Do You Know These Rules for Successful Dancing?

 Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 at 5:05 AM
Nov 092013
Please share!

Do You Know These Rules For Successful Dancing?

Although most of this list seems commensensical, your dance instructors is often too busy helping you coordinate your feet and arms to be picky about dance floor etiquette. Plus, they want you to come back for more lessons and newbie dancers have either very fragile or very huge egos. So take a moment to heed this advice and you will be a successful and pleasant dancer who continues to be sought after on and off the dance floor.

30s Dance Ad Vintage Jitterbug1. NEVER criticize your partner on a social dance floor. Nothing is more humiliating than having someone correct you while you’re trying to have fun.

2. Do NOT do Back (Shadow) Charleston on a crowded dance floor. “Hey bigfoot, your heel hurts when it connects with my shin.” It’s very inconsiderate and follows will shy away from you for fear of guilt by association.

3. Don’t go into a bar and not buy a drink! I’m not saying you have to drink alcohol, but buy a soda or bottled water, at least. You must support the bar or club who is hosting the music you can dance to.

4. Avoid leading the Charleston to “Fever” by Peggy Lee. It’s too slow…and so are the other songs at the same tempo, plus you look ridiculous.

5. Never do air-steps (aerials) on a social dance floor unless there’s a jam or cat’s corner. If you think you can hurt someone doing Charleston, think of the damage you could inflict doing air-steps, not to mention the safety of your partner.

6. Don’t dip the girl to your right. It throws her off her natural balance and feels weird, (exception: suicide dip).

7.It’s inconsiderate to stand around or run off looking for your next partner when the song ends, APPLAUD the band! They are on the stage sweating their asses off to provide killer diller dance music and you look like an ingrate when you don’t acknowledge the band. There’s a reason many bands don’t like to play for dancers.

8. Don’t walk across a dancing dance floor to get to the other side of the room. Walk around the perimeter, please. It’s hard enough for leads to look out for other dancers, but you darting between them is rude.40s 50s Vintage Jitterbug Dance Ad

9. Please fellas, don’t dance with other “guys” all night and ignore the girls. Sure we get it, it’s different than dancing with a girl, you can be rougher, stronger, do some crazy Judo flips, but as you know there are two to three girls standing around waiting for a guy to dance with. Try not to be selfish.

10. Don’t be an annoying over-achiever in dance class and workshops. Keep your mouth shut and let the “teachers” teach, that’s what they’re there for and that’s what you paid them to do. Plus your rotation partner doesn’t want to hear “your” take on the move or how “so-in-so taught it another way in another town.”

11. Don’t forget to smile. We all have room for improvement and can learn something new from one another. Keep it humble, keep it fun and be generous on the dance floor.


Did I miss something? Do you agree? Disagree? Anything you want to add, please let me. I love to hear dance stories. Feel free to share here. Keep swinging!

Tam Francis, authorTam Francis is writer, blogger, swing dance teacher, avid vintage collector, and seamstress. She  shares her love of this genre through her novels, blog, and short stories. She enjoys hearing from you, sharing ideas, forging friendships, and exchanging guest blogs. For all the Girl in the Jitterbug Dress news, give-aways, events, and excitement, make sure to join her list and like her FB page! Join my list ~ Facebook page


Please share!

  10 Responses to “Do You Know These Rules for Successful Dancing?”

Comments (10)
  1. I know nothing about dancing, but love reading your blog. Very entertaining and well written.

    • Wow, thanks! I’m hoping your enthusiasm will transfer to my novel which has a lot of dancing, but is engaging for non-dancers as well! I try to mix up my blog posts with bits of family and thoughts on writing, book and movies reviews. Thanks for sticking around and commenting! :)

  2. All SO true!!! Great article Tammy :)

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting Jackie! Great to have you check out the site. Please share with any folks who might be interested. I’m also interested in guest bloggers.

  3. All you ladies need to come to Pittsburgh ;-)

    1:1 is considered follow-heavy here, and by the end of the night, the ratio is 2 men for every woman….

    • WOW! Sounds like it. I’ll pass this on. I’m originally from Erie, PA but haven’t been East in a long while. I will make sure to tell my single swing dance friends Pittsburgh is the place to find leads. LOL Thanks for visiting.

  4. I agree with most of the points, except #9. I like the point #8, rarely mentioned on any swing blog, and it pissed my off when someone does it.

    For the point #9, I most say, I think you should be able to dance with who you want. But please don’t dance with only your regular partner. Swing is a social dance! I believe that you must be more gender-neutral, in our community we often see girl-girl, guy-guy, girl leading a guy. If some follows doesn’t like to wait, go ask. Often I dance only 1 song with an another lead over a night (except on overly leads night). But recently during a dance with a lead, a girl try to split us. I found it rude.

    • Carl, thanks for stopping by. I have no problem with same sex couples dancing with each other and rereading I can see how if might come across that way. Absolutely, everyone should dance with whomever they want. Usually there are 2 girls for every 1 guy, so it was just meant to say what you said: be social, and share your LEADNESS :)

      I’m glad you liked #8. It’s another of my pet peeves, too. Happy to know I touched upon something unsaid!

  5. Very cool, Tam. I like #7, and #13 (well all of them, really) – and, the ARROW SHIRTS! Cool ad, and love the prices ;) I remember ironing my Dad’s long ago…

  6. Hahahahaha. This is great. I see this all the time. I would love to print to out and pass it around at some of our dance venues. Great job, although I don’t agree with number 11 and 12. Sometimes the more experienced dancers can help out newbies especially if it’s a big workshop. Also, I do not recommend leaving your purse unless it’s with friends. Not everyone at swing venues are as honest as you claim. Girls gotta look out for herself.

Please leave a Reply!