Facebook brings us all together

I’ve often thought that one of the wonderful things about Facebook is its ability to allow like minded people to find each other, and share their enthusiasm for their chosen interest.  Most of us have a desire to be part of a social group and it’s part of the appeal of going to dance classes and locally organised freestyles.

Facebook Groups facilitate this desire to be part of a group of people with a shared interest, and I’ve recently come across one that I’ve become a bit of an advocate for.  But first let me discuss the place that Facebook groups play in our wonderful Modern Jive dance scene.

Local Facebook Groups promote inclusion

Most Modern Jive dance organisations have Facebook Group pages and joining up gives a great sense of inclusion.  Not only are you kept up to date with news of classes and freestyles, but you can see the reactions of other people to the events that you attend.

More importantly you have an opportunity to add your own comments, and for those more reserved members, who might not want to see their name up in lights, you can simply click the Like button to register your support.

Feedback is much appreciated

Few Modern Jive organisations are run purely for monetary gain.  The people who put on the classes and freestyles often do it out of a passion for social dancing, and so to see positive feedback for all their efforts must be greatly appreciated.  It’s not uncommon to see comments like the following:

Just wanted to say that myself and my friends had a great time at the freestyle last night.  Thanks to all the ladies for the fab dances.  Also loved the music – great to hear the round of applause at the end.  Thanks to all the crew who were still packing up long after we have all departed.  Can’t wait for the next one.

What’s really pleasing is to then see the number of Likes that comments like this get within hours of them being posted.  It must be wonderful for the organisers to get such positive feedback.

Want2Dance get some great feedback

As I was writing this article I got a notification that Steve Carr of Want2Dance in Melton Mowbray had posted a picture from their  Halloween themed class night.  Steve is always posting items and it was great to see the instant response he got to the picture.

Within 9 hours he had 13 Loves and Likes, 7 Comments and 2 shares. That’s quite an impressive response from what is a small group.  It just shows the sense of belonging that Steve has created with his Facebook Group.

Facebook Groups are a great place to promote my blog

Having decided to create a blog so that I could publish reviews of class nights and freestyles I attended, I soon realised that I had to promote it.  I worked out a strategy that has worked very well for me.  I would write the review and then post a link to the relevant organisations Facebook Group page.

The group members would then get a notification to say that someone had posted a link.  I would then monitor the response through the readership figures that Google Analytics gave me.  It was so pleasing to see that people would click through to my blog almost instantaneously and I would get a continuous stream of readers for the rest of the day.  Even more pleasing would be if anyone hit the Like button, or better still left a Comment.

Can I, at this stage, offer a big thank you to the dance organisations that have allowed me to share a link to my reviews.  Its been an invaluable help.

What the Feedback really means

It’s great to write a review or article and get feedback, but I soon realised that the Like button wasn’t necessarily being clicked because of my review.  It was a means of giving positive feedback to the organisation I was reviewing.  It’s quite typical to get the following type of comments posted under my links:

Completely agree Paul.  We always have a great time and the music is always fabulous.  It’s our favourite freestyle and we never miss it.

This freestyle is always well attended because we all love the music and the friendly people

I think it’s wonderful that these Facebook Groups give a channel for positive feedback to the people who run the classes and freestyles.

I’m always looking for new Facebook Groups to join

This need to promote my blog has meant that I’m always looking for new Facebook Groups to join.  Facebook is very clever, as it knows the things I’m interested in, and so keeps suggesting new Groups for me to join.  This is how I came across Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it!

Let’s see how many Modern Jivers are on Facebook

This particular Facebook Group has a nationwide following, and it’s aim is to provide a national chat room for all Modern Jivers.  Here’s what it says in its description:

Let’s see just how many Modern Jivers there are on Facebook! Treat this group as a chat room for Modern Jivers. Add all your dance friends!

Well they have signed up over three thousand people and the number is growing steadily. I like this idea of providing a national chat room and that’s why I want to add my blog’s support to this Facebook Group.

A place to promote Modern Jive events

The main activity on the Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it! page is the placing of adverts for Modern Jive events. These are mainly by independent organisations, though there are occasional ads for Ceroc events.

I love getting my updates, for it shows me just how many great events there are out there, in parts of the country I’ve yet to visit. I also love to see the enthusiasm that these events are promoted with – proving just how vibrant this dance community is. Here’s a recent postings on Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it!:

This promo for an extended class night with Dance Verve was tagged with the line ‘This is going to be a great night.’ I love that kind of enthusiasm.

This Facebook Group covers the nation

Looking at the postings you can see that this Facebook page covers the nation.  In just one 7 day period I saw postings from dance organisations in the following counties: Berkshire, Cheshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Somerset, Sussex, and Yorkshire.

When I looked at the postings over a whole month I found just about every corner of the UK was represented.  Many of the posting are promos for class nights, workshops and freestyles, but there are also posting like the one below from Keith Davis who runs Revolution Dance Freestyles in Northwich, Cheshire.

I think that these kind of postings with photographs are the best form of advertising as they show a packed dance hall, where everybody looks like they’re having a fabulous time.

Members in Scotland too

In October I wrote an article naming my Top 5 Freestyle venues and posted a link on Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it!  All the venues were in England.  I received this comment from  a lady in Scotland.

You haven’t been to Scotland yet Paul. You have that treat to come.

I immediately got in touch with the lady, and was told with great enthusiasm about a LeRoc Scotland Christmas Party Night in Glasgow. It’s now in my diary.

It just proves how vibrant the Modern Jive scene is

I’ll do my best to get to Scotland and do a review of the LeRoc Freestyle for my blog.  In fact as I’ve been researching this article I’ve found a whole list of places I’d love to get to in the coming year.  This proves just how active and energised this Facebook Group page is and, while I’m at it, just how vibrant the Modern Jive scene is.

Since I’ve been writing my blog some people have suggested to me that numbers at Modern Jive events are down.  Well it’s hard to believe this when you see the enthusiasm displayed all over the Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it! Facebook page.

Remember this is a Chat Room too

The people who started  Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it! also wanted it to become a chat room for Modern Jive.  Encouraged by this I decided to post a link to an article I’d written regarding Dance Tips for Ladies.  I’ll let the link I posted explain:

The response was quite staggering

This article not only gave tips to ladies wanting to make the leap from Class Nights to Freestyles, but it also discussed other issues regarding the etiquette surrounding Modern Jive.

The response was quite staggering and in less than two weeks the readership went over two thousand sessions.  It seems the article raised some important issues that perhaps needed airing.  If you’ve not read the article I’ve put a link at the bottom of the page.

I did put links on quite a few Facebook group, but the biggest response came from the link I posted on Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it!.  You can see that the article was shared fourteen times on this page alone, proving just how engaged the readership is.

Thank you to the lady in Dundee

One kind lady shared the article to a dance group in Dundee.  This was then shared by someone from that group to another Facebook page.  Suddenly the map on my Google Analytics page started flashing places up all over Scotland.

I’ve had so many interesting comments about my article that I’m planning on writing a follow up article in a couple of weeks.  You can be sure I’ll be posting a link on Modern Jive If you dance it, Join it! when it’s done.

I hope more people will use this Forum

For those of us that have a passion for modern jive dancing, this Facebook Group page offers a vibrant platform to share the wonderful things we love about it.  I hope that more people will post comments about their joy of dancing and their appreciation of the people who run these wonderful social gatherings.

Please click here to read my article on Dance Tips for Ladies