Dance Etiquette and Beyond

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Dance Etiquette and Beyond.

A dance guide to sharing space, avoiding accidents and having fun. Many dancers love to showcase their skills by taking center stage on a crowded dance floor. Naturally, this can lead to injuries and a chiropractic visit the next day if your partner wasn't expecting to be dipped, lifted or thrown across the dance floor.

Here are some tips to make the dance experience enjoyable for everyone.

* Don't over extend your bounds on a crowded dance floor. Respect the space of those around you. Don't over project with your arms or over use the dance floor at the expense of colliding with another couple.

* Refrain from bringing bottles or drinks onto the dance floor. This can lead to a slippery dance floor, broken glass which could cause an injury.

* Respect others feelings -- birthday dances, special events etc.. give the dancer their just do's. Wait till their "15 seconds" of fame are over.

* Dance attire, dance shoes are always best for balance and movement. Shoes and or dance sneakers designed for dancing will give you ample toe flexibility and comfort. Avoid baggy clothing, strappy outfits that can swing and hit your partner.

* Dips and lifts are best executed in shows and competitions. Avoid these type of movements in a club or social setting unless you're par taking in a competition. Injuries can occur when positioned in correctly on a crowded dance floor.

* Social dancing includes patterns and leads that bring dancers very CLOSE to one another. Good hygiene is a must. Be cognizant, carry a pack of mints, cologne, etc...check it out before an embarrassing situation takes place.

* Respect others privacy to video taping or snapping pictures, unless, given consent. Nobody minds being taped but to zoom in on someone for an extended period of time can be perceived as offensive.

* Keep the dance area clear of smoke. Avoid smoking near the dance floor.

* Cutting in is considered socially acceptable as long as both parties are in agreement. Make sure you get a nod or a verbal agreement that cutting in is okay.

* Take the time to dance with someone new. Get into the habit of making new friends and giving everyone the opportunity to dance.

* A well-executed lead/follow comes from a good hand connection with your partner. Avoid wearing too many rings that may interfere with a comfortable grip.

* Slips and falls can happen. Be attentive by giving your partner support should they lose their step or balance.

* Dance to the level of your partner. Dancing takes two, adjust to the skill level of your partner.

* If you have the misfortune of bumping into someone, step on a toe etc... take a moment to make sure they are okay by extending an apology. It goes along way.

* If you turn someone down for a dance, don't turn around and dance with someone else during that same song.

"Growing the Hustle"

To grow the interest in the Hustle, it starts with YOU. This is a Call to action. Years gone by, the hustle dance was supported by contemporary music, the popularity of the disco era, motion pictures and more. This doesn't hold true today. Unfortunately, as soon as someone new is exposed to our dance, two others drop out? Why? From the number of letters I receive, there are many reasons but these are two of the biggest issues:

* Too few male lead dancers, to go around
* Many male, veteran dancers, unwillingness to dance with beginners or new comers

It's easy to get caught up, dancing with our long time friends and advanced dancers. But, we can't lose sight of the fact, "we all started somewhere."I've been made aware of the reduction of dancers at events, socials and night clubs. Naturally, the organizers and teachers will feel this the most.
How do we reverse this trend?
I encourage our male dancers and professionals to take the time to get to know the new faces in the crowd. Be patient and encourage them, not discourage them. Thanks to Scott M. and Drew A., for your insight and the many others that have shared their thoughts and experiences.
Here are the qualities that female dancers look for in a good lead partner
Gentlemen, Please read and memorize. Be a hero, not a zero.

* Friendly, smiling individuals that greet them and ask them to dance.

* Introduce yourself, don't limit your conversation to just dancing.

* Don't give dance advice unless it has been solicited.

* Encouraging comments, complimentary remarks. Tell her the things she is doing right. Don't focus on mistakes.

* Good eye contact.

* Clean neat appearance, well groomed, good hygiene.

* A good lead. Able to stay on time to the music.

* Thank them for the dance. Show your appreciation.

* Take the time to introduce them to other dancers in your circle, who will make them feel welcomed.

*Give them positive feedback.

If you really enjoy this dance, and are passionate about seeing it grow, we all need to welcome more dancers into the circle.