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Re: What is, "Ballroom Dancing"?
Posted by SmoothGeezer
1/8/2010  10:18:00 AM
Pivotingfool seem to be a little confused about what ballroom dancing is. He seems to be getting it confused with other forms of dance. Ballroom dance is not "competition dancing", not now or at any time in the past. There are some that compete but they are only a very small fraction of the total population of ballroom dancers. Most ballroom dancers have some amount of formal training. Most ballroom dancers consider their activity a hobby (except for maybe a few who teach it as a profession). Like all hobbies one of the goals is to learn about the hobby and improve your ability. That is part of the fun of any hobby. There are very few "family and friends" capable of teaching this.

There are several types of social dances where the primary goal is something else. One for example is the "singles social" where dancing is not the primary reason for going. Many people that attend these can't dance at all, but they are willing to get up and move around a little, doing whatever they feel like, and that is OK because there are many others doing the same thing. They play some amount of ballroom music and some ballroom dancers like to infiltrate this group, but they are a very small minority.

The ability of the participants at a ballroom dance varies a lot depending on what part of the country the dance takes place. In areas where there are very few instructors, the dancers ability may be very poor. They may also get instruction from unqualified people, like family and friends. If you happen to be from one of these areas and never go outside it, you can get a distorted view of ballroom.

Another type of social dance are the country dances. Those include folk dance, contras, squares, Cajun/Zydeco, and many others. These aren't considered ballroom but they do require some training. Most are easy to learn compared to ballroom. (Some hobbies are easier than others.)

There is round dance and sequence dance, which the members like to think of themselves as social dancers. Those require some training as well, but it is possible to learn some of this from family and friends. They have some remote similarity to ballroom but all the ballroom technique has been left out so they become much easier. Some who participate at the highest levels in these, find that they have to go to ballroom instructors if they want to improve.

Pivotingfool wrote: An old friend who danced in the Big Band error told me that he once danced in a Ballroom with 3,000 other dancers. (Can you even imagine?).....

No I can't imagine that. The largest dance floor I was ever on was 15,000 sq ft and at one time there were 300 dancers on it, and it was very crowded. So for 3000 dancers you would need at least a 150,000 sq ft floor. That's about 2.6 football fields counting the end zones. Where would I find this ballroom?

If you packed 3000 people like sardines, elbow to elbow, touching on all sides, you would need about 3.2 high school basketball courts.
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