Nightclub dancing has been a favorite occupation of people all over the world for decades. Whether you are a cowboy or a disco queen, there is a club night for you to get your groove on.
Where Can I Go Nightclub Dancing?
Most cities have one or two clubs that specialize in dancing. Larger cities may have clubs that cater to one style of dance or demographic of dancers, but more and more clubs diversify their "dance night" with several different styles and themes.
These include types of dance such as the following:
- Swing Dance - dress up in retro outfits from the 40s to the 60s and jitterbug and lindy-hop the night away.
- Disco Fever - Full of glitter, open collars, and flashy heels, disco dance tunes are the back beat for these nights
- Country Western - A country theme night will often have a line-dance class early in the evening, before the club actually opens, so that people can brush up on the latest boot-scootin' step.
- 80's Retro - Donning gloves, shoulder pads and big hair, the 80s were a combination of step-touch, breakdancing, and raucous punk mosh pits.
These are only a few of the themes you might find when going out nightclub dancing - hip hop nights, rave nights, and more are also common themes. Many college towns especially will throw "Foam Parties" - when the entire dance floor is filled higher than your waist with soap bubbles. Dancers will wear swimwear and go and enjoy the slick and slippery moves to their favorite kind of music.
Dance Club Etiquette
Of course, not every night is a theme night. The most common scene at a dance club is multicolored lighting, often combined with smoke and lasers, and constant and overwhelmingly loud waves of music. The songs usually flow one into the next, often with no real break, and many DJ's pride themselves on very long sets.
This would be a bit foreign to social dancers prior to the 70s, when it was traditional for people to ask each other to dance before going out on the dance floor. In contemporary nightclubs, dancing is about all you can do because there is usually far too much noise to be able to communicate.
Instead, people use body language and eye contact to let each other know they are interested in dancing with each other. Generally, small groups of friends will be on the dance floor, and if you are looking for a partner, you simply keep looking around, finding someone who's appearance and/or dance style appeals to you.
Once you see that person, simply moving closer to their area of the dance floor and dancing near them so they can see you will give them the chance to let you know if they are interested. It's a pretty easy thing to tell - eye contact, a smile, moving closer to you or mimicking your dance. That would also be how to let them know you're interested.
An example of poor dance etiquette that is seen in many college clubs where students go nightclub dancing is for a man to approach a woman from behind, arms outstretched Frankenstein-style, and gradually move in closer so that his arms are almost encircling her. This is a very spooky and predatory way to indicate interest, and many women respond with a swift elbow in the stomach or lower.
It's important to remember that the purpose of the music, the lights, and the dance floor is not the same for everyone - some are there to meet new people, but some are just at the nightclub dancing, and if their body language indicates they'd like to be alone, you should respect that.
Where to Learn
Unlike other forms of social dance, nightclub dancing can change all the time - and really, the only place to learn the latest moves in your area is to go to the club and see how people dance. Remember that you don't have to be the best dancer - you just have to be authentically having fun, dancing the night away.