Slow dance

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For other uses, see Slow dance (disambiguation).
"Slow dancing" redirects here. For the song by U2, see Stay (Faraway, So Close!).

A slow dance is a type of partner dance in which a couple dance slowly, swaying to the music. This is usually done to very slow-beat songs.

"Slow dancing" can refer to any slow couple dance (such as certain ballroom dances), but is often associated with a particular, simple style of dance performed by middle school, high school and college students.[1] When two partners dance together, the lead partner typically holds their hands against the sides of the following partner's hips or waist while the follower drapes their hands on the leader's shoulders. The couple then sways back and forth with the music. Foot movement is minimal, but the pair may use their feet to slowly turn on the spot. Because the dance requires little physical concentration, participants often talk to each other while dancing. Some couples who have a close relationship may dance very closely together, in a "hug-and-sway" fashion.[2] Slow dancing is often considered to be just hugging and swaying, rather than an actual dance.

This simple form of slow dancing is common at dances sponsored by schools or by religious organizations, such as churches or synagogues. In Western popular culture, slow dancing can serve as a symbol of adolescent social awkwardness.[1]

People slow dancing at a wedding


Slow dancing is usually when the female partner puts her hands on the male partner's shoulders or neck, and the male partner puts his arms on her waist or lower back. The distance between the two is usually 15-30 centimeters, depending on the desired level of intimacy. The couple looks into each other's eyes and talks casually. Slow dancing can end with a kiss or hug.


  1. ^ a b Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 445. ISBN 978-0-7407-5118-9. 
  2. ^ Pruter, Robert (1992). Chicago Soul. University of Illinois Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-252-06259-9.