Dance Etiquette by Atomic Ballroom

I think this is a pretty solid list which I found on the Atomic Ballroom website and figured I’d repost and add a little (remember, I’m a tad sarcastic)!

Some Guidelines

Stay Fresh – Always shower, apply deodorant, and brush your teeth before you come dancing. If you get sweaty change your shirt.
[Remember that salad with raw onions and that bowl of garlic pasta you had for dinner? Yeah, I don’t, but I still know you had it…..please consider what you’re putting in your body before you dance because chances are I can smell it as you dance *sweetly “Thank you!”
If you cannot remember what color your shirt was when you first put it on, you should consider changing your shirt immediately. If you look to your right, then to your left, and there are no dry spots on your shirt in sight, then you are not pimpin’.]

Say “Yes.” – When somebody asks you to dance they are opening themselves up for rejection. Whenever possible say, “Yes.” If for some reason you cannot dance, offer a valid reason and promise to dance next time. If you turn somebody down you must not dance with anybody else for that song.

Say “Thank you.” – At the end of a dance say, “Thanks! That was fun!”, or something like that. [Now is also a good time to ask someone their name so you can tell your friends about this new, rad person you just met :D]

Make eye contact – Social dancing should be social. Be sure to look at your partner now and then so that you both have fun. [If you have trouble doing that, look at their forehead and earlobe. If someone comments that you’re looking at them funny, you can just say you have lazy eyes.]

Dress Properly – ATOMIC Ballroom is a casual studio. Jeans and t-shirts are common. But, on some nights you should dress at least a step up from casual. Lindy and Salsa are casual. Ballroom, West Coast Swing, and Tango tend to be dressier. Remember, you are going to meet a lot of people so you may as well make a good impression. Also, wear clean shoes that don’t fall off. [If you want to be memorable though, go ahead and wear something that shows the world what a unique person you are! Wear that outfit that all your friends weren’t sure about. Remember those mint colored cut-off jeans, red Tom’s, and an orange plaid shirt? Now could be the perfect time to bust them out!!! You know what they say: if the shoe fits…..]

Follow the line of dance – Ballroom dances move counter clockwise around the dance floor. The fastest dancers should stay to the outside and the slowest dancers should stay closer to the middle. If you are doing a stationary dance such as swing then dance in the center and let those doing foxtrot move around you. [This is just like roller skating; if you are killin’ it(!!!) then move to the outside of the circle and get down with your bad self! If you’re are feeling a bit like a newborn deer learning how to walk….then Bambi, head to the inside of that circle!]

Share the Floor – Dancing can be a hazardous sport! During crowded dances you should make your movements smaller and keep an eye out for other dancers sharing the floor. In social dance situations avoid aerials, lifts, and drops they can be extremely hazardous to other dancers and yourselves. [A jam is a great time to bust out that aerial or lift you’ve been practicing with your partner, otherwise, keep your super powers on the DL and wait for the appropriate time to wow the crowd and your partner. If you accidentally maim a top dancer, you’ll always be remember, but perhaps not on the terms you were hoping for. Otherwise, LADIES, please we careful when you are wearing your super sexy heels. Your “fly style” can impale someone’s delicate limbs…so consider your spacing while on a crowded floor and feel free to give your leaders a heads up about your killer stems.]

Stand outside the dance floor – Dances at ATOMIC can be crowded. Please leave the people dancing as much space as possible by standing on the edges or by sitting on the benches. [Yes please!!!]

Apologize – Accidents happen. [Totally.] When you run into another person while dancing be sure to look at them and say, “Sorry!”, then continue dancing. At the end of the song offer another more personal apology and ask if they are okay. Take the blame even if you don’t think it’s your fault. Ideally both parties follow this rule. [Leaders, please please please remember to look where you’re swinging out your partner. If there isn’t a lot of space on the dance floor, please keep me on a shorter line so I can stay close to you and your flashy orange plaid shirt. Thanks!]

Dance for fun – People social dance because its fun! Unsolicited teaching is the biggest “no-no” on the dance floor! However, if somebody asks you for a suggestion, you are more than welcome to add your two cents! [When you are in class, that is a much more appropriate time to give and take feedback because you are in a training environment. On the social dance floor, people are getting their groove on and don’t necessarily want to hear you flap your gums about why they suck. If your partner is injuring you or if you have an injury, give ’em a heads up, otherwise, enjoy the moment for what it is.]