Social Dance Etiquette
by Dave Wong
From personal experience, and through reading various articles,
here are my thoughts on proper etiquette on the social dance floor.
Since this is a social dance, it makes sense to be polite. Always
ask a potential dance partner to dance. Do not yank, pull,
drag or otherwise do anything that could well be considered harassment
- a law-abiding citizen wouldn't normally do this to a stranger
-- same thing applies at a dance venue.
You and your partner are really feeling the groove, the music swings
so hard the two of you are practically oblivious to the world around
you. Suddenly, WHAP! one of you bumps/steps on/crashes into another
couple. What do you do?
Apologize. If you are a leader, you ultimately are responsible
for where you place your partner, but as a couple, you should both
be aware of your surroundings.
Now, we live in a society with lots of people, and it's always
cool to make new friends. However, if someone does or says something
to make you uncomfortable, please do let someone (like the dance
organizers) know. Use common sense here.
Sitting Out a Dance
It's okay to refuse someone a dance because you're resting, or
you dislike the song being played but you should refrain from dancing
with someone else for that one song.
Refusing to Dance
On the same note, you have every right to refuse to dance with
someone for whatever personal reasons you have. In that case, you
have to option of being honest and tell him/her you don't want to
dance with them. Let them know that, "No really means no."
Teaching on the Dance Floor
Don't do it! This is a social dance, and being social doesn't
mean critiquing your partner's dancing abilities. If, however, the
person doesn't know a thing and is willing to learn, the proper
thing to do is to scoot on over to a corner, out of the way of other
dancers, and give maybe a very small lesson. In any case, it may
be best to refer them to your favorite instructor(s).
No aerials on the social dance floor. Aerials really are specialized
choreography that the partners both need to know, and that requires
a lot more space than is usually available on the social dance floor.
In addition, performing aerials during social dancing greatly imperils
the health and happiness of your fellow dancers. Think Jet Li doing
a number on your head that's what can happen.