Why do we do partnered dancing?
To dance with another person. To socialize or make a connection with someone. To have fun.
What does it mean to be a considerate dance partner? It means to be courteous when requesting a dance, aware of your partner’s abilities and dancing while dancing with them, and then thanking them for a fun dance!
Be a courteous partner
Being a courteous partner also means being a positive partner. Refrain from giving instruction/correction to another student. Even instructors, at a social, are there to dance with students/social dancers and to make sure they have fun. As a considerate social dancer, you will encourage your partner, thank your partner for the dance, and you will not offer your opinion of how they can improve, especially if it is not requested.
We all have to decline a dance from time to time, but typically it is best to only do so when you do not know the dance, you need to take a rest, or you have already promised the dance to someone else. One way to be courteous when you need to decline a dance is to offer another dance instead (plus you have the added bonus of having a partner for the next/future dance). Remember, it is rude and inconsiderate to dance a song with anyone after you have declined to dance it with someone else.
Considerate Frame and Space
Gentlemen, let the woman set the distance in the frame (amount of space between the partners). Also, keeping your hand high on her back, on her left shoulder-blade, will create the optimal connection and lead.
Dancing involves being in each other’s space, so both gentlemen and ladies should be considerate of their partner’s noses. Shower. Use a deodorant. Don’t wear a strong cologne or perfume as many people have allergies to strong scents. Avoid foods that have strong odors, such as garlic or onions. Brush your teeth, use mouthwash or a breath mint. These small things can make a big difference when you are dancing with someone.
Treat the social floor like traffic on a highway. Faster or farther traveling couples need to stay on the outside of the dance floor. Slower or in-place dances need to stay near or in the middle. Do not stop on the floor, if you are in the “fast lane.”
and traveling dances (such as Quickstep and Viennese Waltz) can be very dangerous for both beginner and advanced dancers to have an inexperienced couple on the floor. Like slamming on the brakes in highway traffic, it is asking for an accident. These are excellent dances to work on in private lessons and group classes, where there is less risk for impact or accident, and plenty of room for learning both leading and following properly.
Be conscious of your environment
Be aware of other dancers on the floor, including how many people are on the floor, as well as the amount of space you have for a pattern.
Take care when leading new patterns that you have plenty of room to recover if the pattern does not follow the intended direction.
Refrain from tricks, lifts or aerials on the social floor.
Creating an Open Atmosphere
Ask everyone to dance. Not just your friends, not just instructors, not just advanced dancers.You may just find your next favorite <insert dance here> partner. If you are there with a date, and you just want to dance with the date, that’s perfectly acceptable, but social dancing implies dancing with other people as well the person you came with. We want to create a welcoming, open environment by inviting everyone to dance together.
See you on the dance floor!
Another helpful in-depth article on the Elements of Dance Etiquette can be found here.
For more information about what classes we teach or when our social dances are, please see our calendar.