Print this page

The Dance Experience


Etiquette on the dance floor helps dancers make the most of the dance floor so that everyone enjoys the dance experience.
Asking for a dance:
When asking for a dance, smile, make eye contact, and ask for the dance. It’s just as socially acceptable for women to ask men as it is for men to ask women. For some, just asking for a dance is more difficult than actually dancing… So, unless you truly don’t know the dance that is being played, please try to accept the dance offer. Remember, dance etiquette strongly encourages everyone to dance with different partners so everyone who attends has a chance to dance. 
Getting on the floor: 
Take care when entering the dance floor, especially if the song has already started and couples are dancing on the floor. It is the responsibility of incoming couples to make sure they stay out of the way of couples already dancing. Specifically, before getting into dance position, always look opposite the line of dance to avoid blocking someone’s way or causing a collision.
Line of dance:
The dancing on a floor is done along a counter clockwise direction, known as the Line Of Dance, or L.O.D. This applies to travelling dances such as Waltz and Two-Step. Progress as best as you can. If you lose your step, find the beat of the music, count yourself back in, and get moving as quickly as possible. Latin and swing dances are more or less stationary and have no line of dance. These dances should be done in the middle of the dance floor. Sometimes it’s possible to dance more than one type of dance to the same song. In that case, stationary dancers take the middle of the floor, and progressive dancers stay to the outside of the floor in L.O.D.
At the end of the dance:
After the dance is finished and before parting, thank your partner. This applies to both the lead and follow. If you enjoyed the dance, let your partner know. Compliment your partner on his/her dancing, but only if you can do this sincerely. This could really make somebody’s night, and help build confidence!
Leaving entrances free:
Some dance floors have limited access space (for example, most of the periphery is railed). Dancers and onlookers should avoid blocking these entrances. In particular, avoid stopping to chat immediately after exiting the dance floor.
Sharing the floor:
Responsible usage of the floor requires staying out of the way of others. Some moves require a momentary movement against line of dance. These moves should only be done when they can be done without causing collisions. Avoid getting too close to other couples on the floor, especially less experienced ones. Be prepared to change the direction of your pattern to avoid congested areas. This requires thinking ahead and matching your patterns to the free areas on the floor (also called floor-craft). While this may sound complicated to a new dancer, it gradually will become second nature as you gain more experience.