DANCE FLOOR ETIQUETTE
LINE DANCE CLASSES & EVENTS -
This is not intended as a complete guide on dance floor etiquette, but more of as an outline based on common sense and courtesy.
* Dance in lines. Be mindful of others…we are not here to ‘squiggle’ dance.
* Be aware of your surroundings - remember to take smaller steps when a new dance is being taught, or a popular dance is being played (the dance floor may be fuller than normal)
* Join a dance that is already started, at the same point and on the end of the line verses the middle of the dance floor.
Be helpful to visitors and newcomers.
* Keep conversation to a minimum during class. If you must, please keep your voices low.
* Feel free to answer your cell phones (it could be an emergency). Please step away from the dancers or leave the room when answering phone calls.
* Leave the dance floor when the music ends, unless you are staying up for the next dance.
* If you are sitting at the edge of the dance floor, ensure that your chair does not block anyone if you are getting up to dance, please push your chair under the table to allow people to walk past.
Please Do Not…
* Carry food or drinks across the dance floor at ANY time whether there are people dancing or not ... this causes a slip hazard for EVERYONE - all spillages should be cleaned immediately.
* Walk across the dance floor when music is playing to reach the other side of the room as this is dangerous not only to yourself but to other dancers who may not see you - you should ALWAYS “walk around”, not “cut across”. * Never walk through a line of dancers (when a dance is in progress) to cross the floor – wait or walk around the floor.
* Try to join an existing line once a dance has started - you can dance in ANY line, as long as there is a space for you. If possible, start another line rather than joining one that is full.
* Bend down in the middle of the floor to tie the laces on your dance shoes- this is very dangerous as you immediately become a hazard to the other dancers moving around you.
* Never stand on the floor to talk - if the music has started and you’re not dancing – please vacate the dance floor.
* Add fancy turns or variations to a dance being taught…especially beginner and improver dances. Be supportive of others versus showing off. These added variations are disruptive to less seasoned dancers and cause “melt downs”.
Comunication With Instructors…
* Listen to the DJ or instructor to know what dance is being played.
* If you need a step repeated/reviewed, ask the instructor not the person beside you. It is confusing and disruptive when more than one person is giving instruction.
* If you see someone struggling, feel free to ask the instructor for a repeat. They may be too shy to ask out loud themselves.
* Please don’t challenge the instructor, make suggestions or try to teach while the instructor is teaching a dance or dance move.
* Instructors make mistakes too; simply bring it to their attention in a courteous manner. Other Information…
* Please remember everyone was a beginner once, and newcomers should be encouraged - but similarly, please don’t get up for a dance that you don’t know and then try to exit from the dance floor in the middle of the song... you may become a hazard as other dancers move around you. And you may be asked to leave.
* If the floor is crowded, take small steps, enjoy the company and be wary for collisions.
* It is courteous to apologize to a fellow dancer if you accidentally bump or kick them.
* When dancing near beginners - be mindful, courteous and encouraging and remember - everyone was a beginner once.
* If the dance floor is empty and you are starting off the dance, go to the front so that others can fall in line behind you.
Floor Splits and Couples: Generally the dance floor is divided into three areas for the comfort and enjoyment of all.
1. CENTER (HUB): Line dancers.
2. OUTSIDE LANE: Patterned couples dancing around the edge of the floor counter clockwise.
3. CORNERS: Lead and follow couples (East Coast Swing/Cha Cha/Rumba/West Coast Swing/Waltz)
* A “floor-split” is when 2 dances are being done at the same time to the same piece of music - this will almost always be split between front & back. It is VERY important that if you are joining the rear of the “front” dance, you MUST leave space between yourself & the front row of the “back” dance to ensure that no-one collides once both dances have begun.
* Where permission has been given to do so, you can start a split floor dance other than what has been called, by going to the back and ensuring there is adequate space between the two dances
* You may find that partner-dancing is being done around the edge of the dance floor. Typically the partners dance counter clockwise around the dance. This is known as the “line of dance”. Remember that partner dancers have the right-of-way, so just be aware of this if you are dancing in a line bordering the edge of the dance floor. * Also make room for lead and follow dancers.
• Remember the floor is for everyone. If you are dancing in lines, try to leave room around the outside of the dance floor as a circle lane for the couple dancers.
COUPLES DANCE FLOOR ETIQUETTE
Dance counterclockwise around the floor. Don’t back up, but if you have to for some reason, look behind you first. Leaders - look where you are going, and be prepared for the unexpected (like the couple in front of you who didn’t look before they backed up). Leaders are responsible for protecting their partners. (Remember, it’s always the leader’s fault.)
Slower dancers should move towards the inside of the dance floor, allowing faster dancers to pass them on the outside. If there’s a large space between you and the couple in front, either move to the inside, or speed up to close the gap.
Faster dancers should not move faster than they can safely go, regardless which lane you are in. When doing complicated moves that don’t travel forward, move towards the inside of the dance floor, or alternatively one of the four corners of the floor.
West coast swing dancers should leave room at the ends of the dance floor for other dancers to get by. And we request you don’t do swing dances on the main floor during line dances.
Similarly, shadow, shuffle and two-step dancers should pay attention to dance clear of the west coast swing slot. If you bump into someone, smile and apologize. If someone bumps into you, smile and apologize. If you find yourself apologizing all the time, maybe the problem isn’t just everybody else. If you find yourself smiling all the time, well, good.
If you are not dancing, don’t stand on the dance floor. Stand close to the wall so we don’t experience the incredible shrinking dance floor.
And finally, keep your head up, keep smiling and enjoy yourselves. Following dance floor etiquette helps everyone to have fun.
As dance floors get more crowded, it becomes even more important to be courteous and respectful of those around you.
Beginners and experienced dancers alike can all benefit from reviewing these guidelines.