Dance Etiquette

Many people seem to shy away from the word "etiquette." It has an old-fashioned sound. But etiquette, after all, is merely the practical application of good common sense and attractive manners.

Dancing is a partnership and group activity, and so it concerns other people besides yourself. There is never any excuse for manners that might affect or react on others. A popular member of a dancing group is considerate—and shows regard for the comfort and pleasure of partners, a hostess and the other guests.

Once you have accepted an invitation to a dance, you have automatically agreed to live up to the obligations it implies. You are expected to be suitably dressed, to be pleasant company and, above all, to be able to dance.

No one would dream of accepting an invitation for tennis or bridge unless he could play. But many will accept dancing dates when they know quite well that their dancing is not good enough for a partner to enjoy. It's odd, isn't it? If you can't dance with confidence, have the courage to refuse dancing invitations. Wait until you have the ability and can appear in the best light possible. By starting to practice immediately, you'll be ready and in demand the next time!

A man who accepts an invitation to a dance cannot spend the entire evening with the one partner of his choice. By accepting, he has agreed to add to the festivity of the evening by mingling with the group, by asking several partners to dance, or by changing partners with other couples. Natural courtesy dictates the rule that he must seek out and invite his hostess to dance. A girl must wait to be asked to dance, but she has her obligations to the party. She cannot, for instance, refuse one partner and then turn around and accept another.

At the end of each dance, a man must always escort his partner back to where she was sitting. He must never leave her in the middle of the floor. When leaving a girl after dancing with her, a man should make some pleasant remark like: "Thank you so much—I enjoyed dancing with you." Good manners do go a long way!


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