Everywhere! Seriously, that’s one of the beautiful things about dancing – there’s virtually no place you can’t dance. I’m not advising you to break into a Charleston halfway through your board meeting, but the main limitation is how comfortable you feel in your own skin.

All that said however, I know most of you are really asking ‘where can I go dancing

with other people

?’ so let’s look at a few of the more and less common places to bust a move.

  1. Dance clubs/halls: Obviously, this is the first choice for social dancers. Depending on where you hail from, there may be Latin or ballroom dance halls in your area, as well as the usual R&B watering holes.
  2. Studio Socials: Most dance studios host a social at least once a month, and will keep you posted via website or newsletter of any special dance events. Dance studios are great for meeting other students at all levels on the learning curve, although you might need to be a bit more assertive if you don’t know anyone there. Highly recommended for first-time social dancers.
  3. Churches, gymnasiums and community centres: If they have a large room with a hardwood floor, odds are someone dances on it at least once per week. Usually it’s just a matter of doing some online searches, to find out where dance groups meet, then drop in on your favourite one and add your name to their mailing list.
  4. Street festival or other outdoor venues: Thanks to improvements in sound system technology, some dance groups will grab a set of speakers, head out to a street fest, down to the beach, or the nearest market square and start playing. So long as the weather’s good, outdoor dancing can be a refreshing alternative to the hot and sweaty dance hall.
  5. Weekend congress’ or festivals: If you live in a big city like Toronto, you might have the advantage of weekend-filled dance congresses that happen on a yearly basis. These festivals last 3 or 4 days, combine workshops during the day with social dancing at night, and usually include performances or competitions. Definitely a great way to intensify your understanding of a dance style, as well as meet fellow dancers around the city and elsewhere.
  6. Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties, Sweet Sixteen parties, etc.: Any specialty party that involves renting out a space can, and often is, spiced up with dancing throughout the evening. So if you’re invited, remember to bring your dance shoes.
  7. Restaurants or bars: Less common these days, but some restaurants still support social dancing (The Old Mill in Toronto is a good example). Very nice for a romantic evening. Some Mexican-themed bars offer a dance floor too, although they can sometimes be too crowded for anything but the most intimate of dances (try the Kizomba or Bachata). 
  1. Business functions: Depending on your line-of-work, you may have dance functions in which you are expected to socialize and network, sometimes with potential clients. In these settings, knowing a dance step or two allows you to come across more assertively, and could score you extra customers.

These are the main areas you are likely to find Latin and Ballroom dancing. And if you don’t know of any dance events in the area, why not start your own? Like I said, dancing is something that can be done anywhere – all you need is an open floor, a willing partner, and a good tune.