Ballroom Dance Basics
In the past dance classes were often required of many young men and women as they entered society. T...
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Dance Floor Etiquette

Taking the time to learn proper dance etiquette can make the process of dancing more enjoyable and relaxing. If you are just starting out as a dancer it is important to keep in mind that everyone, regardless of current skill level, was a beginner at one time. While you may admire the skill of someone else on the dance floor it should be noted they have most likely be dancing and practicing those skills for some time. This should not discourage you but rather encourage you. Toward this end it is important not to focus on what you do not know but instead on enjoying the process.

When you are first learning to dance and even after you have been dancing for some time it is important to work at dancing with partners of all skill and experience levels. This will not only enhance your own skills but also help you to improve as well. There is a common temptation for beginners to stick with beginners because they are often afraid to dance with anyone more experienced. This proves to be limiting for everyone; however.

One of the most important etiquettes to follow when dancing is to always treat others as you would wish to be treated. Remember that everyone had to start somewhere and is always on the path to improving.

While it is important to make eye contact while dancing it is also important not to make so much eye contact that you are perceived to be staring down your partner. Try focusing on your partner’s shoulder instead.

If you are leading, be sure you are conscious of your partner’s skill and adjust your lead when necessary. If you are following, avoid the temptation to back lead or otherwise try to take over from your partner. Dancers who are conscious of their partner and adapt when necessary are usually the most popular dancers, regardless of skill.

If you do make a mistake and a move is not executed perfectly do not feel as though you need to apologize. After all, the point is to have fun, not achieve perfection.

After you have finished a dance, always be sure to thank your partner.

If you are dancing during a live performance it is quite acceptable and polite to clap when a song is finished. It is also considered polite to clap for a DJ when a set is finished.

When it comes time to ask someone for a dance, take the time to be aware of what the person is doing. It is impolite to interrupt a conversation for the purpose of asking for a dance. The request should always be phrased politely. It is also important to understand the norms within your area regarding consecutive dances. In some areas only one dance at a time is considered to be polite. Other areas may allow for two consecutive dances. Either way, never make assumptions. Always ask your partner first whether they would want another dance.

If you are asked to dance and wish to decline it is sufficient to say “No, thank you.” Avoid the temptation to make up a reason. Be honest and direct. Making up an excuse as to why you can’t dance and then accepting a dance from someone else during the same song can be the height of rudeness. It’s far better to simply decline.

If you have asked someone to dance and they refuse, try to avoid taking it personally. There could be many reasons why someone might refuse. Be aware it is acceptable to ask again, but you should give them time before following up with a second request. Ideally, you should allow several songs to pass before requesting another dance.
 
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