Salsa Partnering & Dance Floor Etiquette

By October 20, 2014 No Comments

Ladies …

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!

Don’t be afraid to make eye contact.

Say, “Yes!” to the first dance offer, no matter who it is, and keep on saying it. This is the most important rule! Being picky is counter-productive, so lose the attitude! If you’re seen saying no, you’ll be left with only the blind and the bold – a small, and not necessarily cute, minority. The point of saying yes every time is to increase your chances of meeting talented, interesting dance partners. If you do this right, good dancers will soon monopolize your time anyway.

Ask good dancers to teach you something new! They’ll usually be happy to oblige and will seek you out in the future.

Guys …

Find a smiling lady and ask her to dance. Try to make sure that you have learned how to first, and remember – smooth is better than fancy! A couple of basic steps done correctly and on tempo is more fun for your partner than a dozen difficult turns done badly and out of time!

Avoid dancing roughly – like pulling your partner’s arm out of its socket. It’s bad form. Remember, you want to look good, and you can look really good if you make your partner look good.

Make eye contact – dancing is about communication.

Dance with all sorts of partners, it’ll make you a better dancer, not to mention, it’ll make you seem like a nice guy.

ALSO, if you haven’t showered, shaved, or brushed your teeth for a while, it might be a good idea to do that first! You don’t want women to be pointing you out for the wrong reasons!


It’s not cool to stand right ON the dance floor to socialize. Even experienced dancers, who should know better, sometimes stand right on the dance floor talking and drinking. Do what you like, but do it AWAY from the dance floor! A hardwood dance floor should be treated with care. Drinks and metal tipped stilletos on the dance floor are a NO NO! When you spill liquid on a hardwood floor, it becomes a hazardous wet spot. Even when it dries, this spot is pretty much ruined for dancers the rest of the night because it becomes “tacky” and you can’t slide across it.

Be nice to fellow dancers and avoid bumping into them. If it’s crowded on the floor – and these days most floors are crowded, dance small. Most important, try to remember, your partner is not disposable – don’t toss her around like a bowling ball.

If you are a beginner dancer, remember that everyone out there has probably experienced that same sweaty palm, stiff-as-a-board, jittery feeling. It will pass.

If you or your partner mess up a step, get past the urge to argue about who’s fault it is. Remember – there are no mistakes! It’s ONLY dancing, and everyone’s there to have fun.

If you’re a woman who’s not being asked to dance, try standing nearer the edge of the dance floor; smile, tap your foot, and look like you really NEED to dance to this song. Make eye contact. Dance with the first person who asks. Once you get out there a couple of times with different partners, other potential partners will know you won’t turn them down. ALSO, don’t be afraid to ask guys to dance. It’s cool!

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