While there are many things to take into account when considering west coast swing social dance etiquette, here are some tried and true rules that will never let you down.
West Coast Swing social dance etiquette
1. Never blame your partner
Mistakes while social dancing happen all the time. The social dance floor is never a good place to bring to light these mistakes. Do your best during the dance, politely thank your partner, and look forward to another dance in the future.
2. No teaching on the dance floor
Unsolicited advice on the dance floor is never a good idea. There are too many opportunities to hurt you partners feelings with even the smallest piece of advice. Even if asked simply say something positive and remind your partner that the social floor is not the best place for such discussions.
3. A request should be accepted
In most circumstances, its good etiquette to accept a dance request. If you are unable to dance that particular song please wait until the next song to dance with another partner. If possible seek the the partner you previously turned down for a dance later in the night.
4. No monopolizing your partner
We all have favorite partners for various reasons but its not good etiquette to keep them to your selves for the evening. It does happen but its not the best expression of social dance etiquette. Try dancing with as many different levels of partners each night.
5. Dance to the level of your partner
Its not polite to dance over the level of your partner, nor is it polite to “dumb down” your dancing. Dance your dance but take into account the level of your partner and adjust accordingly. Every partner is different and hence every dance should be different.
6. Dress appropriately
Your outfit should reflect the culture of the group you will be dancing with. Different regions and age groups have slightly different cultures. Pay attention to these when you are getting ready for the evening’s dancing.
7. Use good manners at all times
Social dancing mixes people of all backgrounds into one melting pot called the dance floor. Its always in good taste to use good manners when speaking to each other in these setting. Be on your best behavior when speaking to others of the opposite sex and chose topics of conversation wisely.
The basics of dance etiquette are in place to make sure that everyone can enjoy and evening of social dancing. West Coast Swing is a great dance that brings together people from all walks of life into the same activity. Its important to use basic manners, good dance technique and a little bit of social dance etiquette to ensure that everyone had a good time.
Try to be an example for people in your community. Doing so will go a long way to creating a great welcoming culture. If we all try hard to use these 7 rules it will go a long way towards positively influencing the new dancers as the join us on the dance floor ensuring that we have lots of people to dance with for years to come!
Watch our west coast swing etiquette video
Using west coast swing social dancing as practice
Want a fun game to play that will allow you to use social dancing to help you improve?
Write specific skills on slips of paper and put those slips in a bowl by your door. When you go dancing for the evening, draw out one of the slips out and work on that skill for the evening.
Voila, you have a fun way to improve while having fun social dancing!
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