The difference between Social and Ballroom dances
Should a dance that takes place in a ballroom be called a “Ballroom Dance” ?
So what’s the difference between Social and Ballroom Dances?
Social Partner Dancing and Ballroom Dancing, can be expressed in the following way: Social Partner Dancing represented all the worlds partner dances before the subculture of ‘Ballroom Dancing’ was created.
Official Ballroom Dances were developed by certain professional dance organizations in Europe and America. These organizations selected a few of the world’s partner dances to innovate and make their own; essentially creating new styles of dances. So it is best to look at Ballroom Dancing as a subculture of Social Partner Dancing.
Today, we have 10 dances grouped to form the International style of ballroom dances, and we have 9 dances grouped to form the American style. Any other partner dance that is not part of the International or American styles of ballroom dances, can be referred to as social dances (two examples are Salsa and Lindy Hop). Don’t be surprised if the official International and American ballroom dance groups grow in number — Salsa, Argentine Tango, Hustle, Bachata and Merengue are often featured in American ballroom dance competitions in addition to the 9 official dances.