Latin Dance Lives On: Social Distance Dancing Is Possible And Fun

Posted on: 14 July 2020

By now you're no doubt tired of hearing about social distancing, even if you totally support that strategy as part of the effort to keep people healthy. But distancing is here to stay, at least until a better way to control viral transmission appears. This means that many professions and events need to think up ways to continue as much as possible while limiting personal proximity.

Nowhere has this been more astounding than in the dance world. Dancing, especially Latin styles of dance, relies on person-to-person contact in most cases. Unless you're working on a 1930s-style tap routine or a solo dance, you've got to deal with other bodies nearby. Luckily intrepid dancers have already come up with ways to partner up from a distance. Latin dance in particular has really grabbed the opportunity and come up with some neat alternatives.

Multiple Issues With Close-up Dancing

Dancing has two major strikes against it in terms of potential viral transmission, in addition to the general proximity. One is that the physical exertion can cause you to breathe harder and exhale more, which is a known risk factor for creating a super-spreader environment. The other is that many forms of dance are fast enough and have you moving enough that your mask can easily slip down to your chin. Combine those two issues, and you need to figure out another way to dance with a partner.

Ways to Ensure Distance

Over the past few months, dancers have done everything from having two partners in different locations on a video call to going outside and dancing away just with several feet in between. For Latin dancers, who are used to responding to a partner's movements, another type of dance has emerged: having the two dancers connected with poles or strings that allow for the feeling of pulling and turning but that also allow for the two to stay a good distance apart.

Other Precautions to Take

If you want to go to Latin dance classes, look for those held outdoors, held through a video-chatting software, and those that use these types of connections (poles, bands, and so on). Also, look for a robust mask policy, and try to observe a class (from a distance) to see how well everyone is keeping the masks on. Two things that really help your immune system are exercise, which dancing fits nicely, and happiness, which dancing can also promote. If you can find a Latin dance class that does what it can to follow public health guidelines, dance away. 

Contact a local dance center like Dream Dance that offers Latin dance classes.