Social Dancing Etiquettes
Success in a social activity requires awareness of accepted norms of behavior. The importance of dance etiquette to the social dancer can hardly be overstated. Etiquette is important everywhere, but especially in dancing, a delicate activity where unpleasantness has no place.
Dance communities tend to be fairly small, giving a nice self-enforcing characteristic to dance etiquette. Inconsiderate individuals may temporarily enjoy themselves at other dancers' expense. But they quickly develop a reputation, mostly unbeknownst to them, and become outcasts. A good reputation, as a considerate and enjoyable partner, is a social dancer's best asset.
In the following we touch on a few of the more important aspects.
What we discussed so far is usually considered the domain of dance etiquette. Anyone who consistently violates the rules of dance etiquette will eventually be shunned in the local dance community, so the first step towards success in dancing is to follow the rules of dance etiquette
- Never blame your partner for anything that may happen on the dance floor. Not if you want him/her to dance with you again.
- A request for a dance must be accepted under almost all circumstances. If you decline a dance, you yourself cannot dance until the end of that song.
- No unsolicited teaching on the dance floor! There is a good chance this will make your partner feel small and humiliated. Not exactly a great way of encouraging him/her, or others, to dance with you.
- Do not monopolize a partner on the dance floor. Dancers are polite and rarely say no to a dance, but this is no carte blanche to impose on their kindness. Dance with everyone, and let everyone dance.
- On the floor, be considerate of the other couples. Exercise good floorcraft; do not cut other couples off; no aerials or choreographed steps on the dance floor.