Dance Etiquette for Country Dancing

Want to know how to behave properly while out social dancing at a country bar, studio, or convention? Read on to learn the best manners and customs for creating a great dance etiquette.

Floor crafting

Floor crafting is the term used to describe how the leader navigates his couple in and out of traffic on the dance floor. Having good floor crafting skills, avoiding collisions on the dance floor, and being aware to not create hazards and accidents, is primary in good dance etiquette. Traveling dances like polka, two step, and waltz follow the line of dance (a circle that runs counter-clockwise around the dance floor). It is important to know that the inner track is reserved for beginners, so that the outer tracks are open for more advanced dancers to have space and freedom to zoom around the room.
Followers should squeeze the leaders arms to warn the leader of traffic that he may not see.
It is polite to apologize if there is a collision of couples. If someone falls, always stop to help.

Alcohol use

Be aware that many people at country dances are not just beginners, but may also be intoxicated. Keep this in mind as far as floor crafting is concerned. Try not to be the wasted dancer on or off the floor!

Asking someone to dance

You can ask someone to dance with a formal verbal invite or by eye contact and a physical gesture from across the room. Always introduce yourself to your partner and try to remember their name for the next time. Thank your partner at the end of the dance. Leaders, it is not necessary to walk your follower off the floor or back to their seat, but you may do so if you wish.

Don’t take it personally if someone rejects your invitation to dance. This will happen to everyone during their dance career and the best advice is to not assume their reasoning and to forget about it instead of feeling offended and rejected. Easier said than done.

Women can ask men to dance, just as equally as men can ask women.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get asked to dance. Just be the one to do the asking and get to know people and then others will invite you back. Also, be sure that you are making yourself open to invitations with your energy and body language.

It is appropriate to approach the dance floor at the end of the song, tap someone on the shoulder, and ask them to dance. You do not need to wait until they are off the floor. Popular, advanced dancers get scooped up very quickly.

Dance at the level of the least skilled partner

Too much stylizing can throw your lesser advanced partner off and distract them. It is preferable to not intimidate a newer dancer with variations they don’t understand. For leaders, try giving the lady one spin before attempting a triple. Work your way up from basics to more intermediate steps to test the waters with what your partner can handle.

Hygiene

Make sure your smell and appearance is pleasant, as country dancing is a contact sport. Men, bring an extra shirt and change if you get too sweaty. Wear deodorant and brush teeth and/or use mouthwash.
Don’t eat garlic or onions in the meal directly before going out social dancing. If you need help with what to wear check out our blog on What to Wear.

Don’t walk alone back to your car late at night

This rule should apply to anywhere you go. Have a friend walk you to your car at the end of the evening, especially if you are a young lady. If you do not know anyone there, you can request that an employee or bouncer watch you make it safely to your car. Don’t let others walk to their car alone and don’t let friends drive home under the influence of alcohol.

You should now have more confidence about your dance etiquette for the next time you go out country dancing. Do you have any extra tips on dance etiquette? If so, we would love to hear them in the comments below.

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