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Recreational dancer

               The Term "Recreational dancer" (or the " I just do this for fun") was coined by John Martin in 1939, when he wrote about dance in his book " Introduction to the Dance." This term mainly applies to Ballroom or couples type dancing, from Hustle to Swing to Salsa to Tango to Waltz etc.

Martin Wrote:
     "The Recreational dance is a play in perhaps the least rationalized form practicable for the social use, and in it, if we see it in its essential nature, we are able to find release for many of our expressions and return to the arbitrary disciplines of the social scheme refreshed and healthy of mind."

     Today it has the same meaning, except we see that the recreational dancer or the "I just do this for fun" (and they generally do!") is the least trained of any dancer, these "Recreational dancers" know just enough of any dance to be able to mix in with a group of social dancers, ask lots of questions, and usually walk around like they know a lot more than what they do, thus generally confusing most people in that they represent the Social structure or Social Dancer of dance, thereby the general population thinking of a social dancers level of dance being much lower than in reality. Social dancers have a generally high training in the dance (s) they love to do and take it much more seriously than the "recreational dancer," but far less so than the Competition dancer and higher, and the Competition dancer far less so than the Champion dancer...etc.

dance advancement order example, (can vary, depending on time put in, dance background):
1) Non-Dancer (no adult training - can be every night in spurts)
2) Recreational Dancer (can be forever! - once a month type)
3) Beginner (0-1 years - goes to dances, lessons 1-2 times a week)
4) Intermediate (1-3 years dances, Lessons 2-3 times a week, tries to teach everyone)
5) Social Dancer [most popular] (2yrs. & up - dances 3-7 nights a week, some lessons, usually group)
6) Advanced social dancer (3-5 years - dances 3-5 nights a week, usually takes more privates than group lessons)
7) Competition Dancer (4-7+ years - dances 2-4 nights a week, usually a Advanced to Champion who does not teach, usually takes privates only)
8) All Star (5-8 years+. - Usually low level Champion dancer in some field of dance. Usually not a teacher, Not yet Champion level, takes privates only)
9) Champion Dancer (7-10 + years - dances 5-10 times a month, may teach, usually not. Usually works only with Dance Legends)
10) Dance Star! (Master) (14+ years - Champion dancer, varies by schedule, usually Choreo and teaches at events/comps. Can Judge, Choreo for the competition dancers)
11) Master Dancer (20+ years, varies, ex Champion, can be retired from competing, was successful competitor, usually teaches full time, Judges, coaching, choreo, events)
12) Dance Legend ... (30 + years who is very successful and well known and respected / Honored / Awarded - taught / teaches dance, competed, judged, promoted etc., ... usually Coaches All-Star/Champion+ up dancers that compete. Usually Teach and or Judges at more prestigious events).

FYI: The terms "Dance Teacher" and "PRO" are "NOT a Level of Dance" ... It Just means that they "attempt" to do it for money, doesn't mean they are successful or good at dance either, some are. Also lengths of dance are singular ... not cumulative (your partners years are not added to your years IE: Over 25 years experiance between the two of us).

Anyways you get the idea!, So from now on, call em "Recreational dancers," don't include them as social dancers!

Birth Place

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n/a 1939 n/a ALL

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Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Published Publisher
Dance Encyclopedia Chujoy, Anatole 1949 A.S. Barnes




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March 26, 2013