Monday, April 26, 2010

No Creepers please - A little on Social Dance Etiquette

Social dance etiquette is a subject that must be talked about but at the same time I hate having to talk about it. I feel that a lot of it should be common sense. Please take a moment to read this note. Know that my ultimate goal is for people to feel safe and for people to have fun.

The most important thing to remember is that we are all human. We make mistakes and we also have feelings. Please be kind to one another.

A note to the creepers (a few bad apples)
This is not a huge problem in my scene but it has happened on occasion. I'm addressing it now so this issue will disappear. I have been getting a couple reports from the ladies that a few guys are spoiling the fun for everyone. Gentlemen (and Ladies) if you are going salsa dancing to cop a feel, get some action or whatever it is you call it, please stop coming to my classes and events. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior. If you see your buddy (or girlfriend) acting inappropriately please tell them to stop. It is for all of our own good that we have a safe and fun dance scene. If my scene gains a reputation as a place for creepers, my scene will die. I love salsa dancing and I enjoy an intimate dance on the dance floor. Yes, the dance is intimate but this does not give you, or anyone else, permission to take it to the "next level". "A few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch."

Please talk to me
If you, or anyone you're with, feels like someone is being inappropriate on the dance floor please come talk to me. I would be more than happy to have a "friendly" chat with anyone who is being inappropriate. Please, do this. The conversation will be discreet and I will not bring up your name when I talk with them. Most of the time guys don't even realize that you're uncomfortable with what he is doing. Trust me, if he (or she) truly is a creeper, myself and the staff at The EDGE nightclub would be more than happy to escort them to the nearest exit at the Peppermill.

You can say no
It is customary to always give someone one song. Whether they are a beginner or advanced you should always say yes. The times when you can say no are; you've been dancing a few songs in a row and you just need a rest, you're in a deep conversation and would rather dance later, the person asking you is known to be a rough dancer (again please let me know, I will talk with them), the dude is a know creeper (please report them).

Only one song is required
Many people like to monopolize a partner for several songs. Please note: It is polite to dance only one song. You might not know Spanish but I guarantee you if you listen to the music you're dancing to you will be able to hear when the song changes. At that time you're welcome to say thank you very much for the dance and walk off the dance floor. If they don't let you leave please walk directly to the nearest security guard and report that person. I know this sounds harsh but once again it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch.

A quick summary on social dance Etiquette
* Etiquette is here to ensure everyone has a good time in a social dance setting, so pay attention to it.
* Your outfit and accessories should be comfortable, safe, and also reflect the culture and level of formality of the dance group. (The EDGE has a dress code. Think fun club wear.)
* Most importantly, do not forget your dance shoes.
* Ask everyone to dance.
* Do not monopolize one partner for the whole night (unless of course it's "date night").
* Today's beginners will be the good dancers of tomorrow, so be nice to them and dance with them.
* Do not decline a dance unless you absolutely have to. Having declined a dance, you cannot dance the same song with someone else.
* Be considerate of other couples on the floor. Exercise good floorcraft. Do not cut other couples off. No aerials or choreographed steps on the social dance floor!
* Avoid patterns that your partner cannot do: dance to the level of your partner.
* Never blame your partner for missteps.
* No unsolicited teaching on the floor!
* Smile, be warm, be personable, be nice

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