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Magazine

Magazine » Social Dance » Are Dance Mixers Really Necessary?

Are Dance Mixers Really Necessary?

Author:
Jean Krupa
Date Published:
January 1, 2012

In planning any chapter dance, several ingredients are necessary: music, sound system, venue, instructor, refreshments, and, of course, dancers. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere is a “must” to mark it as a successful dance where guests and members mingle and participate in the dances. Changing partners improves your dancing. Dance mixers give you that opportunity. In other words, you have to work to fit in. Take the initiative and dance with more advanced dancers. Take some classes or workshops or who knows you may just find a partner who wants to practice and become a “more advanced” dancer.

One of the more popular dance mixers is the ‘Snowball’ which can highlight a guest or guests of honor by having them first take the floor, then stopping the music for both parties to find new partners from the crowd, continuing until the floor is full of dancers.

In the ‘Chair’ dance mixer to a Foxtrot or Waltz, the women line up on one side of the floor and the men take the women at the front of the line around the room once, dropping her off at the back of the line and proceeding to the front for a new partner. This can also be done reversing the roles (think Sadie Hawkins dance) with the men lining up. A word of caution: it is considered rude to avoid taking the next partner in line, although, if you have just danced with one another or the person is your regular partner you may offer to skip your turn and defer to the next person in line.

The chair dance also encourages people to meet and mingle. Whether with your dance partner or while waiting in line, you have the chance to chat and introduce yourself, overcoming the tendency to never get to know ‘new’ friends.

It is best to have your mixer within the first half hour of the dance, this way you can meet people you might want to ask again later and visitors are made to feel welcome. If you have a large number of unescorted ladies, you may want to consider having two to three short mixers—no longer than fifteen minutes— during the evening.

Ladies, you will become a better follower by learning to adjust reaction time as a “follower” and make you a more desirable dance partner. For the men, learning how to lead well doesn’t mean a “tug of war” -- there is an art to leading. Some of the best male dancers have a lead that is precise and feels “like
butter”.

Get a partner, change a partner, and meet more friends.

Ten reason to be in Mixers:

1. Dancing is Fun.

2. Improves your Coordination.

3. Keeps you Fit.

4. Builds Self Confidence.

5. Increases Self Esteem.

6. Improves your Posture.

7. Get to Meet New People.

8. Improves your Social skills.

9. Become a Better Leader.

10. Become a Better Follower.

Issue: Jan/Feb. 2012