What are the 4 types of social dance?

You can find the first four types on page 3 of the Social Dancing in Europe section.

1. The Traditional Social Dance – is a dance that is played by hand on one end of a string or danceboard. You play the other end while looking at the spectator.

2. The Ballade Social Dance – is a dance that is played by hand on a platform with a dancer and a dancer and an audience. Ballade and ballad dance are quite simple compared to other social dance types. Ballade dances are very common in medieval times and they are played by a variety of musicians.

The social dances have lots of rules!


They all have a set of rules. In many cases the rules are not only about how they should be played, but it’s also about how they should be performed.

For example, the social dance rules for ballad:

Ballade – the ballad social dance is played by a performer with a stick (called a “balcony”) on which a ball is held. The ball can be held for the sake of the dance, as it’s just a decoration. There is an audience which consists of players (called “wanderers”) but not the spectators.

Ballade social dance can be played by both players and spectators. As a rule it is best learned by a number of players working together in a small group to develop it.

If the ball cannot be held properly, or if it gets tangled, you are not allowed to play it any more. It is better to play it in an open area on a floor, in the middle of the room.

The dancer may not hold his hand too tightly, or may not hold his hands at all, just the other way round. It is more acceptable to wear only a black glove in his left hand.

There are usually two or three dancers on stage at the same time.

Ballade and ballad social dance are both danced for fun, and can be a good way to relax and socialize.

It can be played in any style of music the listener can have, but music may always be a factor.

You can play ballad social dance when you have spare time (or after work), because it would be interesting to play on an empty stage!

In all social dances it is not a good idea to bring alcohol, or even a drink for yourself.

In ballad social dances the audience members