Ballroom social dancing and ballroom dance sport are both forms of ballroom dancing, but they have some important differences.
Ballroom social dancing is typically done in a social setting, such as a dance party or event, and the focus is on having fun and enjoying the music and company. Dancers may improvise and adapt steps to suit their own abilities and preferences, and there are generally no set rules or judging criteria. The atmosphere is usually less formal, and partners may change throughout the night.
Ballroom dance sport, on the other hand, is a competitive form of ballroom dancing. Dancers typically practice and compete in specific, standardized styles of dance, such as the Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Quickstep. There are specific rules and judging criteria, and dancers are often required to wear formal attire. The goal is to perform the dance as accurately and skillfully as possible, and to be judged as the best by a panel of judges.
Another main difference is that ballroom social dancing is often more relaxed and spontaneous, while ballroom dance sport is more formal and choreographed. In social dancing, dancers might have more freedom to improvise, move around the floor and interact with other people while they are dancing. In dance sport, there is a strict set of rules and dancers are expected to follow the rules and perform precise figures.
While social dancing is usually done for fun, dance sport is a serious activity, requiring discipline, dedication, and hard work. To be successful, dance sport competitors typically spend many hours training and rehearsing, often with a professional dance coach. Social dancers may also take classes, but it is not as focused or intense.
Finally, it’s worth noting that there are other forms of ballroom dancing such as dancing for fitness, recreation and entertainment for stage performances. That can be a mix of elements of both social and sport ballroom dancing.
In conclusion, while both ballroom social dancing and ballroom dance sport are forms of ballroom dancing, they have different focuses, settings, and goals. Social dancing is done for fun and enjoyment in a casual setting, while dance sport is a competitive activity that requires discipline and dedication.