August 11, 2008

Dance floor Do's & Don'ts - Line Dance Etiquette


the RANT: {post inspiration}  picture story-telling hands flying around

Over the years I've had some "1-dance wonders...  "

Two Stepping encounter with Control Freak #1
One guy asked me to Two-Step early in the night. It is really kinda rude to turn down a dance without a good reason so of course I accepted. We started off in the normal two-step position where the man's right hand is high on my back and left hand grasping mine, my left hand on his right shoulder. All started well until the first time he took me out of spinning & the side by side step back to the basic position. That was where he pissed me off pretty badly. I understand that some men dance like this but Dude had his hand all up in my neck (not my upper back) and I was having no part of it. I don't know who gave him permission to come close to my neck but it sure as heck wasn't me! So, I am the woman and am supposed to be following but he's about to get left on the dance floor solo so I politely put my arm up inside his in an attempt to push his arm back to my back again... Dude looked at me like I had 6 heads! I was pissed!!! The smile is gone and he's not moving his hand, so I drop my left hand all together so I am only half-way holding onto his hand, left hand dangling and thank God it wasn't a long song because I was not a happy camper... like at all!

Two Stepping encounter with Control Freak #2
After being annoyed by the last couple's dance, I started doing some line dances. I was on my 6th or 7th dance in a row & was so tired I went to sit mid-song. As I reach my seat, another dude asks me to dance. I was out of breath, sweaty, thirsty & tired so I paused to think about my response... He interrupts my pause with an offended, "Yes, the answer is yes!" as he pulled me onto the dance floor. Well, that 1/2 a song will also be the last dance I do with him indefinitely.

El Paso encounter with Control Freak #3
I was out and there was a new handsome dancer out. I must admit, I was excited when he asked me to dance because he was cute! Well, it took about 13 seconds to realize he wasn't getting danced with again. I believe we were dancing the El Paso & he was throwing in variations (nothing new to me BTW). He started with a nice little spin, tightly grasping my wrist to stop my well under control spin. Then he yanked on my arms to force me into some variation that didn't even fit with the music and continued to "teach me" the El Paso by telling me to stand up straighter because it looks like the man is leading. I had some news for him, the El Paso was the first dance I learned back in Cape May when I was 15 years old, I have perfectly good posture dancing and JackA$$ himself could have used a pointer or two about leading, grace & rhythm.
Dancing aside, we were chatting when he proceded to tell me how he is a state trooper in a nearby state. I got to hear a lovely story about how he pulled over some hot girl and she was drunk but he didn't give her a DWI - followed with you're cute, you can drink & make it home without getting a ticket when he saw me drinking water. And I seriously wonder sometimes...?!

Lorrie's Cha Cha encounter with Tiny Dancer #1
A boob-height guy asked me to do Lorrie's Cha-Cha. It is my favorite dance so I accepted his invitation. All I've got to say is I don't want to have to duck when you spin me! This may be me being picky but in all seriousness... If you're not tall enough to reach your arm over my head, just don't bother asking me to dance at all. I don't want to leave the floor with a stiff neck. Ok, that's all.

Two-stepping with Mr. Vom
This one takes the cake! I was approached by an old man wearing some NJ Transit uniform to two step. The old man seemed harmless so I accepted & we began to two step. We didn't make it around the first corner when I noticed a putrid smell. I don't know what the guy ate for dinner but my gag reflex was going. I turned my head sharply to avoid this onion odor protruding from him. I'm not sure if the guy saved half a hoagie in his pocket or what but he almost got puked on! 
This dance inspired me to ignore the courtesy dance etiquette of always accepting a dance.


On the Floor: Lead, Follow or Watch out!



  1. In the New Jersey and other areas of the Northeast, country dance floors have sections (but not as many as the south).
  2. Typically, the couples dance around the outside of the dance floor counterclockwise while line dancers stay in the middle.
  3. Swing dancers will usually find an area to get their swing on off to an open area in the center. ...
    • Hello... just some common sense here. If you're dancing in a lane, the couples can't get through, you'll likely get run over & the same goes for couples dancing all up in the center of the floor.
  4. Remember the floor is for everyone.
  5. Those dancing around the outside lane have the right of way. Don't block their progress
  6. If possible start another line rather than join a crowded one that'll block the outside lanes


  1. When visiting other clubs allow the regulars to be first on the floor & join in the dance they're doing... that is unless there's plenty of room to begin a different dance
  2. While venturing out to a new place... don't tell the regulars they're doing a dance wrong or to the wrong song. This rule goes for both line & couples dances. If you're out of your element and in a new dance spot... embrace the variation! When in Rome...


  1. DO Be courteous of newbies
  2. DON'T "show off" in front of beginners
    • Constantly changing or adding steps & turns will confuse them
  3. DON'T change steps during dance lesson
  4. DO try to be helpful to newbies
  5. DON'T stop dancing to teach someone the steps on the dance floor.
    • If you want to help, take them to a quiet, unoccupied corner of the floor or room


  1. If you bump into anyone, DO apologize whether it is your fault or not.
  2. If you accidentally spill someone's drink, DO replace it straight away
  3. DO always be courteous to other dancers on the floor.
  4. DON'T take a cowboy's hat! Girls, don't forget that asking to wear a cowboys hat is massive flirtation!


  1. Have a partner? DO Make sure that both your first & last dance is with that person!
  2. Common courtesy also dictates that if you see a lady without a partner you should, as they said in the old days,DO "mark her card" & take the floor with her!
  3. Guy's if you want to dance with someone else's date or partner, DO ask if they mind before you ask her to dance.
  4. If you do dance with a different partner, DON'T walk away from them after the dance has ended. Always walk them back to their seat
  5. Ladies... can't get a partner to dance with? DON'T be too picky. If a cowboy asks you to dance, then dance with him. Once the men see you can & will dance, they'll ask
  6. If the floor is crowded, DO take smaller steps to avoid bumping into someone next to you
  7. DON'T start a different dance, unless there is plenty of room and you sense it's okay
  8. When starting off the dance, DO go to the front so that others can fall in behind you


  1. No standing on the dance floor. DON'T stay on the floor to talk - if the music has started, leave the floor to chat
  2. Don't wear spurs on the dance floor.
  3. Don't use the dance floor for a pathway to the other side of the bar.
  4. Don't cross the dance floor if a dance is in progress or about to begin, walk around the edge
  5. DO Keep your drinks, food & gum off the floor. It's no fun dancing on a sticky or buckled floor, with gum on a boot, or beer on your clothes!

Credit: More line dance floor etiquette can be found

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