Dance Etiquette

Line of dance:

The dancing on a floor in a counter clockwise direction is the ‘line of dance’ and applies to traveling dances including Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep, and Viennese Waltz, as well as Polka and two-step country western. Latin and Swing dances are more or less stationary and have no line of dance. Sometimes it is possible to dance more than one type of dance to the same song. For example, some Foxtrots can also be swings, and many Lindy Hop songs are just great for Quickstep. In that case, swing dancers take the middle of the floor, and the moving dancers move along the periphery in the direction of the line of dance.

Getting on the floor:

Some caution should be exercised when getting on the dance floor, especially if the song has already started and couples are dancing on the floor. It is the responsibility of incoming couples to make sure that they stay out of the way of the couples already dancing. Specifically, before getting into dance position, one should always look opposite the line of dance to avoid blocking someone's way, or even worse, causing a collision.

Leaving the floor:

Leave the floor as quickly as it is gracefully possible when you are finished dancing.  If you are engaged in conversation, move off the dance floor. To cross the room, either dance across the floor or walk around the perimeter.

Sharing the floor:

Responsible usage of the floor requires that one stays out of the way of others. Some figures require a momentary movement against line of dance. These figures should be executed with great caution on a social dance floor, and only when there is no danger of collision.  Avoid getting too close to other couples. Be prepared to change the directions of your patterns to avoid congested areas. This requires thinking ahead and matching your patterns to the free areas on the floor.  Another aspect of sharing the floor is to match one's speed to that of others. If you are moving more slowly than other dancers, keep to the center of the floor.  When things go wrong on the dance floor always apologize. Generally it does not matter who is at fault.