Last Fourth of July, as we were waiting for the fireworks to begin, they were playing live music over the loudspeakers, and people were sitting on the grass waiting. The music was upbeat, and 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 dance is an incredibly empowering feeling because any time that there is an occasion to get up and dance, you know that you can! This is such an amazing feeling.
Again, you don’t need to know all of the dances 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 off, knowing the primary dances (Fox Trot, Waltz, Rumba, Swing, Cha Cha, Disco) is a must. If you don’t know any of these dances, then at any given time, depending on where you have gone, you will be reduced back to a non-dancer again, and would have to sit out that dance. In my opinion, you should be in charge of when you dance – not the band or the d.j. You should sit out a dance because you don’t like the music, or you want a break from dancing (in this case 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 a year and a half to become comfortable on the dance floor. There are no shortcuts. Sometimes students think that this is to become a professional, whereas they just want to “get by”. They are surprised to find out that it takes this amount of time just to become comfortable enough to “get by”. Some students, at first, feel that the numbers of dances are too many. This is until they realize how all dances relate to each other, help each other, and how beneficial it is to study all of the primary dances together. All of the dances are needed.