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What is Social Dancing?

Updated: Feb 8

Social dancing is a non-competitive version of ballroom and latin dancing. It is comprised of all the same dances, like Foxtrot, Tango, Swing, or Cha-Cha, but designed to be used in practical settings like wedding receptions, nightclubs, business functions, or informal gatherings. Social dancing is less formal than exhibition dancing and is meant to be enjoyed while socialising.

Important Skills for Good Social Dancing

Leading and Following

The most important skill for good social dancing 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.

Posture and Dance Frame

If Leading and Following is a message, then good posture and dance frame are the antenna broadcasting the signal.


Ultimately, social dancing is having the ability to converse while dancing. Being able to multi-task, like chatting about work or the weather while Waltzing, takes some practice but allows dancing to develop into natural use much quicker.

How to Get Started with Social Dance

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.

Arthur Murray, the founder, understood that as a struggling dancer himself. He designed a curriculum perfectly suited for those, like him, that had zero dance experience but wanted to experience the benefits that social dancing had to offer.

So, in 1912, Arthur Murray developed a company that did just that and today, Arthur Murray Dance Studios have nearly 300 worldwide locations teaching Social Dance to people across 6 continents. It's safe to say that Arthur Murray Dance Studios are the longest running and most successful Social Dance Studios in the world.

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