外贸知识

Dance Etiquette 舞会礼仪

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EncouragingWordsforBeginners
Becausethereisawiderangeofpeopleintheswingscene,skillsandexperiencelevelsvarygreatly.However,everybodystartsoutasabeginner.Ifyouareanewtodancing,noticethatmostofthebetterdancershavebeenworkingatitforquitesometime.Trynottogetdiscouraged.Itmaytakeafewmonthsforyoutofeelcompletelycomfortableswingdancing.Eventhen,nobodyeverlearnseverything.Infact,theteachersspendasmuchtimeasanybodyimprovingtheirdancing.Avoiddwellingonwhatyouknowordon’tknow.Moreimportantly,pleaserememberthatlackingpriorexperiencedoesnotprecludeanybodyfromenjoyingthedance.Thisissupposedtofun,aboveallelse.

WhotoDanceWith
Itisbeneficialtodancewithpeopleofallexperiencelevels.Inthecontextofenhancingyourskills,dancingwithmoreexperienceddancersoftenhelpsyoutoimprove.Similarly,dancingwithlessexperienceddancersisaprimeopportunityforyoutoworkonyourlead/followskills.Ideally,youshouldbeabletolead/followwithanyone.Inthecontextofhavingfun,youcanhavefundancingwithanybodyandeverybody.Inshort,askeverybodyyoucantodance,thereisnopointinlimitingyourself.

GeneralTips

  • TrytofollowtheGoldenRule:treatothersasyouwishtobetreated.
  • Smile.
  • Makeeyecontact,howeverdonotstaredownyourpartner.Ifthisisdifficultforyou,onetricksomepeopleuseislookingattheirpartner’sshoulderortheirearlobe.Thisconfirmsthatyouarepayingattention,yetyouarenotstaring.
  • Focusonyourpartner.Yourjobistomakethepersonyouaredancingwithlookgood.Forleadsthismeansbeingconscientiousofyourpartner’sskillandadjustingyourleadtothesituation.Forfollowsthismeansavoidingback-leadingorotheractionsthatmaketheleadfeel”unimportant.”Forbothleadsandfollows,ifyoustayawareandadaptiveofyourpartner’sfeelings,youwillbeapopulardancer.
  • Thankyourpartneraftereachdance.
  • ItispolitetoclapforliveperformerswhentheyfinishasongandforDJswhentheyfinishtheirset.Ifyouarenotdancing,itisalsoconsideredpolitetoclapafteralengthysolo,howeverthisisnotexpectedofactivedancers.
  • Itisnotnecessarytoapologizetoyourpartnerifaparticularmoveisnotexecutedperfectly.Thepointisnottohaveaperfectdance,buttohavefun.However,ifyourmistakemayhavephysicallyhurtyourpartner,pleaseapologizeandmakesuretheyareokay.
  • Swingdancingisasocialdance,thereforetalkingwhiledancingisokayandnotconsideredbadetiquette.Moreover,nottalkingwhiledancingisnotconsideredbadetiquetteeither.Dowhatmakesyoufeelcomfortable.
  • Don’tbestinky!Youwillbedancinginclosequarterswithalotofnewpeople.Youmaywanttochewgumorbringbreathmints(Altoidsarepopular…andbringenoughtoshare!).Somedancersavoideatingcertainfoods(garlicoronions,forexample)ondancedays.Youmayalsowishtoweardeodorantorcologne.
  • Dancingisgoodexercisesobepreparedtosweat!Manypeoplebringextrashirtstochangeoverthecourseofanevening.Othertipsincludebringingatowelorhandkerchieftothedancesorusingbabypowder.

RegardingCliquesand”Snobbery”

  • Sometimesaperceptionexiststhatgooddancersonlyhangoutwithothergooddancers.Thisisaby-productofthefactthatmanydancershavebeendancingtogetherforalongtimeandknoweachotherbetter.Forthemostpart,fewpeoplewithinthesceneareintentionallyreinforcingthisperception.Feelfreetobreaktheiceiftheydon’t.

AskingForaDance

  • Noticewhatthepersonisdoingbeforeyouaskthemtodance.Bewaryofinterruptingconversations.
  • Askpolitely,”Wouldyouliketodance?”Avoidgrabbingapartnerandpullingthemontothedancefloor.
  • Onedanceatatimeisthenormwithinourdancecommunity(incontrast,thereareotherdancecommunitieswheretwoconsecutivesongsperpartneristhenorm).Shouldyouwantaconsecutivedancewithyourpartner,askthemfirst.Consideraskingthemiftheywanttodanceatalatertime.
  • Itisveryacceptableforladiestoaskgentlementodance.Mostgentlemenareflatteredbytheoffer.
  • Whenthereisagroupofleadsorfollows,askingonespecificpersontodanceislessawkwardthanaskingtheentiregroup(i.e.”wouldoneofyouliketodance”).

