Dance Etiquette for New and Old Dancers
This etiquette list was compiled by Leslie Hyll from various items. It has been structured to apply to international folk dancing, but pieces may have value to contra, square, swing, vintage, or other types of social dance. The reader is welcome to plagerize, modify, adapt, add to, or delete from this list to make it useful for whatever genre.
Every once in a while we all need to be reminded.
- When you lead the program, please tell us when we should
and shouldnt get into a dance we dont know.
- Always join a line dance at the end of the line. (90% of
the time, the left end is the end. Watch out for those
dances whose ends are on the right!)
- Always join a contra line or longways set at the foot of
the set (the end away from the music).
- Respect other dancers and leaders and treat everyone with
- Do not offend others with your high flung legs, or
overzealous endeavors to help others who may hesitate, by
pulling, grabbing, or pushing them, or by speaking loudly
or harshly to them.
- Be quiet and attentive to the instructor even though you
know what is being explained or you are not dancing.
Perhaps someone else needs to be briefed.
- There shall be only one instructor at a time. Do not try
to teach when someone else is teaching. Maybe the
instructor wants to do the dance in a different manner
- Bathe diligently, that the sweet aroma of soap and lotion
may assail the nostrila of your associates. Similarly
take care that the word of your mouth is not scented with
strong smelling herbs, such as garlic, onion, or
- Folk dancing requires "reflex action" much the
same as driving a car, so refrain from using alcoholic
beverages before and during dancing.
- Wear a name tag at all times. New members dont know
old members; old members dont know new members.
- Do not be a snob, considering yourself too good to dance
with any and all, by sitting out mixers, or by leaving a
set lest you be required to dance with those you deem
unworthy of your talents.
- Be conscious of the feelings of those around you and do
not let the stranger in your midst sit on the sidelines,
or fail to speak to him. Be friendly at all times -
everyone needs fellowship.
- Never forget that you were once a beginner, and that
others helped you become a good dancer by tolerating your
mistakes. Remember, always help new dancers - thats
how to keep folk dancing alive!
- Make it a practice to thank guests for coming,
instructors for teaching, program leaders for leading,
everyone who made your evening a pleasant one.
- And as always, dance only for the FUN which you find in
Other Dance Etiquette Pages
[Hyll Home Page]
[Dayton Dance Groups]
[Directions to MSP]
© Miami Valley Folk Dancers 1996-2006
Page last updated 07/09/06
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