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Social Dance Classes in Jacksonville, FL

In Jacksonville, FL, learn social dancing at Arthur Murray Dance Studio - Jacksonville. The instructors at our studio are more than qualified to teach you the variety of different social dances that are popular throughout the world. You may be wondering what social dancing is. Social dancing is a non-competitive version of ballroom and Latin dancing. Social dancing is made up of the same variety of dances that make up ballroom and Latin dancing, but they are designed for dance at social gatherings like weddings, business functions, nightclubs, and more. Social dancing is not as formal as ballroom or Latin dancing, meaning that it is laxer and more comfortable. Social dancing stays true to its name, as its intention is to be danced while socializing!

couple dancing salsa

The Salsa

The term “salsa” refers to various different Latin dances with origins in Cuba and Puerto Rico. There are a lot of different salsa varieties based on the region in which it is danced. The basic steps of the salsa have been influenced by the mambo, rumba, and cha-cha. The word salsa is pretty recent and was coined by an American record company that made music in that particular style. There is an abundance of theories surrounding the history of the salsa and how it developed. However, it is accepted that modern salsa was born from a combination of different Latin dances. The origins of the salsa can be traced back to 1930s and 1940s Cuba when the rumba and the mambo were created. The ancestors of the African slaves in Cuba introduced these dances to the New World during the 16th century with their music and dance moves. In the 20th century, Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians and dancers made their way to America. In the 1960s, salsa became all the rage in New York due to record labels producing innovative music of the time. Salsa was used to describe the unique combination of Latin, Spanish, and African rhythms and styles.

The Bachata

The bachata comes from the Dominican Republic. Other Latin dances, such as the salsa and the merengue, heavily influenced the bachata. The bachata is considered a “fusion-style” dance and is not danced identically in any two places. The bachata is an intimate dance that is sensual and romantic. The music that accompanies the bachata is also known as bachata. The music represents bitterness, pain, and lost love. The dance allowed performers to cope with the feelings that they were experiencing through the movements. Initially, the bachata dance and the music were repressed and banned from high-society venues. Due to this, dance and music appeared in poor areas, bars, and brothels. These surroundings, sex, desolation, and corruption, had a heavy influence on the progression and evolvement of the dance. Of course, the Dominican upper class deemed the dance vulgar and crude. Eventually, in the 1980s, the bachata took on a more dance-hall sound with increased tempos. By the 1990s, the bachata was more modernized and gained in popularity. It emerged worldwide as a music and dance for Latin dance halls.

couple dancing the hustle

The Merengue

From the Dominican Republic, merengue is a fun, sexy, upbeat Latin dance that is often the staple of weddings, dance parties, and other celebratory events. Over the years, the merengue has evolved into different variations throughout the Afro-Caribbean region. The music that accompanies the merengue is also called merengue and is known as the national music of the Dominican Republic. Similarly to other dances originating from lower-class communities, the exact origins of the merengue are unknown. In another similar light to other dances, the merengue was initially controversial due to its suggestive nature. Despite pushback against it, the merengue was a loved dance that became very popular throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. This dance is different from others due to the fact that dancers do not partner up and instead dance together in a circular fashion.

Swing Dancing

Swing dancing is one of the most popular dance styles in modern dance clubs. The basis of the swing dance is comprised of three different dances, the Lindy hop, the Charleston, and the jitterbug. It is one of the dances where improvisation is encouraged once you have mastered the basic steps. Swing dancing began in the 1920s and 1930s in New York when African American jazz bands were extremely popular. Eventually, the music became mainstream, and swing dancing was seen everywhere. With musical influence and the influence from the original swing dances, swing dancing became one of the most popular forms of dancing amongst people of all ages and abilities. Originally, the swing dance was fast-paced, but over time, instructors everywhere, including our studio, learned how to adapt the dance into a suitable form for the general public to enjoy.

lady dancing samba

Do the Hustle

Not similarly to other ballroom dances, the origins of the hustle aren’t rooted in the distant past. This dance swept the country in the mid-to-late 1970s. The hustle began in the clubs and party scenes of New York, with credits of creation going to the local Latino community. The dance combines movements from the salsa, swing, mambo, and tango styles. As it grew in popularity, different versions of the dance came about, including line and partner versions. Eventually, the hustle became the dance that defined pop culture for the post-sixties generation. The hype around the hustle decreased during the 1970s and the 1980s when people were rediscovering other Latin styles.

Happy rural couple dancing

Country Western

Country western has roots dating back to the 1700s but is enjoyed while listening to country western music in America. There are numerous types of individual, couple, and group dances, including line dancing, square dancing, two-step, waltz, and many more. Country western dances are typically performed while wearing cowboy boots, so the dance consists of more exaggerated movements such as flat-footed glides, heel touches, and toe touches. As an informal dance form, there is no specific set of correct steps that dancers need to make. Instead, one partner sets the pace and stride for the dance, and the other is encouraged to follow their lead. After being brought to the United States from Europe, country western dance gained popularity during World War II. Heavy troop movement throughout the country exposed residents outside the American South to these exciting new dance routines. Dance halls and lounges began to play country western and swing music more frequently.

Dance Socially With Confidence

At our studio in Jacksonville, FL, we teach social dancing to all students who want to learn the popular moves for gatherings and social events. The most popular social dances include swing dancing, jive, and hustle. When learning social dances, it is important to note that ballroom and Latin dance styles heavily influence their dynamics. If you are interested in learning how to dance, social dancing is a great way to begin. Learning how to dance socially allows you to mingle with dancers of all backgrounds and abilities. With our class offerings, you will be dancing at all your upcoming events like a star. Dancing is fun and brings out the best in people. If you desire to grow your skills, expand your knowledge, and nail down the choreography of some of the most popular dances worldwide, visit our studio or call us to enroll in one of our dance programs or classes.

First Dance Lesson Free

Your First Lesson Is Free