Not Your Grandparent’s Dance Anymore
When you think about Ballroom and Latin dancing, you might think about stuffy dances that your grandparents did to rat pack music long gone. Even though you might not think that ballroom dancing is relevant in today's world, you should know that it's actually not outdated at all. Today, Ballroom and Latin dancing is a phenomenon as a social activity, as well as a competitive entity, delivering some of our country’s most talented athletes. Ballroom and Latin dancing have made their way into the mainstream and is done to contemporary music.
Ballroom and Latin dancing is shown in films, on television, onstage and in fitness due to its entertainment and inclusive qualities.
There is a reason why Dancing with the Stars is so popular: ballroom dancing is still in. In fact, because of this show and a few other reasons, it might be more popular than it has been in years. If you enjoy watching the popular show and have found yourself wishing that you could dance like that, you should know that ballroom dancing classes going on near you can help you achieve that goal.
Movies such as Dance with Me and Shall We Dance have shown that Ballroom dancing is in our mainstream pop culture. Take The Lead with Antonio Banderas is based on the real life of Pierre Dulane who used Ballroom dancing as a way to help inner city kids. The program shown in the movie is still going strong in New York schools and many others across the country. The movie adaptation of the Broadway musical, In the Heights by Lin Manual Miranda has warmed our hearts for Latin dancing, music and culture. Lin Manual Miranda shows that dancing is very much a young person’s passion as well as the older generation.
You might not think about fitness when you hear Ballroom and Latin dancing. However, the wildly popular fitness craze, Zumba, is actually popular because of it’s Latin dance roots. In addition, the LaBlast Fitness program was created by Louis Van Amstel, who is a Dancing with the Stars professional. It’s a fitness version of Ballroom dancing. Both will teach Ballroom and Latin dance steps and are done in gyms all over the country.
Today, ballroom dance is still a great way to meet new people and build friendships. Ballroom dance lessons are meant to welcome all skill levels and ages and are much less intimidating than they were in the past. Instructors have students rotate partners to dance with everyone in the class. For single people, it can be less stressful than speed dating since you don’t need to create a conversation out of nothing with stranger. You already have something on common because you are learning a new skill together. By the end of the class, everyone is friends and sometimes romance blooms.
Multicultural and Inclusive
More than an opportunity to meet new people, Ballroom and Latin dancing has no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor. Nothing shows that more than the documentary Dancing Jaffa. Pierre Dulane gets kids from warring factions to dance together and eventually become friends. Studies prove that cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our mind and engaging with those who are different than we are. To learn more about the health benefits of dancing see our article on The Benefits of Dancing!
Where is it done today?
Today, ballroom dancing is used at weddings, high school reunions, daddy/daughter dances, nightclubs, country clubs, and even dive bars. Even beginner dancers will have plenty of places to use their new skills. There is likely a place for you to dance every night of the week near you.
The most obvious place to go dancing is at your local dance studio. Dance studios don’t just teach lessons, they have dance socials for their students to practice and the dance community to join in the fun. Many times, there is a lesson prior to the dance social. This is a good place for beginners to get their feet wet and to introduce themselves to the community.
Restaurants and Nightclubs
Maybe a little less obvious but equally fun would be dance nights at restaurants and nightclubs. Just like the dance studios, there is usually a lesson prior to the dance party. Some of these parties don’t have a cover charge so the lesson and the dance party that follow are free. These are perfect opportunities for someone who is unsure if they will like Ballroom and Latin dancing. It’s financially risk free and the only sales pitches happening are on a menu at the bar. If you need a little liquid courage to participate, they can handle that too.
Ballroom and Latin dancing are still an essential for formal events. If you're going to a wedding or are heading off on a cruise, you're sure to see more people ballroom dancing than you think. Most cruises even incorporate dance lessons in their daily itinerary. Much like weddings, quinceaneras are certainly going to have Latin dancing going on. By taking classes, you can be prepared for any type of social event so you don’t have dance floor FOMO.
How to Find Ballroom and Latin Dancing Near You
Search engines are the most obvious place to start looking for dance events and classes near you. Google will display so many options that it could be overwhelming. You can also look on social media for events. You may find that your friends are already attending these events. Ticketing sites like Eventbrite can help you find places to go. Just because it’s on Eventbrite doesn’t mean you have to pay for it. Many organizations post events there with free tickets. If you are in the Central Ohio area, check out our Calendar of Classes and Events to see everything we have happening now.