Social Dancing

What should I wear?

Comfortable, secure shoes that are easy to pivot in. Wear shoes that will stay securely on your feet, and are easy to pivot in. Some great choices are shoes with leather or suede bottoms. Avoid athletic shoes with a lot of grip or sandals that easily fall off.

Comfortable clothing. Wear whatever you like to Blues Union, there’s no dress code. We do recommend avoiding long or tangle-prone jewelry, or any other clothing that could get caught on, tangled in, or could hurt your or your partner while dancing.

Practice good hygiene. If you sweat a lot, we recommend bringing deodorant and a change of clothes. Be the person that you want to dance with!


How do I ask someone to dance?

With words! It helps to make eye contact, smile, then ask someone if they would like to dance.

Anyone can lead, follow, or both. Blues Union supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) are not tied to gender. We encourage all dancers to dance their preferred role or roles at any given time. When asking someone to dance, it helps to discuss your dance role preferences. Here are some great ways to do that:

“Do you mind if I follow?”
“Will you lead me in this dance?”
“Would you like to dance? I’m happy to either lead or follow.”

It’s okay to say no. Although we encourage you to dance with many people, it’s okay to say no to a dance! You are not obligated to dance with anyone if you don’t want to and you don’t to offer an excuse. Just use common courtesy: smile and say, “No, thank you.” If someone declines a dance with you, also accept their answer kindly.

What should I know before social dancing?

Be aware of your partner. Make sure you and your dance partner are both happy and comfortable with how you are connecting to each other. If your partner seems like they might be uncomfortable, try changing dance positions or check in with them verbally.

Be aware of other dancers on the dance floor. Both partners are responsible for using eyes and ears to keep themselves and their partner safe on the dance floor and to avoid accidental collisions and injuries. Accidents do happen, so if you bump into someone, apologize and check in to make sure they’re okay.

Avoid unsafe dancing and dangerous moves. To help prevent injuries to yourself or your partner, avoid overly forceful movement when leading or following (anything that feel like a yank or jerk), bending over your partner during a dip when leading, sudden weight sharing when following, or any lift where both of your partner’s feet go above your knees. If you are unsure what constitutes unsafe dancing, please ask an organizer or instructor and they’ll help you out.

What do I do if I have a concern that I don’t know how to address?

We want you to feel safe and comfortable at Blues Union. If you have a concern, or a question about a situation that you can’t resolve on you rown, please reach out to our at-the-door volunteer. We are here to make sure that you have a good time and feel at ease at our dance.


Which classes should I take?

Blues Basics class: Great for anyone who’s new to blues dancing (first 6 months to a year) or anyone who wants to re-focus on the fundamentals. There are 6 monthly themes to take (and retake!): Jukin’ A, Jukin’ B, Ballroomin’ A, Ballroomin’ B, Struttin’ & Improvisation, and Triple steps & Improvisation.

Bluesy Tuesy‘s class: Great for anyone who’s new to blues dancing (first 6 months to a year) or anyone who wants to dig deeper on the fundamentals. There are 6 monthly themes to take (and retake!): Jukin’ A, Jukin’ B, Ballroomin’ A, Ballroomin’ B, Struttin’ & Improvisation, and Triple steps & Improvisation.

Intermediate+ series: Designed for dancers who’ve got a good handle on the basics and are excited to delve deeper into blues technique, expression, and more advanced vocabulary. The minimum requirements for starting Intermediate+ is taking all 6 monthly themes (at Blues Union Basics and/or Bluesy Tuesy). The themes rotate each month, and are offset between Blues Union & Bluesy Tuesy, so you can complete the curriculum in as little as 3 months if you are able to & prefer to do so.

Can I take both classes?

If you’re taking the Intermediate+ class, you can stay for the blues basics class for free! We encourage continued learning, and it’s always great to refocus on the basics (and meet our newest dancers!). You’re welcome to retake the basics classes any time for free, if you’ve paid for that night’s Intermediate+ class.

Do I need to bring a partner? 

Nope! You don’t need to bring a partner. We call partner changes throughout class, so you’ll have the opportunity to dance with plenty of people during class, even if you didn’t bring someone with you.

Can I bring a partner?

Absolutely. If you want to bring a partner or friend to dance with, that’s great too! If you came with someone, you can still change partners during class if you like, or stay with the person you came with.


Special thanks to Blues Dance New York for some of these FAQs!