What would people say is the most popular social partner dance right now for 20-somethings? Salsa? Swing? Looking to learn a dance to meet people around my age-range. I live in New England, but I'm curious about the national/global trends as well.
Depends where in New England. There's a huge Swing scene in Boston... it might even be more popular than Salsa there. It's more jitterbug/lindy style though than anything.
Generally I'd say the list is as follows for 20-35:
1. Salsa (on1 except in NYC, but even then you see on1 there too)
2. West Coast Swing
I met a guy that was 25 last weekend that was really into hustle, as were his friends. It was actually a really nice surprise. But hustle & kizomba are more or less outliers. I've only encountered them in select places.
The easiest way to dance around the world is to learn tango. You will find social tango events almost everywhere (except rural areas) and you will find very openminded people that are use to change partners after about five songs. Tango especially in asia is a rising dance. But be aware, it's not the easiest project to learn tango, but it's one that serves for the rest of your life.
IME, salsa dominates, todo mundo.. A/T. is not even close in the UK for one ex. even in very rural areas, and in Atlanta for another ex, same applies .
Music sales of salsa, has more releases in one month, than any other genre,( check the music sites ) a good indicator of its popularity..
The real upside of salsa, is one does not need a partner, and IF you are male, you are better served by the genre, particularly if you excel.
My suggestion for the poster ; try a few classes in each, then make your choice .
Being a 20 something myself, I find your question very interesting! I am wondering if the answer to this question differs greatly based on geographical location. Being from Switzerland and spending a lot of my time amoung youths at a year round snowboard / ski resort, I am seeing the local youth dance scene at the base village of the glacier.
After a day of flying down the slopes and half pipes, the locals often gather at the base village and from what I see of the youths here:
1. freestyle dance usually done to techno / electronic / Eurobeat music
2. hip hop
4. country (yes, this is not a mistake, country! some maverick snowboarders from Colorado brought this scene over and some people in their 20s actually are trying this out over here)
I think you should look at the regional trend and the community instead of solely focusing on numbers. Personally I find it hard to make new friends in the latin community as well as country western.. East coast swing/Lindyhop people are super friendly, and you get to meet a lot of new folks. West coast swing is growing among younger people because it's danced to pop songs, but in some areas are still dominated by the older generation of dancers. In large cities (LA, Austin, NYC, etc.) you'll find places with large proportion of young people. Westies are generally friendly though. Zouk/kizomba scenes are growing too and are mainly danced by younger people, but since it's relatively new to the US the scenes vary a lot.
Globally I'd say salsa, but it's more important for you to like the dance/community in your region first. Don't do ballroom. It's really not suited for meeting new people. Or hustle. West coast swing is the new hustle.