COURTESY RULES FOR GENTLEMEN
NO. 2: If you see a lady you do not know personally, but would like to dance with during the evening, make certain she is either alone or with her friends. If she is sitting with a gentleman, the accepted courtesy is to always inquire of her male friend (it could be her husband, fiance, or date) "Do you mind if I dance with your lady?" This is almost always acceptable and most gentleman will not mind. If he does object, he'll say so. To which you should reply "Thank you anyway."
NO. 3: Always politely ask a new lady if she would like to dance with you. It is unfair to the ladies to merely walk up and stick your hand out as though you expect her to jump up and follow you to the floor.
NO. 4: Always walk the lady back to her table or seat and thank her for the dance.
NO. 5: Country dance music, somewhat like Disco, is played most often by DJ's in a booth above the dance floor. Sometimes they will break for a few seconds between records. Many times they will "mix" songs together which can last upwards to ten minutes! If you've found a lady you wish to do more than one dance with consecutively, at least have the courtesy to ask her (during a break in the music) if she would like to continue. Don't just assume she thinks of you as the "world's greatest dancer" and wants to stay out there with you. (She might be winded or need a drink of water.)
NO. 6: It's the nineties and no longer is it always necessary for the gentleman to ask the lady to dance. Once you've become a better dancer, you will often have ladies come up and ask YOU to dance. You should never refuse a lady unless you're absolutely "bushed" or have to go to the restroom. If such is the case, at least give them the first "rain check" and dance with them before you go onto the floor with another lady. We've all been turned down at least once in our dancing lifetime. It's not fun and a sure-fire ego deflator! Let's don't get caught playing silly "games" with the ladies. If you want to be a sought-after dance partner, don't refuse any lady the opportunity to enjoy your expertise on the floor. Not every lady you dance with will become an "object of your affection" or be someone you'll want to dance with the rest of your life. The good male dancer dances with ALL the ladiesregardless of her looks, size, age, or ability level.
COURTESY RULES FOR
NO. 2: Always thank the gentleman for the dance AFTER he has escorted you back to where you were seated. There are some men who think that because the two of you danced well together that you might be "inviting" them to "get to know you better." In fairness to them, if all you are looking for is the occasional dance, do not lead them on with expectations of more. Once back to your table and you've thanked them for the dance, the easiest "out" is to excuse yourself and visit the ladies room. In short..."let 'em down easy."
NO. 3: As a general rule, alcoholic beverages and good social dancing do not mix. Some men will offer to purchase you some type of "drink" as a way of thanking you for the courtesy of dancing with them. For the gentlemen making this offer, this is merely polite and socially acceptablePROVIDINGyou do not mind sitting with them and carrying on a conversation while the beverages are consumed. If said gentleman is not someone you wish to spend additional time with (other than on the dance floor) the polite thing to do is to refuse his offer.
NO. 4: Always carry enough cash with you to purchase your own beverages. (Should you find "Mr. Wonderful Dancer" on the floor, it's now okay to buy HIM a drink.)
NO. 5: If you're with a date, your fiance, or your husbandand a gentleman asks you rather than your male companionit is best for you to ask if it would be alright rather than further embarrass the gentleman who's asking by saying, "You'll have to ask my (husband, date, friend)." In short, don't make a big deal out of the situation. I hope this never happens to you, but if should you be with someone who is jealous, possessive or argumentative, ward off trouble by politely refusing quickly, then change the subject.
NO. 6: You don't like it when men try to "play games" with you, so don't get caught in the same situation. Let's treat everyone with respect and courtesy and the world will be a better place for all of us to dance and have a good time!
Don't forget, ladies...good female dancers are every bit as much in demand as good male dancers. The next time you're out, look on the dance floor at the number of ladies, of every age, size and heightdancing almost continuously. Dancing develops social self-confidence better than any other form of self-improvement. You feel good about yourself, so you are automatically more attractive.
Most American dances are danced "above the floor" with a smooth, yet "bouncy" action. Latin American dances are danced more "down into the floor" with unique staccato footwork. We have already discussed Smoothness of motion which is a definite part of styling for all types of dance, be it ballroom or country. Ballroom dances differ only slightly from country dances. One of the biggest differences is in the Waltz. Ballroom lowers into the 1, commencing to rise, then continuing to rise (through the feet and ankles) through the 2 and the 3 beats, lowering at the end of the 3 beat. Country Waltz is danced in much the same manner, with the lowering occurring on the 3 beat rather than after. There is virtually no difference between country and ballroom Swings, either East Coast or West Coast.
Continuing on with additional items both partners need to know...
2. SIDE STEP: Either to the left or to the right.
3. INSTEP TO HEEL: Either right instep to left heel or opposite
4. FORWARD OR BACKWARD: Leading either way with either foot/leg
5. TOE TO HEEL: Often referred to as a "Rock" or "Back" step.
BASIC BODY POSITIONS
NOTE: Both partners should keep fingers together, i.e., lady's left hand on shoulder; man's right hand on her back; man's left hand cupping lady's right hand.
IN CLOSED POSITION, BOTH PARTNERS SHOULD LOOK OVER EACH OTHER'S RIGHT SHOULDER. Think of this area as a "window" you're looking through to see where you're going.
2. PROMENADE: This differs slightly in country over ballroom. In country dancing partners can be side-by-side travelling either forward or backward. Occasionally, you will dance in promenade position with an arm across the shoulder of each partner.
3. PARALLEL: This is facing your partner but to either side and can be danced travelling either direction.
4. HALF-OPEN: Partners are apart but maintaining a hand-hold with one or both hands.
5. FULL-OPEN: No physical contact between partners during the execution of a pattern such as "free spins" by one or both partners.
Both partners should keep the arms up and curved slightly inward to maintain good "lines" or appearance. This is sometimes referred to as a "barrel" position.