New dance students will often ask their instructors which dances they think are best to learn. Honestly, we believe that all dances are fun and worth learning, but many wish to find out which ones will be used the most. Many social dancers are interested in learning dances that they will actually be able to use when they go out to parties and clubs. Dances like Waltz and Tango may be done from time to time at certain events, but you might find yourself doing something like Hustle or Salsa most of the time. Here are some social dances you should be familiar with if you decide to go out:
Rumba is probably one of the most essential dances to know if you want to dance socially. This slower Latin style is characterized by Cuban motion, or rhythmic swaying of the hips caused by bending and straightening of the knees. This dance is a great one to use for slower music that is in 4/4 time. If you are at a wedding or an event where a lot of slow and romantic music is played, the Rumba will definitely be useful.
Merengue is a dance from the Dominican Republic that is popular among those who are from or travel to Latin America. If you’ve ever been on a Caribbean cruise, you have probably seen people do this dance. Not only is it a good one to learn because of its popularity, but it’s also easy to catch on to. The basic step of this dance is an eight-count marching step where partners can either move sideways or circle each other. Dancers also bend their knees slightly left and right, making their hips move, as well. Many of the figures are also fairly easy to do. While the music for Merengue is usually fast and upbeat, it’s a very free moving dance that makes it perfect for social settings.
Salsa music is a popular genre in many nightclubs, so it’s clear that learning some Salsa will be beneficial. This is a fast-moving dance that requires quick footwork and hip movements. There are many hip hop songs that are influenced by Salsa music, so you’ll find that you won’t always be dancing to traditional Latin music. Many people are also familiar with some basic steps of Salsa, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a dance partner when you go out!
Hustle is another quick-moving nightclub dance that can be useful at almost any event. Developed in the 1970s, it was mostly danced to disco music. Since then it has evolved and can actually be danced to a wide variety of dance music that is out today. At most parties or events, DJs will play Top-40 pop music more often than other genres, and the best thing to do with a dance partner is the Hustle. It is also another fun dance that is easy to learn. Partners rotate around each other and there are also many variations of underarm turns that can be done.
Bonus: Nightclub Two-Step
This particular dance may not be taught as frequently as the core dances, but it is still a good one to know. “Nightclub” is in the name, so it is clearly a dance that you would use when you go out! Nightclub Two-Step is typically danced to mid-tempo pop-ballads that are in 4/4 time. Since these songs are usually a bit too fast for Rumba, Nightclub Two-Step is a perfect replacement. The footwork consists of long sweeping movements and tiny rock steps that make it a relaxed, playful, and easy dance.
Happy Dancing! ^_^