A few years ago on the Fourth Of July, I went to the county’s fireworks show. As the crowd was waiting for the fireworks to begin, they played live music over the loudspeakers. People were just sitting there on the grass. The music was upbeat and energetic, and made me want to dance. Since I knew what dance was appropriate to dance to the song (it was a Swing), I got up and danced on the grass. A few others followed suit. Knowing how to ballroom dance is an incredibly empowering feeling. Any time that there is an occasion to get up and dance, you know that you can. This is such an amazing feeling.
Importantly, knowing how to ballroom dance all of the dances isn’t necessary to be a well-rounded dancer. The Primary Dances take care of that for you. But once you become somewhat comfortable with those, you should consider taking on the Tango.
First of all, knowing the Primary Dances (Fox Trot, Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, and Disco) is a must. If you don’t know any one of these dances, then at any given time depending on where you go, you will be reduced back to a non-dancer again. You’d have to sit out that dance.
Secondly, in my opinion, you should be in charge of when you dance – not the band or D.J. You should sit out a dance because you don’t like the music, or you want a break from dancing. This way you are in charge. But if the D.J. or band plays a song that you don’t know what to dance to, then they become in charge of your dancing.
You just need to keep in mind that it will take at least a year to become comfortable on the dance floor. There are no short cuts. Sometimes students think that this is to become a professional, whereas they just want to “get by”. They’re surprised to find out that it takes this amount of time just to become comfortable enough to get by.
Finally, some students (at first) feel that the number of dances is too many to learn at once. This is until they realize how all dances relate to each other. They help each other and are beneficial to study all of the Primary Dances at the same time. All of these dances are needed.