Musings for Ballroom Beginners

6 Frequently Asked Questions for New Social Dancers in Boston

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 20, 2016 5:22:35 PM / by Rob Cole

Rob Cole

Are you eager to try your hand (foot?) at social dancing in Boston?  If so, you probably have a few questions that may be difficult to answer without asking someone who social dances on the regular.  Lucky for you, the team here at Ballroom Beginner has put together some answers to frequently asked questions for new social dancers in Boston.  We hope you find them helpful!

1. Do I need to take lessons before I go social dancing?

The short and sweet answer here is no.  Many social dancing events offer an lesson before the main event starts that is catered towards beginners.  These lessons will often cover the basic step and a few other moves that will give you something you can practice on the dance floor.  They aso tend to fix up the partners, so you'll meet a lot of new people and be able to identify other people who are beginners too that you can find later and practice with.

However if you're not one for jumping in right away, a group lesson or two will get you familiar with the basic steps and moves and make you more confident on the floor.  This might hold especially true for guys, who are typically responsible for leading.  Having some muscle memory will help when you are trying to think of what to do next!

Frequently Asked Questions for New Social Dancers in Boston

2. Do I need a partner to go social dancing?

Partners are not necessary at all!  Almost everone you see at a social dance is there looking to mix it up and have fun.  Don't be afraid to ask someone you don't know for a spin on the floor, or to say yes if someone asks you.  That's what this 'social' part of social dance is all about!

In fact, I'd recommend not limiting yourself to one partner at a social event.  Being open to dancing with multiple people will not only allow you to meet new people, but will make you a better dancer.  Dancing with a single partner over and over again will get you comfortable with a single style and method of lead and follow.  Changing partners will keep you accountable to having a clear lead or follow, which can get lost with a regular dance partner.

3. What clothes should I wear social dancing?

Our cardinal rule: Be comfortable, but stay classy.  Stay away from things like tight skirts that will restrict your movement.  When you arrive at your first social dance event, you'll notice that everyone has their own style.  Some dress true to the dance, others true to themselves.  Whatever you are comfortable moving around in is fine, just remember that you will be meeting and being in close contact with new people.  Don't make someone hesitate when you ask, "Would you like to dance?"! 

Frequently Asked Questions for New Social Dancers in Boston

No need to dress like the fella in the picture above, but he does look classy doesn't he?!

4. How important are my shoes?

Shoes are very important, and when it comes to your personal enjoyment of dancing, might be even more important than what you are wearing.  We like to use the same rule for shoes as we do for clothes: comfortable but classy.  You're going to be on your feet more often than not, so try to stay away from anything that you wouldn't want to stand in for extended periods of time.  You'll also want to be able to glide on the floor, so wear something with a smooth sole.  Stay away from sneakers, as they'll grip the floor and restrict your movement.  If you plan on making dancing a bigger part of your life, you may want to invest in purpose-made ballroom shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions for New Social Dancers in Boston

5. What dance should I try first?

If you're going to a social dance event without any prior knowledge or lessons, we'd recommend starting with swing or salsa.  These both have simple basic steps and are less structured.  If you plan on taking some lessons first, ballroom might be the best for you.  Ballroom events introduce many different styles, which keeps the night fresh and interesting.

6. Where should I go to social dance?

There are many places to go to social dance!  The groups that most often host are ballroom studios, commercial clubs, and collegiate organizations.  Check out our guide to social dancing in Boston for more on where you can find a social dnace event near you!


We hope this post was successful at answering some of the frequently asked questions for new social dancers in Boston.  Let us know if we missed any!  The most important piece of advice we can give is to not get intimidated by those around you.  Some of the people you see tearing it up on the floor have been at it for a long time.  You too can get there, no matter how many left feet you have, it will just take time.  You'll also find that many of the advanced dancers love to help newbies.  Don't be afraid to ask for some tips!

Happy dancing.

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Topics: Ballroom Beginner, Social Dancing

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