Dancing in the dark
Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or taking your first steps, the Lowcountry boasts a vibrant dance scene that will ignite your passion as soon as the sun sets. With a variety of dance schools and destinations, you’ll have endless opportunities to unleash your creativity and express yourself through movement. So put on your dancing shoes.
Ballroom dancing is like a real-life version of “Dancing with the Stars,” minus the extravagant costumes and celebrity judges. It takes two to tango, or waltz, or cha-cha, or any of the other dances that sound like a fancy dessert menu. The lead and follow roles are crucial, like the yin and yang of the dance floor. The lead takes charge, trying not to accidentally send their partner spinning into the punch bowl, while the follow tries their best not to step on the lead’s poor, unsuspecting toes. It’s a dance of communication and trust, where one wrong move can lead to a hilariously awkward moment. But hey, that’s part of the charm of ballroom dancing. Even if you stumble, you’re still way ahead of those people doing the Electric Slide at weddings.
Where to learn: Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio (Seaquins Ballroom, Bluffton)
Songs to dance to: Try to Remember by Patti Page (waltz), The Lady is a Tramp by Frank Sinatra (foxtrot), Your Woman by White Town (cha-cha)
Country line dancing
Country line dancing is like a synchronized marching band, except you’re twirling and kicking up a storm instead of playing instruments. Dancers line up side by side, facing the same direction, ready to show off our best moves. It’s a dance formation that screams, “We’re in this together, folks!” And hey, if you accidentally end up facing the wrong way, don’t worry, it’s just your unique interpretation of the dance. Who needs direction when you’ve got rhythm, right? So embrace the hilarity of a bunch of people strutting their stuff in a straight line and create a whirlwind of synchronized hilarity on the dance floor. Yeehaw!
Where to learn: Visit The Rooftop Bar at Poseidon every Wednesday at 7 p.m. for complimentary country line dancing lessons.
Songs to dance to: Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, Boot Scootin’ Boogie by Brooks & Dunn, Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd
Salsa dancing is like a spicy salsa dip, but instead of chips, dancers are dipping themselves into a whirlwind of dance moves. The leader takes charge, bravely stepping forward to guide the dance, while the follower becomes the master of interpreting those signals like a mind-reading superhero. It’s a partnership where miscommunication can result in some hilarious dance floor mishaps. One wrong turn, and suddenly you’re doing the salsa version of the Macarena. But fear not, because salsa dancers are the masters of recovery. They can seamlessly turn a stumble into a sassy spin, transforming any misstep into a dazzling improvisation.
Where to learn: Revolution Ballroom (Beaufort)
Songs to dance to: Llorarás by Oscar D’Leon, La Rebelión by Joe Arroyo, Tu Cariñito by Puerto Rican Power
Just when you think you’ve got the rhythm figured out, surprise! A sneaky accent comes out of nowhere, and suddenly you’re doing the jazz dancing version of the Hokey Pokey. But hey, that’s the beauty of jazz – it’s a dance style that embraces personal quirks and individuality. It’s like a dance version of “Choose Your Own Adventure,” where every performance is a unique masterpiece.
Where to learn: Coastal DanceWorks (Bluffton), Dani’s Dance Dynamics (Beaufort)
Songs to dance to: Shake the Room by Gamu, Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
Shag dancing is like a beach party on steroids, where you’re not just dancing, you’re trying to keep up with the speed of a caffeine-fueled seagull. You’re doing quick steps, triple steps and rock steps that make your feet feel like they’re tap-dancing on hot coals. And don’t even get us started on the improvisation. Shag dancers are like jazz musicians on the dance floor, making up moves on the spot. If you can keep up with the dance, you’ll develop the legs of a marathon runner.
Where to learn: Hilton Head Shag Club
Songs to dance to: Carolina Girls by General Johnson, With this Ring by the Platters, Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters
Tap dancing is a secret code language only our feet can understand. Dancers strap on those shiny metal plates, ready to make noise and create a rhythmic symphony. It’s like having a built-in percussion section right on your shoes. Who needs a drummer when you can be your own one-person band? Tap dancers are like the rebellious maestros of the dance world, improvising and inventing their own fancy footwork on the fly. It’s like a spontaneous tap dance battle, where our feet become the snappy superheroes saving the day with every syncopated beat.
Where to learn: Coastal Dance Works (Bluffton), United Dance Plex (Beaufort), Palmetto Dance Center (Ridgeland), Carolina Collective Dance Centre (Bluffton)
Songs to dance to: Counting Stars by OneRepublic, Segundo by Pink Martini, Stacy’s Mom by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Ballet is like a delicate dance of elegance and grace where you pretend you’re floating on air while secretly trying not to face-plant. You spend years perfecting the art of looking weightless and effortless, all while secretly battling gravity like a ninja in a tutu. And let’s not forget about those infamous pointe shoes. They’re like magical weapons that turn your feet into weapons of toe destruction. It’s a dance form that demands strength, balance and a stash of Band-Aids.
Where to learn: Bluffton School of Dance, Fred Astaire Dance Studios (Hilton Head), Hilton Head Dance School, Alliance Dance Academy (Bluffton), Okatie Youth Ballet (Ridgeland), Derrick Ballet Conservatory (Beaufort)
Songs to dance to: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph Willibald Gluck, Giselle by Adoplphe Adam, Coppélia by Léo Delibes