Social Dance Etiquette

We love dancing the night away in Chicago! Whether it’s at your wedding reception, a night club or one of our BYOB practice parties, there are many things to consider before hopping on the dance floor. Here are a few tips on social dance etiquette for the next time you cut a rug with your partner.

1) Moving Around the Floor
Because some songs call for a variety of different dance styles, dances that travel (Foxtrot, American Tango, Waltz) are done around the outside of the floor in a counter-clockwise direction. Dances that remain in place are done in the center of the floor. For example, foxtrot steps travel around the outside of the floor while swing steps are danced in the center.

2) Hit and Runs
On a crowded dance floor, it is common to bump into the couple dancing next to you. If you’re part of a collision, stop dancing, make sure no one is hurt and apologize. If you are a leader, you ultimately are responsible for where you place your partner, but as a couple, you should both be aware of your surroundings. If you are a follower, you should act as the leader’s back-up set of eyes. If you see a collision about to happen, tighten up your frame and give the leader’s arm a squeeze to let him know you’re in a tight spot.

3) Teaching on the Dance Floor
Just don’t do it! Your partner is there to dance, not to be critiqued by you. If, however, your partner is interested in going over something with you or asks for your opinion, move to a corner or the side of the dance floor to work together.

4) Applause
It’s polite to applaud live musicians at the end of each song and a DJ at the end of their set. They are performing for you, after all!

5) Altoids
Bad breath is bad, enough said.

6) Asking Someone to Dance
Always approach a potential dance partner face-to-face and ask politely if he or she would like to dance. Never grab someone’s hand and pull them onto the floor against their will. At the end of a song, be sure to thank your partner for the dance, too!

7) Saying No
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to dance with someone who asked you, it’s polite to sit out for the rest of that song.

Any other tips or questions? Leave a comment below!