Everyone loves dancing with professionals when they go out, not only because they know how to dance, but also they follow a specific etiquette on a dance floor.
In this post I want to share with you what professional dancers think and how to act like one.
It’s a social party- not a dance competition
Pro dancers move with ease on a dance floor. That’s so important when you’re dancing socially. Forget the long choreographies, big steps and full out performances- you’re dancing socially and not competing in Blackpool.
Learn social level dance steps
Pro dancers spend plenty of time working on their basic steps so then they can nicely lead and follow at a dance party. If you’re a competitive dancer and want to look good at a social environment, take a lesson or two on basic figures. Trying to dance advanced figures to impress but without knowing how to do it well, will make you look like a beginner.
Here is a list of basic steps you should know when you dance socially.
Download Social Figures in Ballroom and Latin American Dancing
Dancing with partners of different levels
Leader: if your partner is less experienced than you, your priority should be to make them feel comfortable. Lead simple figures first and build up gradually rather than jumping into performing your full out open routines
Follower: if your partner is new, be patient and encouraging- but NOT patronizing.
The annoying “adviser” on the floor
There’s nothing more irritating than constantly being given tips from a fellow dancer when you’re just trying to have a good time. It’s a social dance, not a lesson so NO NEED FOR FEEDBACK! You’d never do that to a stranger in a bar when you go out with your friends, would you?
Asking for a dance
Not everyone wants to be on the floor for each piece of music so accept it. However, if you’ve asked a person and they said not, DON’T ask the dancer standing right next to him/her. No one wants to be the “second best”.
Who to dance with?
Social parties are filled with people who love to dance just like you. Set yourself a goal that at each party you will dance with at least 5 different people you have never met before. This is the whole point of social dancing!
Can I say no?
It’s common to be asked for a dance by both ladies and gentlemen. There’s this unwritten rule that the person should never refuse a dance when asked. Well, that’s not true. Everyone needs a rest. However, if a person only wants to dance with pros and the best dancers, rejecting invites from lower level dancers, then feel free to say no! Otherwise, just see if you want to dance, just enjoy.
Pro dancers should always look and smell good. It’s nice to dance with someone who wears a nice perfume or aftershave. You can bring a travel size perfume with you and keep reapplying it throughout the party. At the end, I guarantee that you will still be hearing compliments on how nicely you smell.
Gum or food
Chewing anything whilst dancing is one of the most off-putting things. Invest in mints instead. And don’t go on a dance floor with anything in your mouth– simple!
When to say sorry?
The floor is busy and you bump into another couple or they bump into you. Just make sure they’re ok (whether it’s your fault or not). Even if this means you stop dancing for a few bars of music. It will make you look more composed and “in control”- exactly what a pro dancer should be like.
Also- don’t apologize at the beginning of a dance for being a beginner or every time you make a mistake- just relax!
Keep a low profile
Very often I see pro dancers showing off on a dance floor at a social party. The thing is that the best dancers don’t need to be a centre of attention all the time. Be easy-going and focus on your dance partner rather than how many people will watch you with admiration!
Less talk, more dancing
When you’re in the middle of a Foxtrot or a Rumba, don’t have a full on discussion. A small talk is good but it’s much better to leave it for later over a drink.
Finishing the dance
Always say thank you to your partner and walk off the floor together. Don’t respond “you’re welcome” as it sounds like you did your partner a favour. In partner dancing everyone is equal.
As you can see, most of these are common sense. Just line in life- be understanding, respectful and elegant then whoever you dance, will simply love dancing with and you will be acting like a true professional dancer!