My Journey
Amanda L
My Journey
Social Dancing Stories


"Social dancing is something I can take with me and dance with people all over the world. We don’t have to speak the same language as long as we have dance."

Why Talk When You can Dance?

I do not like talking to people. In fact, I don’t like interacting with most people at all. Weird, right? I love social dancing, so you would think I would be an extrovert. I mean, “social” is right IN the name. “Social dancing” But for me, it is much more than that.

Dancing is how I can have a connection with someone without a language barrier. As a follow, I wait for a song to end and a lead to hold out their hand to whisk me onto the dance floor. An open hand is an invitation where we don’t have to exchange any words. It gives me the power to decide whether to accept this invitation to dance…or not. It is a place where I can surround myself with people, but still be my introverted self. Dancing is my inner peace.

Making New Friends

This is not to say that I haven’t made friends while dancing. My dancing friends live in the world of music, dance floors, and sweat. Our connection on the dance floor is an avenue of expression where everything else disappears and living in that moment is possible. 3-5 minutes of a song is all it takes for connections to turn into friendships. For example, I left India two years ago to work in another country. However, each time I have returned to India to visit friends, I have been welcomed back to the social dance scene with open arms (and open hands).Having satisfied my soul with Indian dance forms, I began my journey into western dances a few years ago. I started with a Latin American ballroom class where I learnt some Jive, Cha cha cha, salsa, etc. I will never forget how I felt on the first day of class. I thought I would never be able to dance like the dancers I saw there. But in my heart, I knew too well that this was a journey that I had already undertaken in the field of Indian dances. It would take a while, but I would get there! I continued with group classes until I reached a plateau and felt that I wanted to learn more than just the basics. I wanted to really connect with people and understand the dance I was doing.

Started with Ballroom

I got into social dancing through ballroom dance at my university. Rather than spending my Friday or Saturday nights drinking, I would go out with friends and learn ballroom dances. This led to me taking ballroom dance classes through the university, learning the waltz, foxtrot, swing, rumba, merengue, tango, and cha cha. As one credit courses, they were not incredibly in depth, but this helped develop my curiosity and passion for social dancing.

Dance Around the World

Having lived in many different countries, I have been able to experience different social dance scenes and take lessons along the way. Moving around the United States, I discovered a real love for latin dances after living in a city with a bar that had weekly dance lessons before the social dance would start. When I lived in Spain, my love (and continued love) for bachata developed, after taking weekly free bachata classes with the most outspoken and on-top-of-her-shit Spanish woman. Leading free classes of about 70 people, she taught us a new choreographed routine each week.

In India, I feared that I would not be able to find a dance scene. However, Mumbai has one of the best social dance scenes with people from all levels. Even better, if you are a follow, you will never fear that no one will ask you to dance. The social dance community is so welcoming that even though I have moved away and only come back to visit occasionally, I can still reach out to all my dancing friends and know they will be on the dance floor when I return to Mumbai.

Keep Dancing

Social dancing is a way for me to learn something new, as dances are constantly evolving. It is a way to interact with different group of people. It is about making connections, loving music, and staying in the present moment. It is something I can take with me and dance with people all over the world. We don’t have to speak the same language as long as we have dance.

Amanda Lewis – English as an Additional Language Teacher, Social Dancer

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