Social Dance Etiquette
Asking to Dance:
When you want to dance with someone, make eye contact, offer your hand, and ask clearly, “Would you like to dance?” Show your appreciation by escorting your partner onto the dance floor and helping them feel comfortable.
Accepting a Dance:
If someone asks you to dance, the polite response is “Yes, thank you, I’d love to.” In a social dance setting, it is important to be supportive and kind to your partners, regardless of their skill level.
During the Dance:
Be aware of your partner’s needs, smile, make eye contact, and feel free to have a light conversation. At the end of the dance, express your gratitude by saying thank you and escorting your partner off the floor.
Declining a Dance:
It is acceptable to decline a dance if your partner has been physically or verbally abusive, if they are drunk or threatening, or if they pose a danger to other dancers. Unless someone is truly offensive, it is not appropriate to decline a dance just because of poor technique.
In a social dance setting, it is best to dance with a variety of partners rather than sticking with one person the entire night. If someone repeatedly asks you to dance, it is acceptable to decline and say, “Thank you, but I’d like to meet and dance with some other people.”
Good hygiene is important in a social dance setting, as it requires close physical contact. Bathe, use deodorant, wear clean clothes, and keep your breath fresh. If you sweat excessively, bring a towel and a change of clothes. Use a light touch with perfumes or colognes, as some people may be sensitive to strong fragrances.
Respecting Your Partner’s Technique:
Unless asked, don’t offer criticism of your partner’s technique. Recognize that they are doing their best and respect each other’s rhythms. If you are hurt by your partner’s dancing, politely ask them to adjust their style. Dancing should never be physically painful or dangerous.
To make social dancing enjoyable for everyone, be considerate of others on the dance floor. When dancing, prioritize respect for other couples, and dance in a way that won’t cause collisions. Observe the traffic lanes in the ballroom to prevent accidents. If a collision occurs, stop and apologize, and make sure everyone is okay before continuing. If someone is hurt, escort them off the floor and check if they need medical attention.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Guide to Dance Etiquette. Keep in mind to use common sense, respect, and manners for an enjoyable dance experience for both you and your partner. We hope this will help you enjoy any dancing situation with grace and finesse. Now go out there and experience the pure fun of social dancing!