How to Meet New People Through Dancing
I firmly believe that partner dances like ballroom are THE best way to meet new people – assuming you actually enjoy dancing, of course. But even dancing poses challenges for those uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the social jungle. Here’s a few points to help you start building your own dance-posse.
- Attend group classes – Probably the most low-pressure way to meet new people, because you’re at similar ability levels, and all that learning and being awkward together easily leads to laughs and smiles.
- Ask for names, and hold the name in your head for a moment – Often, names are in one ear, out the other. When you meet new people, picture their name in your head for a second, and say it back to them. This helps it stay in your memory long enough for you to write it down later.
- Give your partner a genuine compliment – “I love how easy your lead is!” “You’re really confident in your moves, have you been taking classes for awhile?” Authentic compliments show you pay attention and that you like what you see.
- Talk with someone after class – Take those first interactions to the next level by continuing the conversation while you lace up your shoes after class. My three favourite topics? Anything dance-related, jobs, and what’s on tv.
- Ask your favourites if they want to join you at the next social – No, this is not a “date” – many newer dancers bring friends to a social, so they have someone to talk to and possibly dance with if pickings are sparse.
At the Social:
- Start at the studio – Studio socials generally foster a friendly learning environment, so you’ll likely find it’s easier to meet new people here than elsewhere. Plus, it’s easier to invite those new friends from your group classes to join you.
- Use open body language – 80% of how we communicate is non-verbal, so position yourself near the floor, remove obstacles between yourself and other people, and smile! I’ll get deeper into this one in a future article.
- During dances, focus on your partner – It becomes effortless to meet new people when you demonstrate you are trying to make the dance more comfortable for them – and they may start doing the same for you.
- Forgive first impressions – Dancing aside, I often feel I’m lousy at making a good first impression… And I’ve certainly met other people who’ve rubbed me the wrong way. A big part about meeting new people, is recognizing that some take longer to relax and let their natural awesomeness shine through.
Let me finish by putting an ace up your sleeve: In a world where everyone is trying not to make mistakes, BE FORGIVING OF YOURS AND OTHERS. Laughing off your own mistakes shows you are a confident person who doesn’t need perfection to believe in yourself, and forgiving others helps them feel more safe and comfortable around you.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.