In my opinion, dance floor etiquette might just be the most important aspect of dance. If you disagree, then consider this: how many times have you met people who lack manners? I am completely convinced that you did not enjoy their company. It is a little more intense for dance because you and your partner will try to build a connection, which is necessary for the couple to have the best time dancing.
Personal hygiene, which is one of the rules of good etiquette, shows consideration and respect to other dancers. People are attracted to someone who smells good. Avoid eating spicy foods before the dance, or foods, which contain onions or garlic. Make sure you come clean, your teeth brushed, wearing an antiperspirant deodorant. Stay hydrated at all times.
In order to increase your chances of being asked to dance is to practice your dance skills. You do not need to be an expert but do know the basic lead/follow. Dancers usually ask those who they see dancing, or the ones standing by the edge of the dance floor. Wherever people are not familiar with each other, they actually seek partners by looking at their feet, which is why a good pair of dance shoes is plus! Show enthusiasm, spirit, and remember to smile and have a fun time. People are also attracted to those who have high energy.
Never decline a dance unless you absolutely must. You can refuse if you are tired and need rest or if you promised to dance with someone else before. If you are taking a rest, let the other person know, and offer to dance when you come back. Some people do not take declines lightly, so be considerate of other people’s feelings.
Once you are dancing on the floor, you must always be alert and stay within your own space. Respect your space, and the space of everyone else around you, especially on a crowded floor. Smile a your partner and keep eye contact. If you feel uncomfortable or you feel as if you are staring at your partner, you can also follow a focus point somewhere else in the room.
Be polite and considerate – keep your moves under control. The way to learn control is through tight footwork and that is exactly why practice is so crucial. If you are not completely familiar with a move, do not try it on a crowded dance floor. Learn your partner, and try to notice his or her level of experience, that way you know what to do and what not to do. A way to prevent injuries is to take small steps, and be in control at all times.
Watch the couples around you and protect your partner from being bumped into. If you see a collision coming, put a little pressure on your partner’s shoulder, and turn. Do not worry about making mistakes, it is human nature to make them – do not apologize too much and keep dancing. Always make your partner feel comfortable and never blame him or her for any mistakes. We are all beginners once.
When leaving, walk with your partner. Do not leave him or her behind. When you are thanked for the dance, the correct response is to thank your partner back. Let him or her know how you felt about the dance, or any of your favorite parts of it. You would be surprised that your partners will remember your compliments and that also increases your chance of being asked to dance next time. If you are leaving, again, thank the people you danced with and say good-bye.
Remember that dances flowing in a forward movement should be danced counter clockwise. Be aware of what lane you are in – fast lane, the outside or slow lane, the inside. Two-Step, Tango, Fox Trot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, are danced on two outer lanes. Slow dancing, Cha Cha, West Coast Swing and Jive are danced in the center.
Don’t forget – a little etiquette goes a long way!