We never apply force. We work to communicate, not physically but rhythmically. Never making our partner feel that we demand. Instead we look to ask questions whose answers balance the equation. That way there’s room to actually dance.
The article below was written by Clinton Collier. He is a certified dance instructor currently living in Toronto, Canada. He submitted his article/recommendations on Dance Etiquette to us via the Latin Dance Community Facebook page and we’ve decided to share it with you all. Check it out! Read More
If you’re reading this site, then it goes without saying that Latin dances (salsa, bachata, kizomba(yes, we know its not a Latin dance)) can be flirtatious, sexy, and sensual. Whenever we go out dancing it’s fun to feel that spark of attraction between you and your partner, even if it’s something that doesn’t go anywhere beyond the dance floor.
Gents, handle your partners with care! They are gentle, fragile creatures who need gentle, caring leading to blossom! Nobody likes bone breakers, thugs, and careless wild animals… Dance is sophisticated communication, let’s keep it that way!
So, you thought you were ready for the dance floor and all the sudden your in the arms of some “swaggy” salsero who starts telling you what to do or saying you are wrong. Better yet, someone starts pushing or pulling on the dance floor. Salsa is meant to be a fun way to meet people but every now and then, a salsa prankster comes across and you have to be prepared.
Salsa Etiquette is as important as learning the foundation steps or pattern.
Dancing is a very active and at times intimate social activity. As with other social situations there is an etiquette that you need to be aware of to make sure everybody has fun.
So here are some guidelines on salsa etiquette that applies both in classes and in social dance situations.
Leading is INDICATION! It is a hint and an invite that you would LIKE IF your partner would go the way you SUGGESTED her. Please do not force your partner to do what you want without ASKING (with the lead) first. Also, don’t bring her arms/legs/anything into positions that feel awkward or unnatural. Be a gentleman, be kind, ask and you will be given. Ladies like to follow and there’s no need to insist. Hint: Leaders often force the lead if they feel like slipping out of the beat. If something like that happens, please – SKIP A BEAT! – don’t try to catch the slipping beat under any price.
Ladies, please do not put your weight on your partner while dancing! Not only you become a lazy dancer and a lousy follow, but also you put a lot of pressure on your partner. Not only he has to lead you, he also has to carry you around! Not nice! Strengthen your core by standing up straight and carrying your own weight. Your partner shouldn't feel your weight on his shoulders!
Tips on Leading: Salsa Dance Facts About Leading – A Helpful Guide For Men In Salsa Dancing. Important Insights Into The Art Of Dancing Salsa From The Men’s Perspective.
By Lisa King
Editorial note: This is a article that every dancer, student and teacher should read. There are great truths revealed in this little piece. Read on, and share it with people! Congratulations to Lisa King, a local dance teacher who is passing on the real knowledge.
by Steve Hill
This is that daunting question. You have paid your dance class fee, you can count up to eight and you have danced with 15 fellow students without their suffering a broken toe or nausea. Now the class has ended and it’s a jungle out there!!
The question “Would you like to dance?” is seen by a majority of women as one that men should ask. And, as it is men who are expected to lead the dance, it is very daunting to go from attending lessons to being confident enough to ask a stranger.
What this means is – when you dance with one girl, there’s only her during that song! Talking to other people while dancing, yawning or checking out other girls makes you a jerk! No, you’re not cool, you are a jerk. If you asked someone to dance with you, or accepted someone’s dance invite, then extend your courtesy and give your exclusive attention to that person for the next few minutes. It is not a lot, and we’re sure that everyone can do it, and it is also known as “good manners”… =)
by Jeroen Warmenbol
„Remembering to smile and enjoying the dance is much more important than being able to follow/lead a Cross Body Double Turn with hammerlock and triple spin…“
Both MEN and WOMEN
Learn what kind of a dancer you are, throw everything on a pile and develop your own dance style which makes you happy.
A successful salsa strategy toward dancing all night, apart from knowing how to dance, is to be seen dancing. Guys are generally a shy lot, but if they know you can and will dance, you’ll be dancing all night.
Smile till it hurts! If you don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself, you probably won’t be!
To make your dance experience as well as your partners’ and the dancers around you more enjoyable, please take note of the following salsa club guidelines and tips
Positioning yourself on the dance floor
You have just arrived at the salsa party and are anxious to begin dancing. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the surroundings and the dance scene. Every floor is different in terms of where it is appropriate to socialize, stand and dance.
If the dance floor is super packed, please be considerate and don't try to take up so much space while dancing, not to mention those pedestrians that walk right in the middle of the dance floor and yet they complain when they get an elbow in the face!!! Maybe we need traffic lights and speed limits on the dance floor!
DON’T put yourself in a class which is too difficult for you – it will only make you frustrated that you are not able to master the moves, and will ultimately spoil your enjoyment (and also that of others) of the class.
DON’T walk across the middle of one class to get to another… please walk round: it only takes a few seconds longer, honest!
DO try and match your dancing to the available space around you, especially on a crowded floor.
Salsa dancing is fun, exciting and a great, but it can also be dangerous. Scratches, bumps and bruises are all par for the course, especially when you are just starting out and in the dreaded Salsa Hell.
Here are some salsa dancing injuries I’ve come to expect, because I have at one time or another inflicted these or had these inflicted upon me. Oh and this is not just a list to rip on the guys, you’re guilty too, ladies. Even though you are beautiful angels, its still possible for you to find a way to gash my ankles open with your 3 inch Burju heels.
by Aria Nosratinia
Dance etiquette is a set of guidelines that help us navigate the social dimensions of dancing.
Why do we care about dance etiquette? Because it is nice to know how to go about in the dancing circles. It makes the difference between having a happy or unhappy dancing experience, the difference between people wanting, or not wanting to dance with you.
by Shaka Brown
You want to be a better social dancer. I want you to be a better social dancer. Other dancers want you to be a better social dancer. Now that we are all on the same page, why is it so hard to accomplish this goal? I’ll tell you why, it’s because you haven’t taken the 5 necessary steps to become a better social dancer. I’m here to help. No matter where you are or what type of dance you want to improve at. This article is specific to partner dancing, but it can apply to just about any type of dancing. Let’s get into it!
We go to social dances to dance – not to stand on the sidelines! And yet, as follows, we can spend the entire night being passed over, or even worse – being rejected when we do muster up the courage to ask someone for a dance.
We hate ourselves, we beat ourselves up, and we mope about not being attractive or skanky enough, or turn to our friends for the reassurance that guys are just jerks – to tell us: “It’s not you, it’s them.”
When someone hits your partner while dancing with you, don’t be so sure she won’t be blaming you too a little bit somewhere deep inside… Not only you have to take care not to harm others, but you must do your best to shield her from all dancers around you too. Take care of your partner! Don’t let outside influences harm her! Be her umbrella, make her feel protected and safe dancing with you!