Dance Floor Etiquette


There are unwritten rules of conduct when you go ballroom dancing. Sure, you are practicing the moves on your own when you’re at home or elsewhere. However, when you’re on the dance floor and you have a crowd of people dancing with you then you ought to abide by the accepted rules on social conduct.

It’s quite probable that you know some of these rules already. The good news is that the rule son etiquette on the dance floor aren’t that hard to remember. All of them are also easy to follow. Keep practicing them and they will eventually become something that is second nature to you.

Here are the rules:

Rule #1

if you notice, people dance around the room in a counter clockwise direction – the traffic always goes counter clockwise. Why is that? everybody follows this flow of traffic for the same reason why the road traffic also flows in the same direction. It reduces the chances of dancers colliding with one another.

Rule #2

what if I and my dance partner accidentally collide with another pair of dancers on the floor? Now what? Well, there’s a reason why it’s called an accident, right? It was unintentional. The right thing to do is to offer a sincere apology. You should also check with your dance partner. Ask if he or she is okay and if he or she is willing to continue. You can rest retire for now or you can shake it off and just reassume the frame and then continue dancing.

Rule #3

pick your lane. The outermost edge of the dance floor is usually the spot used by dancers who are pretty fast. That’s they’re lane. They already know the steps and have mastered it well enough to go at a faster pace. The inner lanes are for those who don’t want to go around the dance floor that fast; you know, those who want to try a gentler pace. The innermost lane of the dance floor is for those who may not want to move around at all or for those who want to practice certain steps or try a particular kind of dance movement.

Rule #4

it is okay if a guy asks you to dance. It’s also perfectly fine if it is the woman who asks a person to dance with her. No one will think anything of you.

Rule #5

it’s okay to dance with someone else other than your usual dancing partner. If you join a dance class the dance instructor may even encourage you guys to dance with different partners. Some even enjoy the idea. If you’re the guy or if you usually do the leading, working with different dance partners will enhance your leading skills. The same goes true for the followers. You will learn different cues and different ways other dancers lead.

Rule #6

it doesn’t matter if it was the guy who asked the woman to dance or if it was the woman who asked the guy to dance with her. When the dance is over, the custom is that the man should return the woman to her seat.

Rule #7

we all know that dancers have different skill levels. Some are even better than others when it comes to particular dances. However, what if you are dancing with someone who is less proficient? The rule here is that the dancer who is more proficient should slow down and dance at the same level as his or her partner. That also means if you have less experience with a particular dance you don’t need to be shy about it because your dance partner will make adjustments according to your skill level.

Rule #8

note that invitations to dance are rarely rejected on the dance floor. It is also considered as a polite thing to dance with anyone who asks you to dance with them. Of course, if you have just finished a round of dancing like a fast-paced Latin dance or something then it is perfectly fine to ask for some timeout just to catch your breath.

Rule #9

you often hear people applause after a dance or after the music has stopped playing. Sometimes there is no live band playing the music and the dancers on the floor still applaud after the music and the dance has ended. Why is that? Well, the idea is that you applause one another. You applaud your partner, the other dancers on the floor, and everyone else for a job well done. It is also appropriate and expected that after you have returned the lady to her seat that both of you thank one another.

Rule #10

Keep mints handy and also make sure to take a shower before you go dancing. Please be considerate and remember that you will be dancing with other folks and be in close contact with them. So, practice good hygiene.

Rule #11

wear appropriate clothes to a dance. Take note of the occasion. Match your wardrobe to the occasion be it dressy casual, semi-formal, formal, or what not. This is also a great way to get accepted into a community of dancers.

Rule #12

do not wear your tennis shoes or other sports shoes on the dance floor. This is more for your own safety since these shoes tend to stick to the floor. When you spin or turn, you risk injury if you are wearing these kinds of shoes.

Rule #13

when you ask someone to dance with you, then you should do it politely. You should also be just as polite if the other person declines your invitation to dance – though you will rarely get a rejection.

Rule #14

never move chairs around insomuch that you are blocking access to the dance floor. You shouldn’t also block anyone’s access to any section of the dance floor. Expect dance spaces to be crowded so please practice some consideration. consideration.

There are other rules on etiquette on the dance floor. We can’t put everything here in this article. However, as you go along and gain some experience you will learn them all eventually.

Interested in other dance styles:

Learn Salsa dance

Ballroom dance styles

Argentine Tango dance steps

Basic dance vocabulary