We're here to have a bit of fun, exercise, learn a new skill and meet some other really nice people. In the process though we tend to get a little bit closer to each other than in other sports or hobbies. So we've come up with some tips on how to make your time with us more pleasant for you and your fellow dancers. Feel free to suggest more!
Social partner dancing is a close contact sport where we encroach on the personal space of complete strangers. Therefore we need to be sure we are clean and healthy before and during the night.
Respect your dance partners and take care of your personal hygiene - brush your teeth, have a shower, wear antiperspirant and wear clean clothing.
- Disease, pandemics, plague
- If you're not feeling well then please stay home.
- Please wash your hands preferably with soap and water which is extremely effective at killing viruses.
- Body odour
- A bit of deodorant and a clean shirt / top is always appreciated.
- We provide deodorant in the washrooms.
- If you have a poor sense of smell or are immune to your own personal fragrance then have a buddy / friend you can ask for an honest opinion if you need to take any action.
- Help yourself to our free mints if you've had smelly food for dinner (e.g. garlic).
- Avoid drawing blood
- Please remove sharp rings, jewellery and bulky watches that might get impaled on your partner.
- Drips and drops
- If you're prone to 'glowing' / getting a little damp then please consider bringing a towel / spare tops so you partner doesn't come away with wet hands after a dance.
Some pointers for better classes:
- Introduce yourself then let your partner pay attention to what the teacher is saying or doing.
- Avoid chatting with your partner while the teacher is talking, often they will be making a technique point and it could be your partner (or even you!) who may specifically benefit.
- Leaders: avoid "impressing" your partner by doing extra moves or spins - it's actually really annoying for your partner and disrupting for those around you - you come across as an arrogant so and so.
- Avoid texting / using your phone (it's a partner dancer - i.e. you and someone else) in an increasingly connected virtual world it's nice to have somewhere where the emphasis is on connecting with the people around you.
If you've turned up for a rotational class there is some expectation that you'll pretty much dance with everyone you come across. However you are not obliged to dance with the person in front of you. For whatever reason there may be some past history that makes you feel uncomfortable when dancing with a particular person.
Communication is the key. If you don't want to dance with someone in the class, here are some pointers:
- saying nothing or even worse just standing there playing with you phone / hair etc.
- walking off the floor without saying anything or trying to swap with someone else as this can disrupt the class making it harder for others to follow what's going on
How about saying:
- "Can we just watch the teacher this time please, thanks."
- "Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom / have a break / get some water."
Dips, Drops, Leans
Basically any move where the leader takes the follower off balance.
- Even if you have danced with someone before, today is a new day and the follow might be tired or injured.
- ALWAYS ask your partner at the start of a dance if they are comfortable with dips and drops if you are hoping to lead them.
- NEVER lead a dip or drop if you haven't learnt the correct technique.
- NEVER dip or drop someone who hasn't been taught the correct technique.
- NEVER try to teach a follow a dip or drop - you do not know what technique is required on their part.
- A follow may have been happy to do them the previous week but they may not want to this week.
- Bear in mind that a follow may be comfortable doing dips and drops with teachers or advanced dancers for a while until they get more confident.
- Remove bulk and sharp items from pockets.
- If you don't want or like dips and drops on a particular night or with a particular person then feel empowered at the start of a dance to say "no dips or drops please".
- "I am not warmed up yet" is also a good reason for not wanting to do dips or drops.
- NEVER throw yourself into a dip or drop before it has been lead - this can lead to serious injury for both you and your partner.
- NEVER ask a lead to teach you a dip or drop: unless they are a teacher they are unlikely to know the correct technique required for your safety and protection.
Drips and Drops
- A towel comes in handy for these.
- Also spare clothing.
Good floorcraft is a sign of good awareness and respect for others. It is also important for safety.
- Watch where you're going!
- Beginners always have right of way.
- Followers: you can be your partner's rear view vision - if the leader is about to reverse into someone then apply the brakes.
- Avoid collisions by going around the dance floor to get to the other side of the room rather than through it.
- If you do accidentally bump into someone then be sure to check everyone's ok and follow up with a quick apology before you carry on.
Aerials are big moves involving more height and momentum than other moves. Severe injuries can occur if not done safely or in a controlled environment.
- Aerials are not permitted during freestyle.
- Aerials may be done after freestyle but only with the permission of the venue manager and in a safe place away from others.
- Some baby aerials where one of the followers feet remains below the leader's waist level are allowed - check with the venue manager first.
- If in doubt ask rather than risk being asked to leave.