If you dance at a night club you will likely find both styles and the difference can be like the battle between Coke and Pepsi people. Some prefer one over the other and others think it’s all good.
According to the folks at Wikipedia line dancing is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in one or more lines or rows without regard for the gender of the individuals, all facing the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time. Line dancers are not in physical contact with each other.
Couples dancing also known as social dance is a major category or classification of dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing. Social dances can be danced with a variety of partners and still be led and followed in a relaxed, easy atmosphere.
With social dancing you have a partner and someone is the leader and someone is the follower. But this occurs with line dancing also. Think about it.
- How many dances can we perform from start to finish without making a mistake?
- How many dances do we remember how to begin or when to begin?
- How many times do we mix up steps from another dance or end a turn facing the wrong direction?
Line dancers rely on each other on the dance floor. And if we know a dance well, we may help those who don’t know it by dancing next to them or calling the steps. We watch others to learn a dance, refresh our memory, or pick up their impressive styling. There is a lot of leading and following going on in line dancing.
So what are the differences between line dancing and social dancing? I think it comes down to the following three things:
- Physical contact
Social dancers learn patterns that can be performed to any song with that style (two-step, east coast swing, west coast swing, and cha-cha). Social dancers share their personal space with their partner and learn how to read each others movements. They find the physical contact energizing and like either being in charge or being led and not having to concentrate as much on the steps.
Line dancers have to learn steps to each dance and are energized by the challenge of learning “ALL” the dances. They find it relaxing to dance on their own, and concentrating on steps frees their minds of daily clutter.
Dancing requires an awareness of your body and an ability to move it to the rhythm of the music. With line dancing you can get away with focusing on your lower body, although the really admirable dancers use their whole body and you know who these people are. They capture your attention on the dance floor. Social dancing requires fluidity of your whole body to be in sync with your dance partner. To make the connection you use your arms, torso, neck and head in addition to your feet as.
I prefer line dancing for many of the reasons listed above, but I have learned some social dancing and can participate in couples dances. It is a personal goal of mine to be able to dance with an awareness of my entire body. Maybe once I’ve achieved that I’ll take on the challenge of letting someone lead me.