For better or worse, Hip Hop at Stanford is tied to performance whereas Social Dance is not. For example, Ronnie’s Fall quarter classes  at Stanford typically does a Halloween flashmob to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Each class also has a performance as the “final exam.” The thought of performing makes me feel nervous and awkward, but my “growth mindset” tries to push myself out of my comfort zone, so I ended up inviting a few friends last minute to the performances.

These performances let me show friends what I’ve been doing at some of my “mysterious” dance classes. There’s also a thrill to achieving a milestone in the form of completing a performance. Thanks to the prevalence of Hip Hop performances, many people are able to understand when I talk about taking Hip Hop class.

However, Social Dance has been difficult for me to explain. I could refer to Ballroom dancing. Or Dancing with the Stars. Or Danse Libre‘s performances:

But that’s like learning about romantic relationships through Disney movies. There’s so much more to love than the glamorous and fancy things you see on the screen. Often times, it’s the little stuff that makes a relationship beautiful. (OK, this may not be the best analogy, but a better analogy to an obscure topic wouldn’t help.)

In Social Dance, it’s often not about performing or showing off your skill in front of an audience. It’s often about the back-and-forth between the partners and the relationships and communities that cannot be seen in a performance.

This is part 3 of a series of posts on Hip Hop. Also check out Part 1 and Part 2.