Club Dances

West Coast Swing Improv Performance

Club Dance is an umbrella term covering the dances that are not performed in "normal" ballroom competitions including the various Swing dances (west coast swing, east coast swing, lindy hop, jitterbug, etc), salsa and its variants, bachata, lambada, hustle, merengue, and more.

Many of these dances have unique subcultures. West coast swing and salsa, for instance, are organized independently and host numerous competitions and congresses that give recognition to the dozens of styles within them.

Each club dance has a feel, an emotion, and a story of its own. These dances are grouped together here, not because of their similarities, but rather because they are completely unrelated to each other and the other five styles.

Many of the club dances, notably west coast swing, hustle, and salsa, are so-called "Slot Dances", meaning they are danced back and forth on one line, instead of side to side, like east coast swing or bachata. Slot dances were created to fit more dancers in small and crowded spaces such as dance halls, clubs, and movie sets.

All of the club dances have two similarities: the basics are relatively easy to learn, and they don't require a lot of space to perform socially. Unlike the social forms of samba, waltz, or bolero, the club dances can be performed in very cramped spaces on very crowded floors. For those whose goals revolve around social dancing, learning as many club dances as possible is important. For instance, those interested in salsa should also learn bachata, cha cha, and merengue since music for those other dances is often played at salsa clubs. The club dances are the most varied of the styles.