Hey, it’s SOCIAL Dancing. Here are some general customs and etiquette.
Using some simple social graces is a great idea to better everyone’s dance time! Help us create an awesome atmosphere for everyone on or off the dance floor!
Hopefully, all genders are comfortable asking for dances. If you simply are too uncomfortable to do so, best to mention it or it can be viewed by others as disinterest. Smile and make eye contact. Say hello and introduce yourself. Staring?….not!
Say YES if asked unless you are tired, injured or don’t know the dance. “I’m sorry, but I am very tired and need to sit one out. Could we dance the next one?”. Note that it’s very bad form to turn one person down and then ask someone else or accept another dance during that song.
Leaving the dance? “I’m sorry, I am on my way out. Raincheck?” Promised another person the dance? “I’m sorry, I’ve promised this song to someone else. Could we dance the next one?”. Uncomfortable with a person? Let that person know “I’m sorry but last time we danced, it was uncomfortable. I need a gentler lead (or insert other diplomatically worded reason).” If you are not comfortable explaining why, then just a simple “no thank you,” will suffice. If there is any possibility of injury we encourage you to notify us so we can address the issue.
It’s customary to dance one or two dances with one person, then invite someone else to dance.
Try to dance at your partner’s level. Ladies, make your partners feel and look good and do your best! Leaders, focus on making your partner safe and comfortable. Good basics and being considerate goes a long way. Followers are not impressed by constant fancy patterns that are rough and difficult to follow, but are impressed with a good lead.
Teaching while dancing is rude unless requested to do so by your partner. This is a common complaint! People find it annoying to be told “let me show you how to do that,” or “you are doing that wrong.”
After your dance, walk with your partner off the floor or to their next partner. Thank your partner for the dance.
Clean and freshen before classes and dance parties. Clean and appropriate clothing…shower or bathe…brush and mouthwash. We keep mints at the dances so help yourself! Keep cologne and perfume very light but heavy on the deodorant.
Wash your hands a few times throughout the evening. It’s a must after you use the bathroom. Hand sanitizer is good to keep with you.
Clothing for Group Dance Classes is usually casual or sporty. Stay away from sleeveless tops. If you sweat a lot, consider bringing a change of clothes or towel. Long hair is best in a bun since pony tails can whip your partner in the face. These notes apply also for parties, where clothing can be casual, dressy or “theme-appropriate”.
Dance Floor Neighborly Notes
Progressive dances (like Foxtrot, Waltz, Country Two-Step, etc.) travel around the dance floor counter-clockwise (called the “line of dance”). If you are doing stationary patterns or dances (swing, hustle, Latin, etc.) which stay mostly in one spot, stay towards the center of the floor.
Don’t block the flow of the dance. Leave room for couples to Foxtrot or Two-Step in the outside lanes of the dance floor while you swing in the middle. Moving slower? Then stay in the inside lane. Moving faster? Outside lane.
Share floor space with all dancers, regardless of level. Apologize if you bump into someone or step on their feet (regardless of whose fault). This goes for your partner as well as other dancers on the floor.
Dancing at a bar or lounge? Order at least bottled drinking water and tip the staff generously. Support them and hopefully they will continue to offer dancing. Applaud the band or DJ at the end of songs.
Aerials are NOT allowed on the social dance floor as they can be inconsiderate and dangerous. Save them for competitions and performances. Also use caution when doing dips, drops, and tricks. Make sure to have space, consent, and knowledge!