Dance - Partner Dances

The Evolution Of Partner Dances

History of Partner Dances

Dancing is an art form that has continually evolved over the years but it has been deeply attached with humans and society. Hence, partner dances have become an integral core of this art form and might even have deep spiritual, cultural, or social meaning, depending on which particular part of the world it originated.

In the case of partner dancing, two individuals perform coordinated dance choreography. However, there are some dance forms that require each partner to perform individually.

Concept of Leader and Follower

Just like in a social setting, partner dances also incorporate roles into each participant. The man is often assigned as the “leader”, while the woman is the “follower”. These two individuals maintain a connection all throughout the dance, thus making it more of a social experience than just a simple act of dancing.

Types of Dance Partner Connections

There are different types of connection that is established between two dancing partners during a particular dance routine. Below are two of general forms of connection between two dancing partnerrs:

Dance handhold. In this type of dance, the connection between both partners is rather loose.

Dance frame. In other types of dance connection, there is body contact involving that connection. Hence, there are certain restrictions to your body position during dance sequence. A dance frame is relegated to each dancer, which makes it a crucial concept to each dancing partner.

Dances with Same Sex Partners

The typical idea with partner dances is that it often involves two individuals of the opposite sex, which is a type of dance involving man and woman. But there are various types of partner dancing that involve two individuals of the same sex, particularly in several western societies.

It is still treated unusual by outsiders though, while the idea of both women dancing together is more acceptable as compared to that of two men. But as more of these types of dancing are becoming more prevalent, this has been gradually accepted by the general society, especially in social situations wherein there are insufficient partners of the opposite sex. Such dances do not even take into account the sexual orientation of individuals involved during dance, while most have adapted a “comedy value” to them.

Double Partner Dance

In this type of partner dances, there are three persons involved and dancing together. It could either be one man with two women, or one woman with two men. This type of partner dancing is only done for social dancing with significant demographic disproportion amongst the two sexes. Hence, this was quite common during the years of war wherein there is not enough women in the army, or the civilians only had women as dancers.

It was not until during the 1980s though that double partner dances was officially acknowledged as a type of partner dancing. It quickly became popular amongst Hustle, Swing, Ceroc, and Salsa dancing communities. In most cases, only one serves as a leader and the two other dancing partners are mere followers. Nowadays, you will also find several folk dances that are partnered after this setup, but it typically involves one man and two women.

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