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Social Dance Floor Etiquette

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Dance floor etiquette embodies the art of dancing within your own space, demonstrating consideration for fellow dancers, and being aware of your surroundings.

Salsa Dance Social dancing

Here are some valuable guidelines for dancing safely and considerately:

  1. Practice Before Trying in Crowded Clubs: Before attempting new moves in a crowded club, make sure you have mastered them through practice in a less crowded setting.

  2. Consider Partner's Skills: Women should avoid executing moves that their partners may not have the necessary skills to lead, especially if it puts anyone at risk.

  3. Be Wary of Partners: Similarly, men should be cautious of dancing with partners who may exhibit reckless behavior, ensuring everyone's safety.

  4. Avoid Teaching on the Dance Floor: Refrain from giving impromptu dance lessons on the social dance floor. If you need to work on a move, find a separate space or the sidelines.

  5. Respect Others' Space: Walking through the middle of the dance floor can be dangerous. Instead, walk around the outside to avoid potential injuries.

  6. Stay Aware of Surroundings: Men, as leads, must be mindful of the surroundings and anticipate any potential collisions with other dancing couples.

  7. Dips & Tricks: These moves can pose huge risks if not executed properly. Only consider attempting them with a partner whom you have practiced with extensively and are both at a good skill level. It is essential that your partner is experienced and exhibits good control, preferably on a less crowded dance floor.

  8. Aerial lifts & Drops: Please be advised that performing aerial lifts, which involve lifting your dance partner off the ground, or executing drops that result in your partner being dropped to the ground during social dancing, are strictly forbidden. Engaging in such actions may lead to an immediate ban from the dance venue. It is important to note that these maneuvers are not permitted on the social dance floor due to their potential danger in a social setting.

  9. Opt for Small Controlled Steps: Beginners should focus on small, controlled steps to prevent painful injuries caused by accidentally stepping on others, especially on the back step.


What is Dance Floor Etiquette?

Dance floor etiquette embodies the art of dancing within your own space, demonstrating consideration for fellow dancers, and being aware of your surroundings. It means refraining from being overly exuberant and mindful of not intruding into others' dance area, just as you wouldn't want them to intrude into yours. Unfortunately, the present issue lies in some individuals' desire to show off, regardless of their skill level or the available space. They attempt intricate moves, turns, dips, and spins, seemingly disregarding the presence of others on the dance floor.


Every dancer should embrace the philosophy of dancing within their "slot," maintaining their space while remaining acutely aware of the proximity to other couples. In crowded dance floors, avoiding ambitious dips or complicated turn combinations is crucial, as it risks encroaching on others' space and jeopardizes the safety of your partner. The key is to dance in a "contained" manner in such circumstances. Only in spacious and empty dance floors can you indulge in more elaborate moves.


For men, remember that you are responsible for leading your partner throughout the dance. Exercise control and awareness, ensuring that you do not intrude on another couple's territory.


Ladies, if your partner lacks control and puts you at risk with wild or uncontrolled movements, it is crucial to address the issue. Politely communicate your concerns, and if necessary, excuse yourself from the dance floor. Your safety and that of others should always take precedence.


Men, adapt your dancing to the skill level of your partner. If she needs improvement in certain aspects, suggest taking lessons or seeking guidance from a dance instructor. Encourage her to be more conscious of the dancers around her.


Our collective mission is to foster a safer dance environment in New Zealand and beyond by promoting awareness and consideration among all dancers. Let's pass this message on to others by sharing and spreading the importance of proper dance floor etiquette through emails and conversations. Together, as conscious leaders, followers, and messengers, we can elevate the enjoyment and safety of dance for everyone involved.



Partner Dance Etiquette


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