Dance Etiquette

Here are some tips to make dancing a more enjoyable experience for you and your partner!
The most important hint is in the area of personal grooming. It is better to be sure than assume everything is alright. If you want to make a good impression when you go dancing, consider the following:

  1. Deodorant - Make sure your deodorant is up to task.
  2. Breath - Keep a mint or two on hand. Avoid eating raw onions or garlic.

For the gentlemen:

  1. Be smooth! Remove keys and loose change from your right hip pocket so nothing will interfere with a smooth “bump.”
  2. Be a “gentle” man – take a gentle lead and be gentle with the hand. Relax and be gentle with your leads, and do not grip with your thumbs over the lady’s fingers. If your partner has good balance, you do not need a lot of power to make her move. If she loses her balance, powering her through a move will just make things worse. With a correct lead, you do not need a tight grip in order to lead well either. You may not realize how much pressure you accidentally put on the lady’s hand, especially when you grip over her rings.
  3. Guide and protect your lady. You are responsible for directing the lady in her slot. This includes directional guidance with your leads, checking the runway to ensure there is enough room to complete the pattern before you send her out , watching for other dancers on the floor, etc. Shorten your steps and the slot on a crowded dance floor.

For the ladies:

  1. Consider your “whip appeal!” Style and dress appropriately for spinning. The WCS involves a lot of spinning, so you must tie back long hair, wear jewelry that lays flat rather than whip out, and consider the danger of catching a hand with hoop earrings, bracelets and rings. Even some blouses may create an issue.
  2. Let your partner do the leading. Try not to anticipate or decide for him.
  3. Stay in the slot. Be aware of your slot, look for it when you turn.
  4. Arms up. Always support the weight of your arms when your partner raises them.
  5. Be available. If your partner releases your hand during a move, keep it available for him to pick up after completion of that pattern.

For all:

  1. Social dance means social graces! No one is perfect, but you all may be gracious. It is unacceptable behavior to instruct or criticize on the social dance floor. Recovery or just laughing off a misstep/lead is the gracious thing to do on the public dance floor in front of everyone. The next mistake may be yours!
  2. Take the “good” step…try to avoid dancing too far above the level of your partner. Help each other, don’t intimidate each other. We all realize that we improve our own dancing by dancing with the “good” dancers. The other side of the coin is that the “good” dancers need to be gentle with beginners.
    1. Men - Do not lead her into complex spins if she does not demonstrate good balance in simple turns. Do not lead a lady into a spin she is unprepared for. A gentleman makes the lady look good.
    2. Ladies - Do not pull a beginner fella off balance or startle him with sway steps and overly fancy footwork. A lady makes a man feel confident in his ability level.
  3. Smile at your partner…look at your partner when dancing. The WCS is supposed to be a communication between the two dancers, plus it is the polite thing to do.