This blog is about some very important Floor Craft and Dance Etiquette tips that we all should be practicing when we are out on the dance floor. By remembering these tips every time you dance (print this out and stick it on the fridge), you will ensure that yourself and everyone around you will have an awesome dance evening.
Floor Craft and Dance Etiquette
— Don’t teach on the Floor! Social dancing is supposed to be fun and for any dance level, teaching on the floor to your partner takes that fun away and makes the dance a stressful experience. Leave the teaching to classes & workshops (and from your teachers only).
— Leaders..Be aware of other dancers on the floor. Here are some tips:
*Scan the dance floor as frequently as you check your dashboard/rear view mirror when driving.
*Always look before leading oneself and/or one’s follow in some direction.
*Keep it small. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been speared by a heel because someone took a monster rock step.
*Tighten their frame and draw their partner to them if a collision is imminent.
*When dancing at a venue that is shared with NON dancing patrons & staff (like the Reservoir Lounge in Toronto) be very aware of them on the floor. Dancers might be okay with getting bumped once in a while, but non dancing patrons or staff carrying food and drink might not be so courteous when hit (see below for instructions if you do hit someone).
*Leave the kicking AND Aerials to an empty dance floor or competitions or jams. Nobody likes a kick in the head, stomach etc**
**Aerial note: Please don’t do an aerial with a partner you have never danced with or practiced the move with. Not everyone can do aerials and you can end up hurting someone bad if they don’t/you do the move correct.
— Collisions do happen, but always do the following if they do:
*Make sure no one was hurt
*Assuming everyone is unscathed, you smile and apologize, even if it wasn’t technically your fault. If necessary (ie. it wasn’t your fault and happened a couple of times), apologize again after the song is over.
— Partners who grip their partners’ hand, either with their thumb or by squeezing.
— Partners who grip their partner’ back.
— Don’t yank on a partners arm or pull too hard on a move. This can cause the partner to fall or run thru a swing out.
— Inappropriate behaviour in general while dancing. We are here to dance not frisk. Any touching or contact not specifically related to leading or following is an absolute violation and is never okay! “Hips outs” is always a good rule to follow.
— Long fingernails!
— Please wear Deodorant and leave the perfume at home (some people are allergic), bring Gum or mints for your breath (you never know).
— Sweat: We are all sweat when we dance (well 99% of us), so to ensure a pleasant dance experience with your partner, bring a change of shirt (or 2 or 3), a towel to wipe down your face, hands etc.
— Smile! Nobody likes to dance with a partner who looks like they would rather be swimming with hungry sharks then dancing with you. Lindy Hop is supposed to be fun!
— When doing a Jam (birthday etc.) Don’t block off the band! Keep the band at one end of the circle so that they are part of the experience as well.
— When dancing at a venue that has a bar, you are not expected to purchase alcohol but supporting the bar in someway should always be a must. Buy water, a pop, or alcohol and leave a tip if they give water for free. Many a dance venue has stopped hosting swing nights due to losing money at the bar so anything that you can do to help the venue is appreciated. If your hungry and they serve food, buy their food! You get our point.
— Dance with beginners- It’s the only way they’ll ever learn to dance socially.
— Dance with other people besides the person you came with (or regular social circle). This is the only way to be a good social dancer.
— If you promise someone a dance — especially the “next song” — keep your promise. Don’t make them come find you … be polite and find them.
— When asking someone to dance and they are in a conversation either a) wait till the conversation is done to ask or b) politely interrupt: “sorry to interrupt but would you like to dance?” is usually acceptable. Don’t push yourself into a conversation to ask or walk in the middle to be seen.
— Wear appropriate shoes or at least be aware of the dangers of your shoes. AKA Stepping on someones foot in high heels can actually cause someone to bleed or be hurt badly. So keep that in mind.
— Always applaud after a song. Band is working hard out there.
— Have respect for others…plain and simple.
Happy and Safe Dancing! -Toronto Lindy Hop-