I made a point to break down to the people that I taught this past weekend that blues is a social partner dance, and that I thought that each of those was it’s own complete concept.
Social – we go out to where there are other people. We mingle and make friends. Our classes have us rotate so we get to know how to dance with many others and so we get to know the others we might dance with later.
Partner – I like to think that most of the leading and following technique falls here. This is where we find connection, and follower’s physics, and the tacit agreements. A lot of classes give this the lightest of service, and I want to make sure that I always have some part of my classes address this.
Dancing – this is probably the part that is the hardest to teach. It shares a lot of techniques with partnering, but unless there is an intention to dance to music, I don’t think people are learning dance, but instead learning movement.
I think that all of these elements need to be balance. The pull between partnering and dancing is sometimes the hardest to get right, and the sweetest to hit when you make it.