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Articles of Interest » Dance Tips » Dance Etiquette

Dance Etiquette

Author:
Anon

Dance Etiquette
Like many things, ballroom dance has general rules regarding appropriate etiquette. We enforce these guidelines to make dancing more enjoyable for everyone.
No Dance Wax - Ballroom dance shoes have suede bottoms. Grit and particles damage our shoes.
Bring Shoes - Bring a different pair of shoes to wear for dancing. They don't have to be ballroom dance shoes, but you should not have worn them to the dance. This helps to prevent damaging the floor by minimizing tracked-in dirt and sidewalk grime and helps to avoid slippery surfaces.
Clear The Dance Floor - If you are not dancing, please move off the dance floor.
Line Of Dance - Traveling dances (quickstep, foxtrot, waltz, Viennese waltz, tango) are danced around the edges of the floor and travel counterclockwise. However, spot dances (swing, rumba, cha-cha, mambo, salsa, west coast swing) are danced at the center of the floor. It is possible and totally correct for some people to be dancing a fox trot or quickstep while others are dancing a swing, so it is very important to observe this convention to avoid collisions.
Traveling Dances - When doing a traveling dance, the fast lanes dance on the outside of the circle. The slow lanes dance on the inside of the circle.
Personal Space - You may see some dancers use a very close dance position called five points of contact. However, not everyone is comfortable with dancing so close to someone he or she might not know. Let the less experienced dancer set the appropriate distance when dancing in a close position.
Be Courteous - Be aware of how your movements affect other people, and be courteous of their space.
Share your Talents - Dance with others that have no partner



Dance Tips for Leaders
A "smart" lead is far superior to a "strong" lead. Strength is not a requirement for good leading techniques. Leaders who grip their partners too tightly and push them around the dance floor make dancing quite uncomfortable and, sometimes, dangerous for the follower.
Two important tips for a leader
1. The leader should move his ENTIRE body as a unit and not just his feet. The upper body movement is the primary communicator of direction for the follower. If a leader moves only his feet and leaves his body behind, all he will accomplish is stepping on his partner.
2. Only 2 or 3 fingers are required to indicate the direction and tempo of the follower's turn. The follower turns herself. She just needs to know where to turn and how many times to turn. Trying to "crank" a follower through turns with exaggerated arm movements will only throw her off balance and possibly lead to a fall.