Salsa Dancing: Club Night Vs Outing
“While all three are events where you can practice your social dancing, there are subtle differences between them.”
So you’ve been taking lessons for a few weeks and it’s time to dive into the Salsa dancing social scene. You’re looking up the different types of events hosted by clubs and dance studios and you see that some places call their events “Club Nights”, other places call them “Outings” and everywhere there are things called “Socials”.
While all three are events where you can practice your social dancing (i.e., dancing with a variety of people from dance studios, and different levels of experiences), there are subtle differences between them. Here is a “Coles notes” guide to help you choose where you start practicing your social dancing.
A club night is a Latin dance night hosted by a nightclub (that might not necessarily be a Latin-themed nightclub). Club Nights generally have names like “Tropical Thursdays” or “Bachata Nites” or “Salsa Fridays”. These nights are hosted by the nightclub and often offer a free class (included in the price of cover at the door) and sometimes feature live music in addition to a DJ that specializes in Latin music.
The free class provided by a nightclub will usually be taught by the same instructor from week to week, and sometimes this instructor is affiliated with a studio (but they don’t have to be). Checking the website of the club will show you a schedule of who is teaching on what night and the theme of their Latin nights (some clubs have more than one Latin night). Note that nights that state a specific type of dance in the title (like Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba) will feature mostly that type of music on that night, with a small mix of other Latin music types (which can include Merengue, Reggaeton and Kuduro).
Club nights tend to be more “upscale” than other social nights.
“Outing” or “Parties”
An Outing (sometimes called a Party) is when a dance studio or company hosts a Latin night at a nightclub or special event venue. The host studio will host a free lesson (some studios provide one “all levels” lesson, some provide a beginner and intermediate lesson to cater to varying skill levels), which is included in the price of cover. Checking a studio’s website and special event listings will tell you what time the lesson is and if there is one or two lessons.
While these events are open to the public, Outings are mainly promoted to and attended by the students from the host studio and their friends. Dance studios host Outings in order to encourage their students to mix and mingle with fellow students from other classes and levels to practice their social dancing in a club environment but without the pressure of a formal “Club Night”.
Outings are a great way for new dancers to check out a dance studio’s style and community. Usually you can meet the Director or a senior level dance instructor from the host studio at the Outing and talk to them about their studio if you’re interested in taking lessons from them.
Outings are more casual that Club Nights and, from time to time, can also feature performances of student, amateur and pro dance teams from the host studio.
A Social is when a dance studio or company hosts a practice session in a dance studio. A Social is the most casual of all three social events and is a true practice session in that no classes or instruction is provided at the event.
Socials are also open to the public and are mostly attended by dancers from the host studio or company, but some long-standing and popular Socials are attended by dancers from many different studios and can be a good place to meet dancers from other studios, especially dancers from higher levels who have more social dancing experience.
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