This day and age, chivalry is an art form that has been completely lost. One big exception? The dance floor. So before you head to your next in-studio party, here are five things you should say and/or do to get you through the night without being slapped. #haha
- Don’t Say: “Hey you, wanna dance?”
Instead Say: “May I have this dance?” (Then offer your hand or arm)
- Every woman, no matter what they say, wants to be swept off the floor. Who do you think she would like to be swept up by? Some guy who just shouted “Hey you!” across the room, or a gentleman who offered their hand/arm and took the time to ask politely?
- Don’t: Use your advanced patterns on new students.
Instead: Use beginner patterns with your new dance partner.
- Yes, I’m sure you’re thinking that if you’re able to lead her truly then you’re an awesome lead. But honestly, your dance partner will be tripping over their feet, trying to keep up and will ultimately walk away from the dance feeling like a failure. Is that the way you want to be remembered?Take some time on your lessons to invest in working on the basics. After all, the new technique you’re learning is best used while dancing the basics, and dancing basics with a new student will make them feel good (just a basic and a turn), and you can fill in the rest with conversation, which is key to social dancing. Make your teacher happy working on technique, make new students happy by applying that technique to basics, and amp up your social skills? It’s a win-win-win! It’s also a great way of getting yourself to the Natural State of your Learning Curve.
- Don’t: Finish the dance, give your partner a handshake, and walk off the floor.
Instead: Thank your partner for the great dance, give her high-five/hug, and escort them off the floor.
- You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard about ladies getting left on the floor as soon as the song was done (#yikes). She didn’t walk onto the dance floor by herself, so why would she need to walk off by herself? If you’ve asked her to dance, you should escort them back to their chair. It’s a sign of sincerity. The whole dance is an experience for both of you, from beginning to end. And you want to make that experience a stellar one, right? So take that extra step to be the gentleman every lady loves and walk her back. It’s the right thing to do. #lifeofalead
- Don’t: Use your dance partner as a shield for oncoming traffic.
Instead: Be aware of your surroundings and treat your partnership with the mantra, “You got my back, I got your back!”
- Bumper Ballroom isn’t the most fun game to play. I’m 100% sure of this, and if you step on your partner’s feet, your dance experience can turn from utterly whimsical to complete dishonor in a matter of seconds. Work with your instructor on how to maneuver the floor so you can feel successful and put your dance partner at ease.
- Don’t: Don’t limit yourself to one dance partner all night because you “feel” comfortable.
Instead: Make your way around the room, introduce yourself to any new lady, and ask her for the next dance.
- Truth is, we create muscle memory from any activity we do. So if you limit your dancing to just one person, even if it is the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, you’ll actually place a handicap on your learning and ability. Dancing with others gives you the opportunity to learn different styles of interpretation through body movement and feel differences in connections, but most importantly will help you accomplish your dance goals faster.
All in all, there isn’t a handbook that tells you the common sense things to do on the dance floor. We ultimately choose if we want to use chivalry or misuse it. The goal is to have a great experience dancing to every song you hear. Talk to your teacher about how to incorporate these chivalrous ideas into your dances and patterns so you’re sought after at parties. It’s better to feel gallant and be known that way, rather than someone who has no manners, right? #imjustsayin #havefun #danceaway #chivalry