There is a lot to know…
… so we prepared a few frequently asked questions and answers for you
Wether you can attend a social does not depend on how good of a dancer you are. It just depends on your mood and if you feel like attending a social! Seriously, it’s that easy!
Generally socials are open to anybody. Frequently there is also a so called “Taster”, meaning a short introduction to a few common moves. This is usually presented by a member of the dance community. These new moves you can then try ot on the dancefloor directly!
For some dancers this is important. It’s also part of the scene. However this is by no means a prerequisite to have fun at a social and enjoy plenty great dances.
Primarily you shout attend in clothing that you feel comfortable in. For larger parties or festivals this can also be a bit more on the formal or fancy side of things, after all the outfit is also part of the first impression you make on your new dance partner.
However swing parties are first and foremost dance parties and not costume or dress up events. So if in doubt chose the option that will allow you the most comfort. It also never hurts to bring a couple of fresh shirts. Dancing can be a sweaty business.
This is a good question and one that is frequently discussed within the scene. We don’t want to pretend to have the ultimate answers to this, but there are some common suggestions we can give you.
It’s perfectly normal to ask people, if they want to dance with you!. This can be - especially when you’re starting out - unusual, exciting or maybe even a bit frightening . Nevertheless we can only encourage you to make this step and approach people. Especially if you don’t know anybody yet. This is also completely indepened of your gender.
It’s also totally normal for Men to follow and Women to lead. Also same sex couples are perfectly normal. We also don’t use the term “the lady” or “the gentleman”, to talk about the dance roles, but “follow” and “lead”, since these are geneder neutral. Even if our dances are hailing from the early 20th century, the scene is quite modern. ;)
You can always decline a dance invitation, but please keep in mind that the person inviting you might just had to gather a bit of courrage, and received a negative answer. Seeing you two seconds later on the dance floor, might just be a tad frustrating.
Obviously the opposite is also true: Accept a refusal and move on. “Ok, maybe later then”, is a perfectly normal response to this. A negative response should never be a reason for discussion.
In Germany it’s common to have two dances together, before finding a new partner. Occasionally, if the dance was especially nice, a third dance happens. However after this you should normally just move on. A quick “Thank you!”, is usually perfectly acceptable.
If your partner takes her or his leave after just one song, don’t suspect anything bad either. Maybe she or he just needs a break, some water or even a fresh shirt.
The most important part right at the end: Be nice to each other!. Dancing should be fun!
In that reign, it’s always a good idea to smile at your partner and look them in the eyes from time to time. If you fear to come off as creepy, a common trick is to look them over the shoulder instead of in the eyes. This has the added benefit of you watching the blind spot of your partner.
Dancing Lindy Hope can by all means be a pretty sweaty affair. Even so, you don’t have to be very athletic or acrobatic to attend a Swing Party. Actually most acrobatic moves you see online, are frowned upon on a social dance. The risk for the dancers around you would be quite big, also having something like this sprung upon you by somebody you don’t know can be quite intimidating.
Many videos you’ll find online are presentations or competitions and not representative of social dances, which are much more about shared enjoyment of the dance and music than about showing off.