Dance Socials are fast gaining prominence in our city that is starved for entertainment options.
From Lindy Hop to Latin Swing, pubs are quickly becoming spots not just to socialise and make merry with friends, but also to put on your dancing shoes and hit the floor. Social dancing, as a concept, is fast picking up in Mumbai, and this week alone will see three to four of such social events happening. Armed with a dance instructor and fuelled by the lack of inhibitions, these events look to connect you with new people.
Simply put, social dancing is an informal style of dance where the primary focus is on socialising and recreation. The concept is prevalent in the West. However, dance instructors found a serious void in the social dancing scene in the city. When Krunal Vaghela returned to India from the States in 2013, he decided to change things.
“I used to live in the U.S and came to India in 2013. The social dancing scene in the country was non-existent. I realised that there is a void in the market and founded a community of like-minded people. Favorite dance forms like Salsa and Bachata were popular. Blues, Swing, Contact Improvisation, Foxtrot and Tango, hadn’t picked up at all. I wanted to introduce this in the market, and that led to the genesis of the community,” Krunal adds.
Krunal teaches over 40 dance forms across various dance studios in the city. “The social dancing meetings started a generic form of interest in the market about dance and are a starting point of a conversation,” he says.
“Fusion Dancing is the blending of two or more forms and is picking up in the country. Blues and Tango – Blango. Bachata and Tango – Bachatango,” Krunal adds.
A mathematics teacher by day, you will often find Chaitanya Senapathi setting the dance floor on fire by the evening. A Lindy Hop instructor, he believes that dance is a mode of finding new friends and communicating with people.
“People dancing in a social dancing event get to interact with each other, meet new people, make new friends, dance with different people and decide to have a conversation with music,” he adds. Chaitanya is a not a trained dancer and learned the art on the dance floor.
“After a social dance workshop, the floor is then open for dancing for the rest of the night. It implies that the beginners can then set the ball rolling. I was trained on the social floor and did not have any professional training.”
You don’t have to worry about being a beginner or having two left feet; the classes are for everyone. Kirit Fernandes started attending these events because of his social circle.
“Two of my friends are terrific dancers, and the whole group would attend the socials regularly. I've attended quite a few Lindy socials. It took very little time to pick up the basics. Lindy is an incredibly classy, easy to learn dance form. Chaitanya is a brilliant teacher, and anyone interested should come to the sessions even if they think they can't dance to save their own life,” Kirit emphasises.