How to Approach Dance Lessons
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Common Dance Courtesies

Learning to dance involves learning a number of different complicated steps and maneuvers; however, it also involves learning how to approach dancing with common courtesy.

Avoid showing off complicated moves when the dance floor is particularly crowded. This can result in problems for everyone, including possible injuries.

It is also important to learn how dances are classified in order to know how you should move about the floor. In this regard dances are classified as either spot or progressive. For spot dances, including the rumba, cha cha and swing, the couple should try to remain in the area where they are dancing as much as possible and avoid invading the space of other dancers. In progressive dances; however, such as the waltz or foxtrot, dancers should move around the floor in a counterclockwise manner.

In the event the music would allow more than one type of dance, dancers who can dance spot dances should try to move about the floor in a manner so as to allow others to move more freely on the floor.

When you are entering the dance floor, try to avoid interfering with others who are already dancing on the floor. Be sure to respect others, particularly if they are moving toward you. Avoid stopping on the dance floor for any reason, if it is make conversation with other dancers or discuss how a particular dance should be approached. If you need to stop for any reason, leave the dance floor, so as to not interrupt or block anyone else. As you exit the dance floor be sure to walk around other dancers.

Always make sure you are executing good manners when on the dance floor. If you do happen to accidentally bump into someone on the floor be considerate and apologize.

When it comes to asking someone to dance, be aware that it is perfectly acceptable for a lady to ask a gentleman to dance. There is nothing wrong with this. That said; however, it is important to attempt to occupy a partner too much. The general rule of thumb regarding this is to avoid asking the same person to dance more than twice during the same event. This rule is generally true for both women and men. If you refuse a dance, do consider telling the other individual that you would like to dance at a later time if you have a good reason for refusing the first invitation.

When dancing on the floor, especially if you are leading, avoid executing moves that might hurt your partner. Try to be aware of your partner’s skill and avoid moves that might be too advanced for them. It is perfectly fine to dip a partner but not if you feel that your partner might be afraid or might be hurt in doing so. Remember that not all dances must be finished with a dip. The basic rule of thumb is that dips should only be performed when you feel you can do it successfully. Ideally, it’s a good idea to ask your partner first, especially if you plan a complex dip and/or if you are dancing with someone you do not know well.

Be aware that trick moves, such as drops and aerials, should not be performed during social dance events. Injuries can occur, particularly if the dance floor is crowded. In the event you do plan to perform a trick move, always be sure to ask your partner first. Never spring such a move on your partner as a surprise and always be aware of what is going on around you before considering such a move.
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