Sharing The Joy Of Dancing


Social dancing is a fun and enjoyable activity, but there are a few simple guidelines to use to avoid problems and to make it an even more positive experience for everyone.

I encourage all the men at our dances to dance with every lady in the room at least once during the night. This allows everyone to get to know each other and, if we have extra ladies, they get to dance with everyone. This is sometimes intimidating for the guys because they think they aren't good enough but I guarantee that the ladies would rather dance with a less experienced dancer than not dance at all. Everyone has gone or is going through the same learning process. I also encourage the ladies to ask the gentlemen to dance.

Ladies and gentleman, when you dance with a new person, do not out dance them. Men, start with basic patterns and progress until you find the level of the lady. Then dance at that level. Ladies please don't out dance what the man is leading because this is intimidating to the gentleman and he may not ask you again (or any other lady). This allows everyone's dancing skills to progress simply by having the repetition of lead and follow.

Gentlemen please follow the line of dance during the traveling dances and do any stationary patterns in the middle of the floor. It is important to conduct all conversations, when not dancing, off the dance floor and out of the line of dance. Less experienced dancers, please leave some space toward the outside of the floor for the more experienced dancers to pass. Don't worry too much about floor craft, let the more experienced dancers handle that. Ladies you need to be aware of your responsibilty when the man is traveling backwards, you must stop the man if he is going to run into someone. Your only choice is to just grab him and don't allow him to move.

Obviously personal hygiene is a must. Not so obvious is the affect of wearing perfume, body lotions, after shave, deodorant, etc. Many people, including myself, may be allergic to just about any thing that has an odor. My right eye cries like a baby when I am around certain smells. The safest approach is to wear non-scented whenever possible and to wear a little to no perfume. Dancers that perspire heavily should bring an extra shirt or whatever to change in the middle of the dance.

Remember that it is OK to say NO to some that asks you to dance. It is NOT impolite to say "NO" for any reason. No explanation is needed. A simple "No thank you" is enough. If a person tries to insist that you dance with them, give them a stern "NO". That will get the message across. If you say NO when asked to dance, then you should not say YES to someone else for the same dance.

If you are dancing with someone and it HURTS or it is just uncomfortable, please stop dancing with that person immediately and just say, "I need to sit down". "DANCING DOES NOT HURT".

We play anywhere from 45 to 50 songs a night during one of our dances. That is handling a lot of different people. It is a good idea to wash your hands a couple of times during a dance for your comfort and your partners.

The above is mostly just common sense. Do whatever you need to do to make your dancing the most fun and positive experience possible.