Do’s and Don’t of Social Dancing

Ballroom dancing can be active and passionate – think salsa – or gentle and flowing, as when we waltz.

But whether the tempo is fast or slow, the attitude should always be the same – polite, cooperative and sensitive to one’s dance partner, whether a familiar one or someone new.

Dancing is a staple of activities conducted in public – weddings, parties, dinner dates – and as such obeys the usual social conventions. Grace and charm are part of dance, and your personality as well.

So here are some dance do’s and don’ts that will make your experience on the dance floor more enjoyable …

Do plan on dancing to the whole song – it lets your partner know you value their time! And don’t forget to follow line of dance when traveling around the floor – always counter-clockwise!

Don’t just extend a hand and say “Wanna dance?” You get one chance to make a first impression. The old standbys are the best when asking a woman to share the floor with you. “Care to dance?” “May I have this dance?” Or, if the music indicates a particular style of dance coming up, a “Would you like to mambo?” is fine. And the same goes for declining a dance – be pleasant about it. A simple, “Thanks, but I don’t know the dance” or “I’m going to sit this one out” should work. And declining an offer means not dancing that dance no matter who might ask you next.

Don’t use this dance opportunity to become an expert and “teach.” Especially if your partner hasn’t asked for any help. Dances have different styles. Be accommodating of any differences.

Do be considerate of others on the dance floor. Don’t swing your elbows, don’t steer your partner wildly across the floor. Be mindful of the space in which you are operating.

Don’t blame your partner. No finger-pointing or blaming for a misstep. This is dance, not the Olympics. It’s social, not anti-social. Be kind and move on with the dance. It’s all part of the learning experience.

Do consider taking dance lessons at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. The time spent with the finest professional ballroom dance instructors will teach the proper steps and technique and you will also learn from their demeanor how to work with a dance partner. Find a studio near you!

Don’t forget to smile – it makes everything and everyone feel more comfortable!