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Author Topic: Dance etiquette for beginners  (Read 1550 times)
phoenix13
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« on: June 13, 2013, 05:00:29 PM »

I was just in another thread where I mentioned a point of etiquette that seemed obvious to me.  But then it occurred to me that, if I were a beginner partner dancer (kind of like the people who google and find PDO) those things might be a bit less obvious to me.

So here's a question for the more experienced dancers here. What kinds of things do you do or avoid  to make sure that nothing you do makes life miserable for your partners?

My (probably partial) list:

1. Brush my teeth
2. Use  sublingual breath freshener strips more than I think I need to
3.Get to class on time
4. Dance with beginners
5. Avoid stinky lunch or dinner before dance class (Doritos and anything garlic are my faves, but not on dance day)
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Dona nobis pacem.
cha
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 42


« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 06:07:59 PM »

Hi everyone - I'm new to PDO.  Thank you for starting this thread, Phoenix13 - great idea!

Two things that I almost always do are:

1.
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cha
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 42


« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 06:13:35 PM »

 ;Doops - sorry about that!   My computer keys got away from me for a moment there!

Anyway, two things that I think are important etiquette items are:

1.  Thank the gentleman for asking me to dance, and thank him for the dance afterward; and
2.  Smile and at least look like I'm having a good time while dancing.

I've only been social dancing for a couple of years now but it feels so de-humanizing to dance with someone who doesn't acknowledge your existence or doesn't seem to have a good time dancing with you.  Even under the most trying circumstance, I can find something to smile about on the dance floor - the music alone can do it for me.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 06:34:47 PM »

You're right, cha.  A smile and a thank you can go very far. Smiley
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Dona nobis pacem.
elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 07:37:44 PM »

thats SO important - but its different for the lead and the follower.  I mean part of our job is to make it easy for the lead to dance so an acknowledgement that we did that goes right to the heart.  I'd love to hear from a lead as to what they would like in return...

Perhaps we need another topic on 'gener roles and ballroom dance' because as I see it thats exactly whats going on - both the lead and the follower adopt a traditional gener role and both need some sort of affirmation that they are appreciated as such...

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QPO
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 06:58:26 AM »

Well it has been awhile since I was a beginner.. but we do have progressives. I dont mind them as they give you an opportunity to say hello to people I normally wont dance with having my own partner.

but I think some of the suggestions are valid ones. Being personable and open are always good ones. You will be asked on the dance floor more often Cheesy
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millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 09:25:31 PM »

Just got back from a trip. Went to visit my brother at Japan. And that was why I was a bit quiet lately Smiley.

I also think that a thank you is important - a bit of common courtesy couldn't hurt.

On the other hand, I felt a bit more ambivalent on the smiling part. It is all cool and nice to smile, to show how much you enjoy dancing with the person. But since I am not really a smiling person, to smile through out the whole dance is...well, a bit hard, I'd say.

And when you see me grinning like a sun, it actually means that I made a mistake Wink. Learned it from a friend.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2013, 09:39:10 PM »

It's good to see you back.Smiley

I agree with you about the smile.  A genuine smile is very good, but, especially in social dancing, I don't think it should be forced.
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elisedance
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 09:48:40 PM »

hope you had a great time MZ Smiley
one of my brothers comes here in a couple of weeks Smiley Smiley
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
phoenix13
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 06:45:16 AM »

Just got back from a trip. Went to visit my brother at Japan. And that was why I was a bit quiet lately Smiley.

I also think that a thank you is important - a bit of common courtesy couldn't hurt.

On the other hand, I felt a bit more ambivalent on the smiling part. It is all cool and nice to smile, to show how much you enjoy dancing with the person. But since I am not really a smiling person, to smile through out the whole dance is...well, a bit hard, I'd say.

And when you see me grinning like a sun, it actually means that I made a mistake Wink. Learned it from a friend.

There was actually a topic on this in one of the billion dance forums/FB pages I frequent.  Can't remember which one.

The poster was saying that, when he social dances, having his partner continually urge him to smile irritates him and detracts from his positive experience.  He's less likely to ask that person again.

Which reminds me of another really great article I saw on FB (?) yesterday.  Ten commandments of social dance.  I'll have to see if I can find the actual article, which is really, really good. 
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Dona nobis pacem.
phoenix13
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 06:54:16 AM »

Oops.  I thought it was on the Dancers Forum FB page, but it's not.  (Oddly enough, another blog post with a similar title is.  Hilarious, but not family friendly, so I won't post it here.  It's on jazzmonkey.wordpress.com.) 

I'll keep looking for the other article.  Somewhere on FB.  *sigh*
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Dona nobis pacem.
millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 07:15:27 PM »

Talking about that 10 commandments of social dancing, which brought me thinking of one thing - how to say no.

From my reading (all over the internet), there is yet an agreement on this one. The article said just a short no thank you should suffice (after all, these people want to dance/quickly find the next partner, not listening to your elaborate explanation!). Some people said that they won't dance to the no thank you people again unless they come to them. Some people suggest that you should just make up a reason, some say no. Even the more obvious one is in debate - if you say no, my feet hurt to one person, then you should not dance with another one.

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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 08:04:02 PM »

For sure, be consistent - but there's nothing wrong with saying that you want to sit this one out - but most convincing if you just walked off the floor.
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 08:04:44 PM »

Here its VERY old fashioned - women would not dream of asking a man to dance.
Is that so where you all are?
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
phoenix13
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Posts: 3359



« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 08:19:45 PM »

Where I am, women ask men for whatever they want.  Not that I'm comfortable with all aspects of that, but I can easily wrap my mind around asking for a dance.  It's just three minutes.
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Dona nobis pacem.
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