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First, a few terms. First, we used the term “Social Dance” for this purpose, and this term was then used in conjunction, or in parallel, with the terms “Jamaica Style Movement” and “Dance in the Community” (JAMA, for “Jamaica”). As a word choice, the term “Social Dance” was chosen because Social Dance practitioners often use dance to socialize and socialize in a more social fashion; it tends to be more friendly to beginners. Second, we felt that the name ‘Social Dance’ would not be too revealing unless it was part of a descriptive statement (“Dance at the social center”). Third, we thought it was important to use it along with terms such as “Hip Hop” and “Jazz”. The only reason that we felt that the name couldn’t be simply “Social Dance” when used as a name is because of the association with “traditional African dance” and the lack of common term for dance styles in the region. Also, there were several issues that we were unable to overcome with a generic term, especially when trying to address the unique experiences that dance teachers have and the difficulties that the dancers have.
Social Dance does not require that people know what they are dancing. It was designed with such flexibility that people can dance to just about any styles or styles of music being enjoyed. We also felt that it could be danced to and danced to in any environment, to almost any music. If a dance is performed on the floor, then the dancer can also follow along with their partners. Any type of dance can be Social Dance; however, the key is to find the appropriate balance between dancing for fun and dancing to learn to get people to dance. In general, Social Dancing involves dancing to music or a performance you may not have heard before (with a few exceptions), and also dancing with other people who are dancing the same style as you.
Social Dancing has been a staple in the Caribbean community for 50 years now. The dance is as strong as ever and the people at the Social Dance Community have become great friends and confidantes. It is time that every person in America learns to Dance to a Social Dance. Social Dancing is a wonderful way to start a discussion about dance, music, education and fun!
The people at the Social Dance Community encourage and participate in the development of the Social Dance Movement. Each year, this Movement continues to expand with dances throughout