follow, then that means that I want to see you trusting your partner and not jumping the gun to turn yourself at every opportunity.
But, honestly, there is something to be said for dancers who are just really into the dance. So, just have an amazing time! Dance with lots of different people and look for the dancers that are having the most fun! Then ask those people to dance.
Last tip of the day: Even though it’s tempting, don’t ask for feedback unless you know that you are dancing with the instructor. And even then, don’t do it frequently. But if you are going to ask, then ask before you start dancing and don’t get upset if they don’t want to give it. As instructors, I think we all try really hard to turn off that hyper-critical eye on the social floor and I know that I don’t love being asked to turn it back on. Take classes for the feedback and go to socials for the purely awesome high of dancing!