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Dayton, Ohio

Dance Etiquette

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.

  1. When you lead the program, please tell us when we should and shouldn’t get into a dance we don’t know.
  2. 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!)
  3. Always join a contra line or longways set at the foot of the set (the end away from the music).
  4. Respect other dancers and leaders and treat everyone with courtesy.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 from you.
  8. 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 alcoholic beverages.
  9. Folk dancing requires "reflex action" much the same as driving a car, so refrain from using alcoholic beverages before and during dancing.
  10. Wear a name tag at all times. New members don’t know old members; old members don’t know new members.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 - that’s how to keep folk dancing alive!
  14. Make it a practice to thank guests for coming, instructors for teaching, program leaders for leading, everyone who made your evening a pleasant one.
  15. And as always, dance only for the FUN which you find in it.

Other Dance Etiquette Pages

MVFD Pages: [Home] [General Schedule] [Info Sheet] [Calendar]
Other pages: [Hyll Home Page] [Dayton Dance Groups] [Directions to MSP]


Miami Valley Folk Dancers 1996-2006
Page last updated 07/09/06 . This page maintained by Leslie Hyll.