HowToSay”No”
Ideally,wewouldallsay”yes”toeveryonethatasked.Incaseswhereyouwishtodeclineadance,bepolite:smileandsay”No,thankyou.”Ifthereisareasonwhyyoucan’tdancethatsong,givethemareason.Whileopinionsdiffer,theauthorsofthisdocumentgenerallybelievethatitisnotagoodideatojustmakeupareasonnottodance.Inotherwords,trytodealwithpeoplehonestlyanddirectly.Ifyouwouldliketodancewiththepersonsomeothertime,offertodancewiththemlaterandmakeapointtofollowup.Ifyouhavenodesiretodancewiththisperson,simplysay”Nothankyou,”withapleasant,sinceresmile.Also,pleasekeepinmindthatsomepeopleconsideritrudetorefusetodancewithonepersonandthendancewithanotherpersonduringthesamesong.Alongthisline,theremaybevalidreasonswhysomebodywilldancewithsomebodyelseafterturningsomebodydown(i.e.thesongtempochanged,theotherpersonwastooforceful,etc…).Ifthishappenstoyou,realizethatitmaynotnecessarilybeapersonalrejection.

WhattoDoIfTheySay”No”
Youcanalwaysaskagain,butgivehimorhertimeandspaceandaskagainlater.Itisusuallyagoodideatoletseveralsongspass.Also,donotgetdiscouragedifyouareturneddown.Alldancersgetturneddownfromtimetotime.Thereareotherpeoplewhowouldverymuchliketodancewithyou.

SpecialAdviceforLeads

  1. Whenstartingadance,especiallywithsomeoneyoudon’tknow,takeitslow.Everyonedancesdifferently,sotakeyourtimeandgettoknowtheotherpersonbystartingoffwithlesscomplexmoves.
  2. Doyourbesttoavoidleadingmovesthatmighthurtyourpartner.Donotpushorpullyourpartnertoohard.Ifsheisnotfollowingsomething,tryleadingothermoves.Makesureyoupayattentiontowhereyourpartnerisandwheresheisgoing.Thesocialdancefloorisliketheoceanandcanbechoppyandroughbynofaultofyourown-makesuresheissafeonthesea.
  3. Bluesdancingandotherclosedanceshaverecentlybecomepopular.TheSyndicatedoesnotwishtodiscourageclosedancing,however,asalead,beawareofwhetherornotyourpartnerwantstodanceclose.Ifshepullsawayorappearsuncomfortable,givehermorespace.Justbecausethebluesdancingworkshopsteachasnugcloseddancepositiondoesnotmeanthateveryfollowwantstodancethatway.Additionally,noteveryladyhastakenabluesworkshop.Asaruleofthumb,whendancingbluesstylewithanewpartner,askhershemindsdancingclose.
  4. Dipsareacceptable,butonlywhenyouareconfidentthatyoucanexecutethemwithoutcausingyourpartnerdiscomfort,fear,orpain.Contrarytowhatyouseeonthedancefloor,itisnotarequirementthatyoucloseouteverysongwithadip.Onlyleadadipifyoufeelthatyoucanexecuteitsuccessfully.Thisistrueforeventhemostbasicdips.Ifyouaregoingtoleadmorecomplexdips,pleaseaskherfirst.Thisisespeciallytrueifissomebodythatyoudonotdancewithregularly.Somefollowsdonotlikedipsofanysort,eitherforpersonalpreferencereasonsorforhealthreasons(backissues,etc…).Ifafollowresistsatthestartofadip,takethatasasignthatshedoesnotliketobedipped.
  5. Aerialsanddrops(TrickMoves)aregenerallynotacceptableonthesocialdancefloor.Infact,manyvenuesbanthemoutright.TheyarerarelydoneatAustinSwingSyndicatedances,withtheonlyexceptionsbeingcontrolledcircumstancessuchasajamcirclesorperformancesoramongpartnerswhohaveworkedonaerialsordropsprior.Rememberthatinjuriescanhappenwitheventhemostbasicaerial/dropmoves.Forthosewhomayunfamiliarwiththeterms,aerialsaremoveswherethepartner’sfeetleavethefloor;dropsaremovesthatcauseyourpartner’sheadtobebelowyourwaist.Ifyouareinthepositiontoleadanaerialordrop,westronglyencourageyoutoaskforyourpartner’spermissionfirst.
  6. Ifyoubumpanothercouple,trytoimmediatelylookbackandapologize.Ifanothercouplebumpsyou,apologizeevenifitistheirfault.Theexperienceddancerknowsthattoeswillbesteppedonandpeoplewillbumpintooneanother.Don’tlettheoccasionalaccidentgetyoudown.Ifyouhappentobedancingnearanerraticlead,relocatetoanotherpartofthefloor.
  7. Thereisasplitopinionregardingthepracticeofwalkingyourpartneroffthefloor.Somepeoplebelievethatitisaveryrespectfulthingtodo.Othersfeelthatisunnecessaryandtooformal.Agoodcompromiseistounderstandthatthebestcourseofactionwillvaryfromsituationtosituation.

