Dance Etiquette

I have been social dancing for a while now, and during this time I have seen some interesting things – both good and bad. So below are a few suggested rules of etiquette.

  • Smell good, please prevent or neutralize offensive body odor, including breath. I am sure your dance partner and other people around you will appreciate it. Use a chewing gum if you had dinner or been drinking or smoking. Always keep a deodorant handy in your dance bag.
  • Kizomba requires a very close hold, do not try to force your dance partner to get closer than she (or he) would like. Accepted areas to touch and guide the partner are the hands, shoulder, shoulder blade, or hip or waist (only if you know what you’re doing). Do not let your hands wander elsewhere unless you have permission. Also do not try to body roll or grind randomly on your partner unless you have permission. Keep body movement appropriately sized. No one likes a creeper.
  • Guys (or leads I should say) make sure you’re being careful and know what you’re doing. Sometimes it is alright to know 3 basic moves you can lead well, then to recklessly try a bunch of stuff and hurt the follower. Remember if you hurt someone they will not want to dance with you ever again.
  • Leads if you’re dancing with a beginner (or even an experienced dancer) and she messes up, don’t criticize her. Simply say “My mistake”, smile and try it again. Making a woman feel self-conscious about her dancing will make it likely that she won’t dance with you again.
  • Smile and enjoy the connection with your partner. Have Fun, There is no point of social dancing if you’re going to act all serious like you’re on “Dancing with the Stars” unless you’re a pro of course.
  • Guys, Guys Guys, ask the ladies to dance. They love it. Say something like “May I have a dance..” use your words. Ladies, please don’t turn down the gentlemen who ask you to dance, unless of course he’s a violator of one of the aforementioned rules, in which case he had it coming. Also it would be great if you ask a guy every now and then (we love being asked too).
  • If it’s a particular hot day and you get sweaty, please change your shirt. On the same note always carry some spare shirts with you.
  • Don’t squeeze, find a comfortable hand hold. Don’t hold your dance partner too tight, hold them gently.
  • Ladies don’t pull on the neck, support your arm loosely.
  • Leads remember leading is not pushing or shoving. Use minimal force in the arms.
  • Don’t be a snob, we were all beginners once, never forget that. Be approachable, ignoring people is mean.
  • Do not teach on the dance floor (unless asked), maybe the person is a beginner but you are not their teacher.
  • Don’t hog the dance floor, try to dance small and be very mindful of the space around you. Don’t take big steps.
  • Enjoy the music, the connection. Share a look with your dance partner, smile and most importantly have fun.

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