Two couples dancing bachata romantically

Are Dance Classes a Way to Find Love?

This week, Bea the Bud is talking about her dance classes. Are they an appropriate place to look for love? Or is pursuing romance in a dance class kind of sleezy?

Are Dance Classes a Thing for Everyone?

I was living in Lisbon for three months last year and one of the girls we lived with took dance classes wherever she lived. If I remember correctly, she knew salsa, samba, and bachata. A firm staple of dances. She did it because she enjoyed it, it’s a fun way to spend an evening, and it’s an incredibly social thing to do.

You tend to dance with another person (but it is possible to do group things which are also fun) and because you’re face-to-face it’s nice to have a little small talk. Otherwise, it can get awkward. If you’re an awkward person, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of extroverts who would be happy to make it a safe space, so don’t be afraid. I’m also sometimes a little awkward and every class I’ve gone to, I’ve felt safe and welcomed by the others.

Luckily for the girl I knew in Lisbon, the dances she knew are so common, they are normally readily available and tend to have plenty of bars and dance socials which are dedicated to them. Dance socials are events set up for people to come and dance. They tend to have a DJ playing the specific music and people will invite each other on the dance floor and dance together. These events can take place in bars, in clubs, or even outside on the street.

One of my favourite socials to see was the one in Brighton which they had on a band stand on the waterfront. Everywhere I’ve lived so far have had all these dances offered, even though the way they are taught or the type of dance which was taught can be different, they are definitely available in a lot of places.

I, myself, have danced salsa, bachata and kizomba and I personally liked salsa and kizomba the most. But, kizomba is just less well known. Normally, if there are a lot fewer dance events which have kizomba, it is mixed with both bachata and salsa as well. So if you only know kizomba you might only be dancing a quarter of the time. But also that means if you don’t know kizomba you won’t be able to dance it.

We also had another friend who runs forró classes and they look great but I honestly know very little about them…

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Let me write my own personal run through defining these three dances:

Salsa:

Salsa is flashy. Flashy in the sense there’s lots of spinning, lots of rolling your body Shakira-style, dancing back to front, dancing front to front, dancing holding hands, I sometimes find it hard to spot because there’s so many ways to dance and so many moves to learn. It can get quite wild. One of my friends was known for sliding across the dance floor on his knees even. It’s the one you see in parks and wonder “how do people do any of these moves? “. If you want to show off, learn salsa. There’s also different styles of salsa so there’s endless moves to learn. The music is also 10/10.

Bachata:

Bachata is a lot less flashy. There’s a lot of spinning involved too but I feel like maybe less than salsa. It’s in many ways like salsa, but just less in your face. However, because it’s less flashy it means it’s more sensual. Sensual meaning you really have to connect to your partner. Bachata also has evolved to have lots of different styles and techniques so there’s ample opportunity to evolve your own skills and abilities. 

Kizomba:

Kizomba is all about weight changes. Like you know how horses switch their weight from one leg to the other whilst they’re standing? Like that. But of course this image is completely ill fitting to how kizomba actually is. Kizomba is super sensual. Unlike salsa, it’s not super flashy. You have to get super close to your partner and then feel how their body moves and anticipate how they’re going to move. It’s so much about feeling the music and feeling your partner. It’s honestly beautiful.

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What Do Dance Classes Bring?

I think dance classes are truly a great thing to know. My dad always said that tennis and golf were the sports I needed to know because they’re the ones used in business. But, I think that dancing is the exercise that is more useful because it’s such a social thing. And anyway, who wants to learn golf or tennis for business reasons? Golf and tennis remind me of those rich U.S Americans who go to the country club to prove their elite status. Nothing against golf and tennis of course…

So just to summarise this part of the article. Dance classes are exercise, they’re available in many places, they’re social and it’s a fun skill to have. It’s a great way to make friends. But is it a great way to find a romantic partner?

Do Love and Dance Classes Go Hand in Hand?

I’ve found that I’ve met lots of nice people whilst at dance classes like genuine friends or those people you meet once and always remember as that nice person you met once. But I have come into contact with people who purely use dance classes as a means of finding someone to go home with. Of those few, it has been mostly straight men and the teachers I’ve had have commented on this too. It’s real.

But is using dance classes as a means to find something sexual or romantic a problem? I would vote yes. If your only reason to go to a dance class is to find something sexual, then go to a bar or something instead. Plenty of people go to dance classes just to learn to dance or to find friends. I don’t think it’s right to go to an event like this with previous expectations that you will find something sexual. Just go and enjoy yourself.

Because of those ultimately there to find sex there are a lot of women only classes or queer classes that focus just on dancing and being around like-minded people. There’s plenty and I’ve found them really fun. I would definitely recommend looking into them if you’re interested because they are worth it.

I never intend to find something romantic or sexual when I go to these classes.But at all the classes I’ve been to I just feel like I’m falling in love with at least one person I dance with. 

Picture this: you’re standing there holding hand in hand with a stranger, giggling about your missteps and trying to figure out “how does the teacher actually do that move, it’s mad!” And you’re looking into each other’s eyes and smiling and trying to hold a small-talk conversation but it’s distracting you from the actual class. 

I love it. But every time I leave the class my heart breaks a little. 

I think the fact that you’re learning something together, learning things about each other and the fleetingness of it all. It’s all just so romantic. And as a hopeless romantic, I love everything about it. I’ve never acted on any of these feelings before because I’ve only met the people I danced with once. I think next time I start a class and keep coming over and over, if there’s anyone who tickles my pickle throughout the whole course I promise I will ask them on a date. But who knows, maybe it is the fleeting-ness of it all that makes it feel like love. I’m starting a queer salsa class for 7 weeks in August so if I meet anyone, I will report back!


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2 thoughts on “Are Dance Classes a Way to Find Love?”

  1. I quite agree Beatrice, you just want to dance and enjoy the freedom it brings without any unwanted attention from a sleeze ball

  2. If I go to a dance class it’s because I want to enjoy moving my body and do something nice for myself so I wouldn’t want to have any attention from anyone. I would like to do some activities with my husband (not sure dancing will be good as we are both hideous dancers, haha) but it would be fun!

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