Everyone in this country is familiar with Ceilidh dancing. What makes Ceilidh dancing good is that you can learn a dance in 5 minutes. None of the moves are very subtle and everything is coreographed so you get told where to step and when.

By contrast Salsa dancing is freeform which means you have to decide what to do and you keep bumping into people. Salsa has 3 or 4 basic steps which all involve stepping off and onto a central point, you always rest on the fourth beat. The leader (male) has to give hand signals to the follower (female) on what the next step will be. That’s tricky, especially when you’ve been taught by different teachers with different ideas of which hand signals means what.

The Edinburgh Tango Society do free beginners classes on Sundays. Tango is even more subtle than Salsa. There are only 3 basic steps: back, foward and sideways. Generally the leader only does forwards and the follower only backwards. It’s very easy to bump into people if they arn’t going fast enough. You have to be graceful too, whereas in Ceilidh and Salsa you’re ment to bop around lots, in Tango you have to keep your head steady when walking around. You signal with your body which means the follower has to spend their time staring at the torso of the leader.

Suggestions for other interesting styles of dance to learn welcome.

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