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Dance Floor Etiquette

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Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  AnandMajumdar on Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:32 pm

Salsa Partnering & Dance Floor Etiquette

by Joe Wieder


Ladies ...
A successful salsa strategy toward dancing all night, apart from knowing how to dance, is to be seen dancing. Guys are generally a shy lot, but if they know you can and will dance, you'll be dancing all night.

So...Select a good dance club or studio. A place with a wide range of ages works best. Some of those older guys can really dance! Live music is rarely good dance music - most bands seem oblivious to what a good salsa tempo might be.

Wear something bright and colorful, and/or slinky and sexy - just be sure, whatever it is, it's noticeable! Dance places can be dim as dusk, so make sure you don't blend into the shadows. Arrive early and position yourself as close to the dance floor as possible. Sit or stand near the dance floor, preferably where guys coming off the floor will see you first. And, oh yeh, don't congregate with a group of women. No guy is going to walk up to several women hanging together and risk that kind of rejection.

Smile till it hurts! If you don't look like you're enjoying yourself, you probably won't be! Don't be afraid to make eye contact. Say, "Yes!" to the first dance offer, no matter who it is, and keep on saying it. This is the most important rule! Being picky is counter-productive, so lose the attitude! If you're seen saying no, you'll be left with only the blind and the bold - a small, and not necessarily cute, minority. The point of saying yes every time is to increase your chances of meeting talented, interesting dance partners. If you do this right, good dancers will soon monopolize your time anyway. Ask good dancers to teach you something new! They'll usually be happy to oblige and will seek you out in the future.

Oh, and don't chew gum - or if you have to, do it with your mouth closed.



Guys ...
Some of the above and then...

Find a smiling gal who's near the dance floor and ask her to dance. But for godsake, learn how to, first, and remember - smooth is as good or better than fancy! A couple of basic steps done correctly and on tempo is more fun for your partner than a dozen pretzel turns done badly with the timing all screwed up.

Avoid dancing roughly - like pulling your partner's arm out of its socket. It's bad form. Remember, you want to look good, and you can look really good if you make your partner look good. Make eye contact - dancing is about communication.

Dance with all sorts of partners, it'll make you a better dancer, not to mention, it'll make you seem like a nice guy.

ALSO, if you haven't showered, shaved, or brushed your teeth for a while, it might be a good idea to do that first! You don't want women to be pointing you out for the wrong reasons!



Dance Floor Etiquette ...
Yes, there are rules about dance floor rights and wrongs. Here are some of them...

It's not cool to stand right ON the dance floor to socialize. Even experienced dancers, who should know better, sometimes stand right on the dance floor talking, drinking, smoking. Do what you like, but do it AWAY from the dance floor!
Speaking of which... be nice to fellow dancers and avoid bumping into them. If it's crowded on the floor - and these days most floors are crowded, dance small. Most important, try to remember, your partner is not disposable - don't toss her around like a bowling ball.
A hardwood dance floor should be treated with care. Drinks and cigarettes on the dance floor are a NO NO! When you spill liquid on a hardwood floor, it becomes a hazardous wet spot. Even when it dries, this spot is pretty much ruined for dancers the rest of the night because it becomes "tacky" and you can't slide across it.
If you are a beginning dancer, remember that everyone out there has probably experienced that same sweaty palm, stiff-as-a-board, jittery feeling. It will pass.
If you or your partner screw up a step, get past the urge to argue about who's screwing up. Remember - there are no mistakes! It's ONLY dancing, and everyone's there to have fun.
If you're a woman who's not being asked to dance, try standing near the edge of the dance floor; smile, tap your foot, and look like you really NEED to dance to this song. Make eye contact. Dance with the first person who asks. Once you get out there a couple of times with different partners, other potential partners will know you won't turn them down. ALSO, don't be afraid to ask guys to dance. It's cool!
Last point. I don't mean to offend anyone, but if you want to look good dancing salsa, you should not take salsa dance lessons from a ballroom instructor unless they have a real clear idea of the differences. Nothing looks dumber than a salsero/salsera doing affected hand and toe pointing poses like a theatrical ballet dancer.
One point that bears repeating, and can't be made strongly enough is: DON'T dance in a way that's going to invite a problem or result in collisions with nearby couples. All too often, I've seen dancers on a crowded floor with no consideration whatever for other dancers. I think the problem is more of an "ego" thing than a lack of dance etiquette. I've seen otherwise excellent dancers, who should know better, do stuff they shouldn't be doing simply because they get into their "performance" mode and suddenly they're leading with their elbows and their butts - their brains totally turned off. They bump nearby dancers and swing their partners around to clear more space for themselves. Short of physical confrontation, and sometimes it comes to that, there isn't a lot that can be done. You can either bump back, or move. The choice depends on the state of your own ego and the size of the offending dancer.

