I’ve been doing the dance thing for a while now, and I’ve seen some interesting things about the scene both good and bad. So for those interested in or currently getting their dance on, here are a few suggested rules of etiquette. Feel free to add or comment!
1. Please take the necessary precautions to either prevent or neutralize offensive body odor, including breath. Your dance partners and other people near you will appreciate it. Trying to concentrate on dancing is tough while being attacked by a miasma of funk. I’m joking but serious.
2. Some dances (like Kizomba) require a very close hold. But for those dances that don’t (salsa, bachata, etc.) do not try to force your dance partner to get closer than she (or he) would like. Also, generally accepted areas to touch and guide the partner are the hands, shoulder, shoulder blade, or hip or waist (if you know what you’re doing). Do not let your hands wander elsewhere unless you have permission. Also do not try to grind randomly on your partner unless you have permission. Please don’t be a creeper.
3. Gentlemen, we are generally the leads, so try to make sure you’re being careful and know what you’re doing. It’s better to know 3 moves you can lead well, than to recklessly try a bunch of stuff and hurt the lady. If you hurt a lady, unless you have extraordinary charm, she’s not likely to want to dance with you again. Remember, this is dancing not UFC fighting.
4. Fellas, if you’re dancing with a lady and she messes up, don’t criticize her. I find it best to simply say “I probably led it wrong”, smile and try it again. Making a woman feel self-conscious about her dancing will make it likely that she won’t dance with you again.
5. Have fun! Smile and enjoy the connection with your partner. What’s the point of social dancing if you’re going to act all serious like you’re on “Dancing with the Stars” unless you’re a pro of course.
6. Fellas, ask the ladies to dance. They like that. Ladies, please don’t make a habit of heartlessly turning down the gentlemen who ask you to dance, unless of course he’s a violator of one of the aforementioned rules, in which case he had it coming.
Thanks for reading!
Originally written as a Facebook Note on October 4, 2013 (Note embedded below).