TeachingOnTheDanceFloor:
Thefollowingsectionisthemostcontroversialportionofthisdocument.Somepeopleavoidthepracticeof”teachingonthedancefloor”atallcosts;othersreligiouslyseekoutthechancetosharetheirknowledgewithnewdancers.Wewouldliketopresentabalancedviewonthesubject.

AskingforInstruction
Becarefulaboutaskingothersforquicklessonsonthedancefloor.Manypeoplearereluctanttocriticizepeoplethattheyaredancingwith,sinceitcouldbetakennegatively.Additionally,thereareteacherswhodonotliketobeaskedtoteachwhiletheyaresocialdancing.Thisisnottrueforallteachers,butitistrueforacertainpercentageofthem.

VolunteeringInstruction
Anoftenfollowedruleistoonlygiveadviceiftheotherpersonexplicitlyasksforit.Sometimesunsolicitedadviceputsyourpartneronthedefensive.However,ifaleadishurtingyou,pleasespeakup.Incontrast,iftheleadisonlyleadingstepsineffectively,withoutanyrealharmtoyou,bemorecautiouswithyourcommentary.Remember,thatleadshavealottoconcentrateonwhendancing.

GivingFeedbackandConstructiveAdvice
Beforecommentingonyourpartner’sdancing;itisagoodideatothinkaboutwhatyoucandotoimproveyourdancing.Obviouslyifsomeoneisdoingsomethingdangeroustothemselvesortoothersyoushouldsaysomething,butotherwiseitmaybemoreharmonioustowithholdcomment.Justbecauseyoucancriticize,doesnotmeanthatyoushould.Ifyoufeelcompelledtosaysomething,attempttophraseyourcommentspolitelysoasnottomaketheotherpersonuncomfortable.Itisnicetoofferacomplimentpriortoofferingconstructivecriticism.Itisusuallyagoodideatoassumethathalftheproblemisonyourend(yourleadskills/yourfollowskills)andrememberthatifyouareofferingadvice,bepreparetoreceiveit.Oneeffectivephraseusedbydancersis,”Idon’tthinkthemoveworkedoutright,whatdoyouthinkwecandotomakeitworkbetter.”Usestatementsthatallowforhonestfeedbackonbothsides.Don’tlettheotherpersonthinkitisentirelytheirfault.

HandlingUnsolicitedAdviceontheSocialDanceFloor
Ifyourpartneroffersyouadvice,youcanhandlethesituationinavarietyofwaysdependingonthesituation.First,youcanacceptthefeedbackandbeopentoinstruction.Bydoingsoyouexpressthatyouwanttoheartheiradviceandwishtohaveadialogueaboutwhatisandisnotworkinginregardtothedance.Ifyoudonotdesireadviceorfeedbackatthetime,youcanpolitelysay”thanks,butIdon’tfeellikediscussingtechniquerightnow,Ijustwanttodance.”Ifyoudon’twanttheadvice,youcansayverylittleandletitgo.Whateveryoudo,avoidblamingeachother,whichmayleadtoanuncomfortableandantagonisticsituation.Remember,inthesocialdanceworld,havingfunismoreimportantthanbeingright.

DealingWithDifficultPeople
IfsomebodyataSyndicateeventmakesyoufeeluncomfortable,pleasespeakwithaBoardmember.Ifyoudon’tknowaBoardmember,telltheDJandheorshewillgetyouintouchwithaBoardmember.Wewillbegladtodealwiththeminarespectful,non-confrontationalmanner.

ClosingThought
Itiswisetobelightheartedenoughtojustenjoythedanceregardlessofwhetherornoteveryoneisattheirbestetiquette

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