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Dance is an expensive hobby. We pay for shoes, training, and… socials. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are many ways to get an entire night of dancing for free! Not all of these strategies will work at all venues – but hopefully at least one of them will help you in your pursuit of more affordable dance fixes.

1 – Have a friend help you in the back door

Many socials have a second entrance that’s not patrolled. Even if the door is locked, a friend on the inside can help you pop open the door. If you do this, it’s like having two-for-one admission.

2 – Wait until registration isn’t watching

At a lot of places, registration desk volunteers may step away for a few moments. If you’re patient, you can take advantage of these lapses, and enter the venue. This works especially well at venues that have an honour system in place.

3 – Wait until primetime is over

Many socials stop guarding doors in the last couple hours of an event. This is a great way to get a couple free hours in before the end of the night – especially if the event is local.

4 – Get there before cover starts

Some places may not have a registration person on duty until after event hours start. This strategy again requires a little patience, but can net you an entire evening of free social dancing.

5 – Introduce yourself as someone on the guest list

If you don’t know the registration people that well, you can introduce yourself as someone you know is on the guest list. They’ll be fine when they get there; the organizer will come over and vouch for them. But, you get free entry out of the deal!

And Lastly…

Ironically, I have seen many of the above in my time as an organizer. But, if you are part of a social scene, keep in mind that paying attendees is what allows a dance scene to exist at all. If you lack funds, volunteer or get involved. However, please never, ever stoop to this. This type of behaviour can destroy a scene super quickly.

So, next time (and any time) you are at a social, pay your cover. Support the bar. Donate your time. If you want a thriving scene, be part of the success – not a dance parasite.

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