Dance Etiquette

Dancing is Good for You!

Dancing is a fun way to enjoy music, movement (exercise), and time together if the expectations of your partner are understood. If at the beginning, both partners consider the role of the other, a greater appreciation for each other's efforts is understood.
At first the terminology is like a foreign language, but as we progress each person has a specific role to play to make the experience enjoyable.

DANCE PRACTICE – DO WE REALLY NEED IT?
Place: Lincoln Middle School, 3180 McBey Avenue
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Date: Every Tuesday (unless cancelled due to a school event)

Note: School doors will remain open until 7:15pm and are then locked.
If you plan to arrive later in the evening, please arrange with another member to let you in, or bang on the exterior gymnasium doors, wait for a voice to answer and then meet the person at the car park doors.

Practice makes perfect!
You may think that after a 50-minute dance lesson you know what you are doing. Well, from experience, many of the members will say “no you do not”.

After you have spent 50 minutes learning how to do a particular step or pattern, you have precisely one week to forget what you were taught - UNLESS, that is, you practice at home or better still, attend the regular Tuesday practice session. If your memory fails you in remembering a step that you were taught, you can piece the steps together with the help of your classmates or other members.

It is a waste of your time, your classmates’ time and the instructor’s time if she has to keep re-teaching the same steps every week, because the steps were not practiced during the week. Would it not be more exciting if you could add to your dance repertoire every week? Join us at practice, not only will your dancing improve but you will enjoy the socializing that takes place. You’ll like it!

TEACHER'S ROLE

  • determine the goals of the student
  • ascertain some likes and dislikes i.e. music, styles, types of dances
  • determine if there are any limitations
  • listen to questions
  • give constructive feedback

The elements of technique and many steps will be taught in each dance that you learn. The Westview Dance Club does not promote competitive ballroom dancing and couples are encouraged to dance the dances that they are comfortable with and enjoy the social benefits of the Club.

MAN'S ROLE (LEAD)
It is the man who determines the movement and pattern of the dance by leading his partner through the steps. At first this is very difficult to do. He has several things to think about almost simultaneously. After deciding what dance, they are going to do he has to:

  • maintain frame and connection
  • think of a pattern to do
  • execute those steps while determining the next pattern
  • decide where one pattern stops and the next begins
  • determine where his partner is, where he wants her to go next and communicating that to her
  • Listen to the rhythm of the music and move to the beat.
  • Floor craft (moving around the room without interfering with other dancers) will come later when you no longer have to think about the basics.

We often refer to learning to dance like learning to drive. When we first learn to drive we must be aware of which gear you are in, forward or reverse, when to break, or speed up, how to turn, where you are going, and what others are doing around you.
The same is true for dancing. Once you learn the basics you begin to do all the other things without worrying about your feet.
SO, LADIES be kind to your fellows. They have a lot to do to make your dance fun. Mistakes happen by both parties. They are a part of learning.

LADY'S ROLE (FOLLOW)

  • maintain frame and connection
  • be patient with your partner
  • give him control, resist back leading
  • decipherer what pattern is being lead in a split second
  • be flexible

Dancing, like your taste in music, is a very personal thing. Some people will prefer the smooth dances such as the Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango, while others will prefer the rhythm dances such as the Swing, Cha-Cha, Rumba and other Latin dances. Of course, there will be those who become addicted to dancing and are hooked on all the dances!

The smooth dances are traveling dances and are danced in a counter-clockwise direction around the dance floor. The rhythm dances are normally danced in one area of the dance floor and called spot dances.

It is not the tempo but the feel of the music that gives each dance its unique characteristics. Often the same piece of music can work for more than one set of steps – one couple might dance a Foxtrot, while another couple might do an easy Triple-Step Swing to the same music. If there is a mix of traveling and spot dancing on the floor, the spot dancers should stay in the centre area and avoid bumping into others near them.

DANCERS CODE OF ETHICS

  • Follow the counter-clockwise line of dance around the perimeter of the dance floor.
  • If you are not traveling with the flow of dancers because you are doing “fancy” steps, stay to the centre of the dance floor.
  • Confine your visiting to the seated areas. If you are not dancing, get off the dance floor.
  • No food or beverages are allowed on the dance floor area.
  • No theatrical or acrobatic dancing on the dance floor.
  • Be considerate of those around you.
  • Acknowledge and express regrets for accidental collisions on the dance floor.
  • Don’t fight with your partner on the dance floor – wait until you get home!

DOs and DON'Ts
This year the permits from the St. James-Assiniboia School Division state that all Westview Dance Club members must be out of the schools by 10 p.m. and we CANNOT begin practices or classes BEFORE 7 p.m.
Therefore, be ready to start your class at your assigned time and Monique will end the class at 50 minutes to make room for the following class or allow her to leave before 10 p.m.

DO

  • Have soft-soled non-scuffing shoes to be used for your dance classes and practices.
  • Arrive on time for class, as the custodians lock the doors at Robert Browning School and Linwood School five minutes after the hour, to prevent unwanted visitors from entering the schools.
  • Tuesday practice doors maybe locked at 7:15 p.m. and you will have to wait for someone leaving the school to let you in.
  • Attend Tuesday dance practice at Lincoln Middle School beginning at 7:00 p.m.
  • Advise your class rep of any changes to your name, address, telephone number or email address. Incorrect information causes problems for those people trying to contact you. Carefully check the directory listing.
  • Please wear your name tag - particularly for practices and social events.
  • Volunteer for various sub committees such as September Registration, Venue scheduling, and other committees.
  • Enjoy the social fun and pleasure of ballroom dancing.

DO NOT

  • Don't be late for classes. It is not fair to the rest of the class or the instructor
  • Don't smoke in the schools or on the school property
  • Don't linger in the gym after your lesson
  • Don't hold conferences or meetings on the dance floor, move to the side of the room
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