Planning a trip to a foreign county? Be sure to include dance in your itinerary!
Whether you find a performance to watch, a place to take a dance lesson, or a night of social dancing with locals, you will not regret it! Even if you are a non-dancer, by experiencing an art form that has history tied to its people and is drenched with cultural richness you are sure to walk or “dance” away with a closer connection to the locals and a sense of belonging to their community.
Here are few tips of how to include dance in your next trip:
1. Go watch a dance performance. Any local performance will not only provide entertainment, but will expose you to local music (often live music). You will get to see cultural traditions of the locals and talented performers firsthand. Try to find shows at a small venue, to experience a more intimate setting, which will surely create lasting travel memories.
2. Street performers! Seeing a dance performance does not necessarily mean you must buy tickets for a show in a theater or even spending any money, especially if you are on a tight budget. Walk along busy city streets to stop and watch street performers share their talents and passion for their craft. Often these performances are improvisational and interactive with the crowd, adding a personalized touch to the experience.
3. Take a dance class. This allows you to meet locals in a safe and fun environment. Don’t worry about previous dance experience. As long as you arrive early to sign up for class and follow class instructions you will be golden! Don’t forget to introduce yourself to the instructor before class and be sure thank the instructor afterwards.
4. Social Dancing is a must!
Forego the extra zzz’s and get out on the dance floor. This is a great way to make friends with the locals! If you mess up or make a fool of yourself dancing it doesn’t matter! Why?! You will most likely never see those people again!
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! I strongly advocate doing your research on dance genres, popular dance groups, types of social dances that are native to the area. Make sure to have a list of places, days/times, and addresses of places to check out before you embark on your trip, so that you don’t have to waste precious travel time looking up information or waiting on reliable wi-fi access. Also, be sure to know which days of the week and times social dancing takes place. Just because the Havana Club has salsa nights, it might only be worthwhile to go on Friday evenings, when it gets a crowd.
I’m Speaking from Experience…
I spent time traveling and dancing around the globe! If you would like specific places to explore local dance scenes OR would like to share your own experiences please email Jennifer, our blogger at Jennifer@creativemovementco.com.
I sincerely hope these tips are helpful for you on your next trip!