What is social dancing mean? – Social Dance A Short History

This is a very complex question that will probably not be answered in a single blog post.

For a quick overview of how social dancing is generally done, I recommend the following posts:

Understanding Social Dancing, by Rachael L’Esperance (pdf) – provides some background to dance, dancing terminology, and some examples.

Social Dancing: Understanding, by John P. Krieger and David O. Henshall (pdf) – provides an overview of how social dancing in general is done.

Dancing: A Beginners Guide (pdf) – provides a quick step-by-step explanation of how to hold on to the lead hand, and dance around the lead’s shoulders.

Getting Started with Social Dancing (pdf) – provides an introduction to social dancing, the benefits, and a couple of tips.

And, finally, see below for the Social Dancing website.

Dancing in Your Gym – how social dancing is done in the gym is a detailed guide on exactly how to hold on and move around the lead hand. You can learn how to hold on below, and how to dance around the lead’s shoulders

Dancing in your Activity – where social dancing is done in the gym is another comprehensive guide on exactly the same topic.

There is a lot of good information on social dancing on the internet today, and that makes it hard to remember.

So, instead of writing a bunch of blog posts summarizing these sources of information, what I’d rather do is do a blog post for each topic, and just give you a rough outline of the methods I’ll be explaining in my own and other blog posts.

I hope this will at least provide some background for any first time dancers, newbies, or just anyone who may not have access to a lot of information about social dancing, as well as give some clarity to the subject.

Now let’s take a look at the different social dancing methods, and what you need to know.


This is the most traditional approach, where many people will simply hold the lead hand with their dominant forearm and move with it, and vice versa.

Here are two different l’Isidore social dancing methods:

Holding the lead hand:

Step-like – hold with dominant forearm, step forward while holding.

– hold with dominant forearm, step forward while holding. Lateral step-like –

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