The Art of Social Dance 

Social Dance is a type of dance that has “social function and context.” Social dances are usually intended for participation and to socialize for entertainment during social functions. Most social dances are partner dances. One is the lead and the other is the follower. The lead is usually the one in charge of the dance steps the follower acts upon. There are many different styles of Social dances. Here are some social dances that I highly enjoy. 



Salsa, a Latino Dance, is heavily influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions and styles that is one of the most popular dances today. Salsa is one of my favorite styles of social dance. Being a social dancer for 2 years, I enjoy salsa as it involves the art of many spins and turns. It is a very energetic dance form that makes me want to keep dancing. It’s fluid as we can add our unique movements to the hands and hips to add to its tune and enjoy the rhythm. 



Bachata is known for its intimate style. Bachata which originated in the Dominican Republic is now seen to be one of the most practiced styles by social dancers. It contains a variety of unique hip steps making the dance fun and enjoyable. Bachata is one of my favorite styles as I get to explore the new twist and play with my hips. It is practiced with close posture making the dance romantic and attractive to the audience and the dancers. 



Merengue which originated from the Dominican Republic as well is practiced today for simple moves and easy-to-follow steps. Merengue is known for its close-position dancing. It involves many waist and hip moves making Merengue a fun experiment with the lead holding the follower’s waist. I enjoy the dance form as I have fun while performing such an intimate and energizing dance. Merengue gets extremely entertaining to dance to and also watch others perform. 



Country is one of the most daring dance styles I have practiced. Country dance originated in the British Isles and involves many interactions with the partner you are dancing with. For me, County dance requires strength and trust in my dance partner. The dance involves lifting and understanding the dance partners’ chemistry in doing such difficult  moves that require taking each other’s weights while performing. I highly enjoy this style as I get to play along as a follower and like to be lifted and picked up as I build chemistry with my dance partner. 


Nightclub Two Steps 

Nightclub Two Steps, is where I can’t resist but to be on the floor dancing. It is so catchy that once you learn the dance form, you are most likely wanting to keep exploring this dance style. It was developed in the 1960s by Buddy Schwimmer who was also a West Coast Swing Dancer. I enjoy Nightclub Two Steps as it doesn’t quite involve extreme thinking, it flows as the beats of the music and you can have fun doing the footsteps while listening to the rhythmic tunes


The beauty of social dance is that we have the ability to explore the different styles and understand the art of dancing through each unique style. 

I am not a professional dancer nor the worst one. I simply dance to make  myself feel good. Part of dancing is not about doing the right step but it is about how it makes you feel when you dance. It is also about how you feel with your partner while dancing, in having trust, and being comfortable in dancing together. 

For me, dancing is a place where I feel intimate and form a deep connection with the individual I am dancing with. It’s a place where I learn, and laugh while having fun. I do make mistakes, but there is beauty in the learning process. Sometimes, some dance styles and moves just feel right and just click. 

The beauty of social dance is we have the ability to explore and play with a variety of different dance styles. We get to create and dance to what feels right for us. You may feel comfortable with one dance style but you might not be great at another. What is beautiful is that we get to create our own definition of dance–what it means and what it brings to us. 

For me, social dancing is an art form, it is a deep sensation showcasing my inner child and letting my heart shine. It is a place where I feel free, I feel present. It brings me joy, fulfillment, and excitement. 

What does dance bring to you? 




Salsa – 

Bachata – 

Merengue – 

Country – 

Nightclub two steps – 



  • Riya Patel

    Riya Patel is a Writing Intern at Latinitas Magazine for the Summer 2023. As a first generation American, she saw the value in overcoming challenges and her ability to adapt to new environments. Today, her perseverance has led her to the University of Texas where she can connect with a diverse community as she learns about the intersectionality between psychology and business. Being a strong communicator, she has always enjoyed human connection as a means to grow personally and professionally. People’s stories make an impact and move the world forward. She loves sharing her story. She enjoys the art of storytelling through art, media and creativity that is empowering and inspiring. She hopes you can find warmth in her writings. Being able to share her heart in her writing is important to her in everything that she creates because it ensures that she is sharing her authentic self and staying true to her vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *