You have been learning salsa or tango lessons and have immersed yourself into the local dance scene. Suddenly, your job or family situation requires you to go abroad for a short while, meaning that you will be missing a few parties.
Leaving your locale is not necessarily a bad thing. Being able to attend dance parties while abroad is a fulfilling experience and a common practice among travelling dancers.
Top 3 reasons why dancing abroad is a must.
- New dance friends: In the world where travelling to other places has become the norm, the likelihood of meeting the same batch of people from the dance community in your city or other places is much higher. Attending other dance events is a form of sharing mutual passion for similar interests, which makes bonding with new friends much easier compared to meeting people in the bar scene.
- Learning about the local dance scene: Perhaps the people dance more passionately with different styles in some places. Or the body language is much more subtle. Encountering a variety of different people to dance with is a learning experience for adjusting ourselves in different scenarios.
- Inspired drive to dance better: Perhaps the local scene is full of wonderful dancers. Or maybe you feel that there are improvements that could be made. When you visit a new location, you’re playing the part as a dance ambassador from your home city. It’s also a good way to want to become a better dancer because you want others to enjoy your dancing!
Steps to take before going:
Research and ask.
One of the best places to look up information is to ask around or search on social media (Facebook is certainly a great start!) This is especially true as you’re likely to have mutual dance friends with people who have already been travelling around. Dancers in general, especially organizers, are very welcoming and want to share plenty of related information and events with you.
Personally, I’ve had great experiences just by asking in dance city groups. A few people have volunteered and invited me to insider’s events that I would otherwise not have known about.
Plan your itinerary and outfits.
Will you have time to dress up properly? How likely will you be taking taxis and other forms of public transport? Will you be sightseeing right before going to the event? What is the weather like at your destination? How far is it from where you will be staying? How much does entry cost? These are factors you must take into consideration so that you don’t receive unpleasant surprises (such as the hotel being an inconvenient location).
Of course, your itinerary may change after your arrival, but having a general plan is a good way to ensure that you’ll have a good time.
Arrival and during party times:
Give them your smile!
Flash that big smile at everybody you might want to dance with! You’re a fresh face (if you’re completely new) or a mutual friend’s acquaintance, smiles are an initiative to being friendly. Big friendly smiles that last for at least 5 seconds will show that you are sincere about making some new friends!
Adjust accordingly, depending on which party you’re at. If you’re at a salsa party, you’re more likely to flash a large smile that shows your teeth. When at a milonga (tango party), you may want to keep your lips sealed due to the atmosphere, but the 5 second principle still applies.
Ask them how they’re doing.
As with any social situation, small talk is possibly the hardest thing anybody can do with a stranger. They key to breaking the ice, aside from smiling at them, is to ask the magic question: “How are you doing?”
Why is this a magic question? Because it shows that you’re willing to take the first step and save everybody from the awkward silence. They will secretly thank you (mentally) for it and will be more openly receptive to being friendly.
Exchange contact details before leaving.
As mentioned, there is a high chance that you may be meeting the same people in the future. Perhaps your home city is hosting a dance festive, or you could be visiting again in the future. In the age of Facebook, it’s a fantastic way to network a dance catch up session or get extra information before your next visit.
Overall, being able to dance in other locations outside your current home city is a fantastic experience to take away with you when you’re on the road. You’ll be surprised by how welcoming people are when you’re a visitor!
Has this article helped you in any way? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments and share with friends who might want to take a dance vacation!