Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

THE RULES OF ETIQUETTE
Or Good Manners For Dancers


As Emily Post would say, Etiquette is important in all aspects of our lives. Etiquette, or just plain good manners, is important when on the dance floor. There are certain things one must remember if you want to be invited to dance. With this in mind let us begin.

Rules for Gentlemen:
  1. A gentleman always ask the lady to dance, he never assumes that the dance is not already taken.
  2. A gentleman does not spend the whole evening with the same lady, for he knows this is selfish and rude. A gentleman knows that part of his responsibility is to ensure that all ladies present are asked to dance during the evening. He also knows that you can not become a good leader if he does not "practice" with several different partners.
  3. A beginning gentleman dancer should ask other gentle ladies to dance no matter what their skill level. A gentle lady is always willing to dance with any level of dancer. That is after all why we go to dances.
  4. A gentleman is considerate. He does not leave the lady marooned in the middle of the floor after a dance, he escorts her back to her seat.
  5. A gentlemen always remembers the line of dance goes counterclockwise around the floor and does not dance backwards. If he is not dancing line of dance, he moves to the interior of the floor so he will not disrupt other dancers. When the dance has completed, he does not stand on the dance floor but moves off so that new dancers do not have to dance around him.
Rules for Gentle ladies:
  1. A gentle lady does not refuse a dance with one gentleman and then accept an offer for the same dance from someone else.
  2. A gentle lady should not worry about knowing a particular dance, she should tell the gentleman asking for the dance that she does know this particular dance. The gentleman can then can decide whether he feels comfortable showing her the dance or can move on to ask someone else.
  3. A gentle lady does not lead her partner but knows that she can assist him at becoming a better dancer by being patient. In other words wait until he begins to move before she does.
  4. A gentle lady does not correct her partner on the dance floor nor does she argue with him in the presence of others. A gentle lady saves that until they are in private. She may perhaps make a gentle suggestion that he take dance lessons.
  5. In this modern time, a gentle lady should also feel comfortable in asking a gentleman to dance.
Hints for Beginners:
  1. The whole world will not be watching you while you dance. It is important that you get practice as a dancer or you will never become a good (much less great) dancer. Everyone who is dancing has their own worries and will not be watching you dance. The important thing is to have fun!
  2. Don't be afraid of your partner, Gentlemen. She will not break if you are firm in your lead but if you aren't then you could step on a toe!
  3. Remember Gentle ladies, you never step before the man and never lead!

As a final thought, all gentleman and gentle ladies should understand that those of us who participate in Ballroom Dancing do so because of the love of the dance. It should not be a concern of those attending such functions that when you ask someone to dance anything else is implied.