Other dance occasions would then be weddings, private parties, New Year’s Eve dances, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and dancing on a cruise. At these settings the music that gets played would be a variety of music which you would need to dance different dances. Typically you would hear lots of Fox Trots, Waltzes, Rumbas, Cha Chas, and Swing music.
When a new student comes to our studios (in Silver Spring, Rockville, or Fairfax), we would start by offering this explanation, since we would consider it very important to offer a dance education. We feel that this way a student can make an educated decision as to what their needs are and what to focus on, since in any dance situation there will be some combination of the dances I listed that will be played. These six or seven dances are considered the primary dances that are a “must” to learn and know for anyone who is learning to dance. Knowing the primary dances will make you a well rounded dancer, and be able to go and dance at most social dance occasions.
In my experience, there are times when students think that there is one form of dance to learn and use with all types of music, and not fully realize the need for knowing all of the primary dances. Another concern that many new students coming to our studios (or perhaps any dance studio) have is how to recognize what is being played. As a part of our curriculum after approximately eight to twelve private lessons, we devote an entire private dance lesson to learning how to recognize what dance to dance to a particular song being played. This is something that can be learned by learning what to listen for in any song, and how to identify what the song you are listening to is, so as to determine the appropriate dance to dance to it. Knowing the primary dances offers you the opportunity to dance in any dance situation.