Dance Floor Etiquette
We would like for all to have a good time dancing! To help your fellow dancers have a good time, please keep the following in mind:
Start by introducing yourself to new people, dance, smile and have a terrific time. Never blame a partner for missed executions or other mishaps. The better dancer bears a greater responsibility and accepting the blame is always welcome. Better dancers should always dance at the level of their partners. Make sure your partner enjoys the dance and thank them at the end of the dance.
All Levels Are Welcome
We welcome dancers of all levels, from beginners to experienced. We ask experienced dancers to welcome newcomers and help them learn. Foremost, be kind and do not criticize. (meaning do not give instructions while doing a social dance. Do not tell someone how a move should be done, if not done right). If your partner does ask how a certain move is supposed to go, it may be o.k. to explain it as simply as you can without making them feel bad.
Rotate Partners/No Partner Necessary
Lessons work best if dancers rotate partners so that everyone gets a chance to dance. Dancing with one partner the entire evening it not the best way to learn social dancing, but if that is what you prefer, that is o.k. too.
Say Yes to the Dance
For many people, particularly beginners, being declined for a dance can be difficult, therefore, declining a dance should be avoided under most circumstances. The only acceptable ways of declining a dance are (a) you are sitting out the dance for a rest, (b) you do not know the dance, or (c) you have promised the dance to someone else. If while sitting the dance out, someone comes along and asks you to dance, just say “the next dance”.
Leads and Follows
It is perfectly acceptable to ask anyone for a dance, regardless of gender. Some people only know the leader role, some only know the follower role, and some know both. So sort it out with your partner on preferences. We are all here to dance.
No smoking in the building. Please step outside to smoke.
CLEANLINESS: After a long day of work or other chores one may not realize it but we do get sweaty and not so sweet smelling, SO do take a shower before the dance. Some people have come to the dance after work or other sweaty activity and not taken and shower and smelling as a result. Take the time to take a shower. Your partner will appreciate it.
SWEAT-SOAKED ATTIRE: Bringing an extra shirt or dress is advisable. Many dancers that tend to become very sweaty, have learned to bring that extra shirt or dress to change into during dance. This to avoid your partner feeling awkward touching sweat soaked tops or shirts.
PERFUMES & FRAGANCES: Heavy use may cause some people that are allergic to them to become uncomfortable. Minimize the perfume and fragrances.
BREATH: Please be aware of bad breath. We provide minted chewing gum at the front table.
Avoid any accessories that may snag or injure a partner such as belt buckles, long necklaces, big rings, or brooches. Some people enjoy dressing in period attire, but most people come to the dances and workshops in normal street clothing. We invite you to wear whatever will make you feel more like dancing!
Food and Beverages
Food and beverages should be kept off the dance floor. O.k. at the sidelines where there is usually a table nearby to place food and drinks.
Line of Dance
On the dance floor, the line of dance is counterclockwise around the perimeter of the floor (Waltz, Foxtrot and many other dances move along a line of dance in the perimeter of the dance area. The stationary dances ( East Coast, West coast swing, Balboa/Swing, Salsa, cha-cha, etc. ) towards the center of the line of dance. Be aware of other peoples’ areas of dance.
Dance Floor Awareness
It is the leader’s responsibility to avoid mishaps and to make his partner look good on the dance floor. Be aware of your surroundings, as best as one can while dancing. Not the easiest thing to do while dancing, but try to be aware of your surrounding on the dance floor.
Aerials and Choreography
Aerials and choreography should be avoided on the social dance floor, particularly when the floor is crowded. Aerials require training by a qualified instructor and should only be attempted by individuals who have had proper training.
Street shoes of any kind are not recommended, because they carry dirt, grease, grits and other things not good for the floor finish. Please wear smooth soled shoes or shoes specifically made for dancing.
Comments and Suggestions
If you have any comments or suggestions, please tell the dance manager. We welcome suggestions or concerns. Contact LetsSwingNJ@gmail.com