Dance Etiquette

Attire and Grooming

What to wear?  You’ll move your body around a lot, so wear something comfortable.  For ladies, fancy or casual—it’s your choice–a dress, skirt or slacks or even jeans are all fine.  Many ladies like to jazz up their look with a sparkly or sexy top, but just make sure you can move in it, and that your clothing doesn’t get in the way or caught when your partner turns you.  Depending on the style of dance, you may even find yourself sweating!  Dressing in layers is the answer; when you get warmed up on the dance floor, you can always remove your sweater or shawl.   For men, just make sure you’re neat, clean and groomed.

A word about personal grooming.  You will have an opportunity to dance with different partners, so please remember to attend to your personal grooming before taking the dance floor.   As a courtesy to your partners, everyone should wash their hands after using the restroom.  Keep your breath fresh with complimentary candies that are always available at the front desk.

Dance Shoes
We do recommend that you purchase dance shoes.  They are specifically designed for flexibility, comfort and moving easily on the ballroom dance floor.   Ask your dance instructor or friends for recommendations on the type and style best suited for your dance style pursuits.

Dance Floor Etiquette

Asking/Refusing a Dance.   Be aware that FTD welcomes dancers from all ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, and sexual orientations; many have customs or cultural behaviors that you may not be familiar with.  Sometimes shyness or a reserved demeanor may be mistaken for coldness or unfriendliness.   A smile and a kind word works best to break the ice.  We encourage everyone to dance with others, but sometimes they may not know how to dance that particular dance, or at least not with anyone but their partner—or they may not speak or understand a different language, or they’re just shy.  Some couples come with their partners and only want to dance with them.  If you are refused a dance, don’t take it personally. There are plenty of other people to ask.  Keep trying… they’re out there waiting for you to ask them.

What if I continually get turned down?   Have you checked your personal hygiene?  You may want to ask a friend to verify this for you. If you’re OK there, it may be your dance steps or leading techniques are in need of a little brush-up.  Remember, dancing should be a pleasant experience for you and your partner.  Are your dance skills matched to your partner?  Leaders should try to adjust to the level of their partners.  The Leader should ‘show off’ their partner.  Leaders: If you’re out-dancing your partner, holding them too tight or muscling them, stepping on their feet or otherwise hurting them, they won’t want to dance with you.  Be a considerate partner, observant and respectful.


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