No need to work your brain into a frenzy! I have seen first-hand and read plenty of excellent blogs regarding dance etiquette. In fact, when dancing any style of Salsa, Tango, Bachata, and even Country Boot-Scootin’ Boogie, there are some really common sense courtesies that apply to all of these styles. Remember, we were all beginners at one time. Even advanced dancers, instructors, and world dance champions had to start as beginners. We were not all born with super dance shoes and flashy moves from day one. However, with dedication and passion we can all achieve dancing abilities to any level we desire. Therefore, thank you for allowing me to share some dance etiquette tips that I have had the blessing to experience. This is not the bible cryptowatchdaily of dance etiquette, but surely these tips will help you enjoy what we all really want, having fun dancing!
The Approach: Both men and women always question themselves first when a new dancer wants to dance with them: what level do they dance, or could they be more advanced than I am (or not)? The same goes for social dancers, who have seen ‘the regulars’ week in and week out, wondering when to ask, hoping to be asked, or even sometimes trying to avoid certain dancers. In fact, I have seen all of the above happen. So by minimizing these analytical thoughts it will help you to get on the dance floor sooner than later. Applying dance etiquette in your approach is really not that difficult. Keep in mind that you made the effort to not only enjoy what you have to offer on the dance floor, but also that you came to have an enjoyable evening.
Approach Done – You Are Dancing: It’s always best to start easy with basic turns and footwork, and finally work your way up to an aligned comfort level. This will help to boost both of your confidence levels in reaching a balanced dance mode. Equally important is being receptive as to which one of you may be the more skilled dancer. This basic etiquette is the best ‘Litmus Test’ to know within the first minute how your dance experience will continue for the evening.
You Are Dancing – the Uh-oh: I must say that at this point, you first ‘thank almighty’ that it’s a DJ and not a live band. You know it will be over in 4-5 minutes. Then you wipe your brow! This is not good dance etiquette. On the other hand, you’re in, so take the opportunity to be positive. Relax, make the best of the moment and keep smiling. We are here to have fun dancing. Surely you or your partner has probably experienced a case of ‘itis’ on several fronts. King-Kong-itis grip, spaghetti-itis, or arm-in-cast-itis! Okay, get the point? If you chuckle at this then you are likewise guilty! This is where dance etiquette is very important that you cordially attempt to help, or accept if guilty, the simple tip to relax and smile. You will be pleasantly surprised that smiling and being inviting as you share your dance tip, as well as being open and receptive to critique, will definitely lead to another dance. This practice will build confidence in taking constructive tips and in sharing your etiquette when dancing with others.
On To Next Dancer: As a result of applying proper dance etiquette with your first dance partner, you are building confidence on two fronts. First, you’ve got your body language glowing, and indeed other dancers of any level would ask you to share a dance. Second, you are spreading the positive energy from dancing with confidence in applying some basic dance etiquette with courtesy and respect. Therefore, from dancer to dancer, no matter what the level, that before, during and after each dance, you have finally had a super dance experience.
In summary, the whole intent of dancing is to have fun! Therefore, in using common sense, courtesy, and in building your level of confidence, your dance experiences will be memorable and pleasant. So share the smiles, accept the critique and share the knowledge. As a result, your time invested in lessons and your classy dance footwear, will give you a lifetime of joy and great memories…So Let’s Dance!
Miguel “Mambo” DeLeon has been a Latin music entertainer for over 30 years. He is known in the Midwest Salsa and Latin Jazz scene as “The Pioneer” – “El Pionero” since the mid 80’s. From the mid 70′s he worked alongside Orchestra Charambo and backed up various vocalists from the Fania All Stars. Other artists include such legends as Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente and many more.
Motivated by his fans with questions about dancing and what shoes to wear or not to wear, he has opened an online store which specializes in comfort fitting dance shoes with style. Visit Classy Dance Footwear