Modern jive is a social dance and that means there’s the chance to get social. Ok, so it’s about dancing too, and many people are there to learn to dance, then get hooked and want to improve to be the best that they can. But the social side of the dance scene can bring out some really good feelings for people. We sometimes refer to dance weekenders as entering into the dance bubble. But really the whole modern jive scene is one big dance community.
The definition of community suggests that it can be
- a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
So, get lots of dancers together, and that’s a dance community. People believing and enjoying one activity, and coming together to share that experience.
But many dancers experience more than this. The dance community goes so much further. Online groups and chat help the dance community to get closer. People switch venues and travel further afield whether for weekenders or just one night of dance.
At the simplest level you’ve got the dance bubble. Where others outside it don’t realise how much of a buzz people can get from dance. Anyone with a hobby can experience it, and dancing is no different, although adding in music and emotion to dancing can build a kind of euphoria when a dance goes well for both partners.
Socalising outside of dance
One venue I dance at has always been particularly social outside of dance as well. Dancing finishes before last orders, so there’s usually a couple of groups of people going to either the pub across the road and to the ice cream bar. Yes, it’s a younger crowd of people as it’s a university town, but it does make a difference just joining in sometimes to meet people, find out names properly, and feel part of the crowd. Some venues organise outside of class socials as well – involving dancing or not.
Offers of support
Once people have been dancing a while, they often want to travel further to dance at different venues. Facebook has enabled people to chat a lot more across venues, and offering lifts to people needing to get to freestyles is frequent. Dancers are certainly generous with their time.
That generosity extends to pulling together to raise money or be supportive in other ways. Fund raisers are popular and dancers seem to be really generous. Round here, Jive plus in particular does a lot for charity, including sponsored dancethons for cancer charities, and an annual freestyle weekender where money is collected for charity. And when dancers need some help – if an organiser has been injured and unable to drive, others step in to help with teaching, or will help with set up and driving them round.
Respect and inclusivity
There’s been lots of talk recently about the ethos of modern jive being everyone should dance with everyone else being a negative point and something that can remove consent from the person being asked to dance. But building a dance community starts with being open and willing to be sociable with as many people as possible. And in building those strong communities, it helps drive that venue or area to be more successful. So finding the best way to be inclusive is key.A friendly and open dance community helps build further benefitting all who’re part of it. Click To Tweet
Obviously not everyone wants to be part of the modern jive dance community. They just want to come and dance. But for many people who come to join in the social scene, often coming along to their first class alone, ensuring the community makes them feel welcome can only benefit the wider good of the social dancing scene.
Do you feel part of a dance community? Is it too much or is there more that could be done to make people feel part of it?