Dancing Etiquette

Ways to conduct yourself at dances to ensure a positive experience for all

Download Dancing Etiquette File

  1. Whether in class or in a social setting, dance with a variety of partners.

  2. Both men and women should feel free to ask anyone to dance. If you intend to dance a particular dance, it is courteous to accept the first person to ask you; it is impolite to decline and wait for a “better offer.”

  3. In forming sets, always join at the bottom; do not cut in above couples who already have joined.

  4. Listen quietly and attentively to instructions.

  5. Give eye contact to your partner and other dancers. Smile!

  6. When assisting less experienced dancers, keep verbal directions to a minimum; use eye contact and appropriate gestures (such as offering the correct hand or shoulder); and never shout or scowl at, or push or pull, another dancer. Be kind!

  7. Be willing to sacrifice your own technique as necessary to assist an elderly or impaired dancer.

  8. At a ball or other non-teaching event, do not stand up for a dance unless you know it; or, unless you are familiar with all of the figures in the dance and can dance it from a brief.

  9. Remember that everyone, including experienced dancers, makes mistakes. If a dance breaks down, stay calm and prepare for the next phrase or repetition.

  10. Thank your partner and the set at the end of each dance.