Dance Floor Etiquette for Social Dancing
Here are some good tips:
• Don't try things in a crowded club that you have not mastered through practice first in an uncrowded place.
• Women should refuse to execute moves that they know the partner hasn't the skills to lead when it puts her (and others) at risk
• Same for the guys, some of the women are crazy - don't let them be.
• Dont teach on the social dance floor. If you have to work out a dance move that your dance partner is happy to go over, please do this on the side or in another space. Stopping in the middle of the dance floor to talk over a dance move is just weird and inappropriate. It's usually considered very rude to give a mid dance lesson while social dancing. Some absolute beginners might appreciate it but most people do not appreciate non solicited advice, this usually is the same in dance classes as well. If you can't lead a move then either your dance partner isn't the level required, or the lead might not as well. Just go onto a move that your partner can have fun with and consider more practice.
• Don't walk through the middle of the dance floor, this is for dancing! Instead walk around the outside so you don't injure yourself or others.
• The men are leading the women as though they are driving a car in traffic - so the men MUST be aware of the surroundings and know that when the partner finishes a move - will the space already be occupied by another moving couple?
• Dips & Tricks are usually dangerous and not recommended. There have been very bad injuries from such things. These should only be done with someone who know what they are doing with much control and with a lead & follow who usually dance and train together. Also when the dance floor isn't busy. Organisers have been known to ban dancers for dangerous moves.
• Small controlled steps will prevent all of those painful instep injuries that result when beginning dancers take big steps - especially on the back step - and step on other dancers.
What is dance floor etiquette?
The art of dancing, whether good or bad, in your own space. The art of not being all over the dance floor, unaware of or totally oblivious to the other people dancing around you. The art of having consideration for other dancers and of not intruding into their space, just as you wouldn't want them to intrude into yours. A problem today is that too many people want to show off, whether they have the ability or not, or if they do - whether or not they have space. They want to turn, dip, flip and spin and don't seem to care that there are others on the dance floor, too. Every dancer must adopt the philosophy of dancing in the "slot", remaining in their own space, completely aware of who is around them and of how much space exists between them and the other couples. If the dance floor is crowded, don't try to dip your partner or to do a fancy turn combination because it will put your partner in someone else's space and put your partner at risk. Learn to dance in a "contained" manner. If the floor is really open and empty, only then can you get fancy. If the floor is crowded, contain yourself, stay in your space.
Guys, remember that you are the one who leads the lady into everything that she does "normally". You must be in control at all times and know where you are leading her, without invading another couple's space.
Ladies, if you are dancing with someone who is twirling you like a top, who has no control and who has you out of control - stop dancing, even if you have to pretend you suddenly have a sore foot! or let your partner know that he needs to work on his control. You do not want to be at risk because he hasn't the control to lead you well. If he does not listen, if he shows no consideration, then politely excuse yourself off the dance floor. Do not embarrass yourself or the person you are dancing with. It is preferable to being hurt yourself and preferable to hurting someone else.
Guys, dance to the level of your partner, if you are dancing with someone who does not know how to turn, who does not have the footwork, or who is herself wild, let her know that it is unbecoming or that she should take lessons. If you are not a dance Instructor yourself, then recommend someone that can help. Advise her to always be more conscious of the dancers around her.
It is our mission to make New Zealand and the Dance communities of the world safer by having ALL dancers be more aware and considerate of each other. We need to pass this message on to others. Please cut and paste it into emails of your dancer friends. Let's all be conscious leaders, followers and messengers of proper DANCE FLOOR ETIQUETTE