Getting the Most Out of the Houston USA Dance Monthly Social Dances

Getting the Most Out of the Houston USA Dance Monthly Social Dances

Date added to ADN: Wed, February 25, 2015
Originally Published: Tue, January 10, 2012
by Ella Forel and Yvonne Kubicek

Getting the Most Out of the Houston USA Dance Monthly Social Dances

Every month Houston USA Dance hosts a dance at a location with a huge dance floor and music that starts the toes tapping so that our members and guests can enjoy their favorite pastime, Ballroom Dancing. And every month at these dances, we see people sitting and waiting to be asked to dance or losing valuable floor time while working up the nerve to ask someone to dance. These people—men, women, younger, older, new attendees and regulars, singles and in groups—are usually there to dance. Traditionally the men ask the ladies to dance, and in the "Baby Boomer and Older" group, this protocol may be so ingrained that it's difficult to change. However, we are here to say that it's always perfectly okay for ladies and gentlemen, beginners and advanced to ask each other to dance at a Houston USAD dance.

Michael Schedler tells us that around 60 songs are played at a typical Houston USAD dance, not including the mixer songs—that's a lot of dances over three hours. To make sure everyone gets to dance, wouldn't it be generous, kind, and polite if every man and woman at our dances offered to dance at least once with five people they don't usually dance with (besides those they encounter in the mixers)? Attendees would have a nice evening, and everyone would still have plenty of time to dance with their friends and significant others. We recognize and accept that dancing with strangers is not everyone's cup of tea and that some folks have specific reasons for not dancing with others, but most people want to dance and are pleased to be asked.

There are benefits to dancing with different partners. It helps us meet the other dancers, and since we're all socializing for similar reasons, why not get acquainted? Also, dancing with other people will make us better dancers. Partnering with the same person all the time may help speed up the learning curve by providing someone to practice technique and choreography with, but it's also possible to limit our dance growth when we use the same steps and patterns over and over while embedding a mixture of good and bad habits in our technique. Granted, not every lady is a flawless follower, but neither does every gentleman offer a clear lead. What better way to figure out the areas in which we need to improve than to see how different dance partners perceive our lead or follow? And what easier way to enjoy a new dance experience than to dance with someone new?

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