Social Style Versus International Style

There are two styles of ballroom dance—Social and International. Although Ken is trained in both, he chooses to teach Social style in his school.

As its name implies, Social style dance is specifically designed as a social activity: It allows regular people to feel comfortable on the dance floor.

International style is used in amateur and professional competitive dancing. Although anyone can study it, it does not work as well in a social context. The reason is that using Social style, a man can dance with a woman who has never danced in her life, leading her through the first few steps in any dance. If he leads her in International style, she can’t follow even the basic step. You can only dance International style with someone who has studied International style, but Social style allows you to dance with anyone.

So, Social dance is far more useful. The advanced steps are every bit as intricate and beautiful as International, but the basics are far easier to learn. And the easier you learn the more fun you have!