After you’ve started dancing in a safe, studio environment, hitting the club for the first time can seem a a little daunting. Here are a few tips to get out there and have fun on your first few times going out and just remember that the more you go, the more comfortable you will feel and the more amazing you will start to look!
1. Wear the dance shoes you feel most comfortable in. Ladies, if you are only just finding your legs, balance or control in the higher heels, don’t wear them out social dancing on your first few times. Wear comfortable dance clothing and if you don’t particularly like the way the lower heels look for a night out, opt for long pants. Remember that you don’t have to be exceptionally dressed up to enjoy the night. Just strike a happy medium. When you feel more comfortable and as your dancing ability rises, feel free to get noticed and become more of a fashion trend-setter!
2. Position yourself to get asked to dance and don’t overthink it when it happens! Once you arrive, try to position yourself in a neutral area with dancers of a similar ability to yours. If you don’t feel ready to dance with a really advanced dancer, then it’s best not to stand next to them on your first night out. To get asked to dance, stand somewhere you feel comfortable and relatively near the dance floor, move a bit to the music, be approachable in your body language and offer your hand to accept your first invitation! If you’re out with a friend, warm up with that person so you can get comfortable and go over some basic steps. If you want to ask someone to dance – just extend your hand and do it. No big deal. Don’t over-think anything – just get dancing. Remember, whoever you dance with will soon understand your’e a beginner and most people will happily take it ‘slow and easy’ so you can enjoy the dance!
3. Technique tip – keep your weight slightly forward. This makes following easier, and really helps with spinning. (And furthermore, whenever you are led into multiple spins, remember to keep that turning arm strong and bent around ninety degrees with your own elbow in front of you and near eye-level. The minute it goes behind you, or rises way above you, or both, you’re done.) The weight is best kept forward in the latin dances. You need to be there so you can maintain control, and because you don’t want to come out of any moves falling backwards. This also makes it easier to take smaller steps and keep your feet under you – a big key on a crowded floor! So shift your weight – not too much, but not too little – into the front part of your feet, and keep your core engaged. You especially need to tighten up there when you are feeling like the dancing is more difficult, too fast, or unfamiliar, etc.
Just get out there and go. Don’t be nervous – be excited! Dancing in the clubs is so much fun – you just have to go for it! (Warning – it can be a little addictive.) You’ll feel right at home in no time – and you’ll be on your way to becoming an amazing social dancer.