From Beginners to Advanced I have seen many great ballroom dancers on the floor. In my opinion what makes a good dancer is not how fancy your moves are but how well you understand dance floor etiquette. There are some basic, but not always spoken common practices when it comes to Ballroom Dancing.
1. Woman asking Men to dance is OK!!
There is a common misconception among newer Ballroom Dancers, that the man always has to be the one to initiate the dance. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Maybe there was a time when a woman asking a man to dance would be seen as too forward or inappropriate but that time is long gone! To be honest, men are just as intimidated to ask you to dance. It helps take the pressure off and gets you out there to dance more when you are asking too.
2. The dance floor is not the place to learn new material.
There is always “that guy” that needs to stop and spend floor time learning (or teaching) a step or technique to his poor unsuspecting partner. STOP IT! First, it’s completely rude to stop in the middle of the dance floor while others are flailing by trying not to crash into you. Second, the lady or gentleman that has agreed to this dance did not sign up to do a lesson with you. If you’re asking them for a tutorial they are probably wishing they could just finish the dance in peace. If you are giving them the lesson, the material is probably beyond what they’re able to learn yet. Hence the reason their professional instructor hasn’t introduced it yet.
Stands for Line Of Dance. To keep everyone on the dance floor from piling into a 15 person collision, some really smart dancer came up with a Line of Dance. The great part is that it’s the same wherever you go. Even below the equator. Everyone dancing counterclockwise keeps things moving in an efficiently. That is not to say that you can’t move toward center or the wall but you need to stay aware of what’s happening around you. Which brings me to my next point…
Lots of times we learn step patterns that are a few measures long. They work perfectly on our lesson while were dancing from one side of the room to the other. When we get into the social dancing scene things become more difficult. I would like to point out that your Friday night dance parties are a perfect place to practice for this. Sometimes you can’t finish the step you started due to traffic. In this case, practice breaking longer steps down into smaller parts. Get comfortable starting and stopping at any point in the step. Also, a twinkle and a chasse will go a long way!
5. You don’t have to dance only with your husband or wife.
Lots of married couples go out dancing but so do single people. Dancing is just that, dancing. By dancing with different partners you will improve your leading and following. You will also meet new people and gain new skills. One of the many benefits of Ballroom Dancing is learning to break out of your shell, to get up out of your chair and try new things. So get out there on the floor and have fun, after all isn’t that what we came to do?