Lead with your brain, not your butt, and make the effort to be more aware and considerate of your dance environment. Otherwise, some of us will need to sign up for karate classes to go with our salsa classes.
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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Ag on Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:42 pm

humourous and insightful! this was definetly an interesting read.

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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:17 am

daam good article.. really luvd readin it........

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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Farhang on Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:04 am

very nice.. thanx anand..
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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Grishma on Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:35 am

very witty...a nice read
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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Varada on Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:45 am

good read...liked the part about chewing gum and standing near the dance floor tapping your feet ....looking like u really need to dance Very Happy...

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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  Sheetal on Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:48 pm

Worth reading!
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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  DJ - Deva Jyotula on Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:27 pm

tks.
Very informative
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Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  alfreda on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:29 pm

guys!! i'm posting this article merely for its comicality now if it does proove to be informative then i'll have killed two birds with one stone...or should i say "one post" instead Smile anyways here goes:

Don't try things in a crowded club that you have not mastered through practice first in an uncrowded place.

The floor is for dancing! Walk around the edge of the dance floor rather than trying to thread your way through the dancers.

Women should refuse to execute moves that they know the partner hasn't the skills to lead when it puts her (and others) at risk

Same for the guys, some of the women are crazy - don't let them be.

The men are leading the women as though they are driving a car in traffic - so the men MUST be aware of the surroundings and know that when the partner finishes a move - will the space already be occupied by another moving couple?

Do not drink and dance. If you have had too much to drive, you've had too much to dance.

Make sure your breath is sweet and use deodorant.

The art of dancing, whether good or bad, is in your own space. The art of not being all over the dance floor, unaware of or totally oblivious to the other people dancing around you.

Have some consideration for other dancers and of not intruding into their space, just as you wouldn't want them to intrude into yours. (A problem today is that too many people want to show off, whether they have the ability or not, or if they do - whether or not they have space. They want to turn, dip, flip and spin and don't seem to care that there are others on the dance floor, too.)

If the dance floor is crowded, don't try to dip your partner or to do a fancy turn combination because it will put your partner in someone else's space and put your partner at risk. Learn to dance in a "contained" manner.

Guys, remember that you are the one who leads the lady into everything that she does "normally". You must be in control at all times and know where you are leading her, without invading another couple's space.

Ladies, if you are dancing with someone who is twirling you like a top, who has no control and who has you out of control - stop dancing, even if you have to pretend you suddenly have a sore foot! or let your partner know that he needs to work on his control. You do not want to be at risk because he hasn't the control to lead you well. If he does not listen, if he shows no consideration, then politely excuse yourself off the dance floor. Do not embarrass yourself or the person you are dancing with. It is preferable to being hurt yourself and preferable to hurting someone else.

Guys, if you are dancing with someone who does not know how to turn, who does not have the footwork, or who is herself wild, let her know that it is unbecoming or that she should take lessons.

The mission of this particulary community where i stumbled onto this post was to make New Zealand and Dance communities of the world safer by having ALL dancers be more aware and considerate of each other, just thought i should mention that too cause their intention is definetly laudable.
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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

Post  billymarsh on Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:12 pm

I hadn't thought of it that way. I recall reading somewhere that you should "write what you know" which is why most of my lenses are about dance. Sorry I don't know who said "write what you know" I'm sure it is someone very famous! ;-)

This lens seems poised to break into Tier one. (Imagine me typing with my fingers crossed!) It is ranked 2,060 overall today. #196 in Entertainment, #5 in Dance and #2 in Other Dance Topics. My other two lenses which ever so briefly made it into the Tier One level were ones that were featured on the Squidoo Front Page. This "Dance Floor" etiquette lens has made it all the way up the ranks on its own without the ranking assist provided by being featured on the front page. Woot!

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Re: Dance Floor Etiquette

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