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Thread: Dancefloor Etiquette

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Angry Dancefloor Etiquette

    Apologies of this thread has been raised before but after last nights mauling at Bowden I'm searching for a solution.

    The problem with Bowden on a Thursday is that its a victim of its own success. Personally I donít see the attraction of a hot, sweaty dancefloor with no room to move and tepid music ... but, what the heck.

    ANYWAY ... got dragged onto the floor for about 4 tracks in total, and in that time I got clobbered about 3 times, stood on about the same, had to duck an elbow to the face and spent more time trying to avoid collisions than focusing on the dance. Whats the point of that?

    Where, as instructors and franchisees, are we going wrong. Why do people fling themselves like lemmings onto an overcrowded floor, why do they still do big moves irrespective of those standing nearby and why do people blindly walk through people who are trying to dance. Seriously, how best should dance etiquette and safety be communicated to those who either donít know or donít care?

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    An Eclectic Toaster
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    Brave man, Gus - starting another thread with "etiquette" in the title

    I don't ever recall being taught dancefloor etiquette, other than not to do drops etc. when it's busy. As a result my own is not as it should be, but it's improving because of an attitude change I've had.

    I just extended the logic that whenever a move goes wrong, it's the fault of the lead. So from now on, whenever a bump occurs, I assume it's my fault. This way, I'm becoming more alert to the surroundings.

    Is this maybe good way to teach etiquette to others?

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    Registered User Divissima's Avatar
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    Something very odd happened to me on Wednesday night. I was dancing with a male lead who I've seen around from time to time and danced with a couple of times in the last, say, three years. He is clearly a very experienced dancer - very smooth style, possibly background in other forms of dancing, good clear lead, etc. We were dancing away and I had a minor collision with the lady of the next door couple, who was in a drop position. It was minor in the sense that I had spotted her late and didn't hit her with any force, no-one was hurt and we all continued dancing, me looking over in concern and apologising, the male lead of the other couple also apologising back (to me and presumably to his own partner).

    There are all sorts of questions arising from this particular concatenation of events, but the thing which shocked me was that my partner then said to me: "Don't ever apologise".

    I was staggered - needless to say, I shall not be dancing with him again. I was even more surprised because he seems such an experienced dancer. As a practical question - how would we actively teach dancefloor etiquette? I have always assumed it was a combination of good sense and good manners - if people don't have these things already, what can you do???

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    Registered User spindr's Avatar
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    Etiquette or floorcraft.

    Hmmm, do you mean floorcraft, as in *not* treading on anyone -- or etiquette, as in stopping and apologising if you do accidentally collide?

    If it's etiquette -- then I definitely haven't seen it ever taught. The closest I've seen was a list of "instructions" at a country-dance venue in the states :- slower dancers in the outside lanes, take off your spurs and don't spit on the floor. This was just a little leaflet on a table at the venue -- noone making a big fuss.

    If it's floorcraft -- only ever seen it taught in some ballroom classes. This is a real shame, as floorcraft (and lead/follow) are the two key dancing skills -- you can almost immediately transfer them from Jive to Salsa to Lindy, etc., etc. Specific move combinations don't always translate so well; so for a good foundation in dance you need good floorcraft. Which makes it more of a shame that it's not really taught.

    Shameless plug: Floorcraft's the first main chapter in my brief jive notes.

    SpinDr.

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    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Divissima

    but the thing which shocked me was that my partner then said to me: "Don't ever apologise".

    Right, I don't like him and I've even never met him (at least, not that I'm aware of)

    Apologising doesn't automatically mean that you've accepted it was your fault, its just a polite and friendly way of dismissing the incident as an accident... being friendly costs nothing!

    I've even been known to say sorry to a lamp post before now! Truth!
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    Registered User Mary's Avatar
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    Nigel has taught how to dance on a crowded dance floor in the class. He expained about dancing in a slot, keeping the moves smaller, then he made the whole class bunch up so we were all crammed up together (very cosy), and dance.

    I am always mortified if I collide/hit someone and always feel its my fault (even when I haven't been moving!!). It also takes away the pain (even if you haven't been hurt) if someone takes the trouble to apologise or even acknowledge the collision, and stops me getting quite so grumpy.

    Still doesn't stop the complete and utter pillocks out there tho'

    M

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    Registered User Jon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lory
    Right, I don't like him and I've even never met him (at least, not that I'm aware of)

    Apologising doesn't automatically mean that you've accepted it was your fault, its just a polite and friendly way of dismissing the incident as an accident... being friendly costs nothing!

    I've even been known to say sorry to a lamp post before now! Truth!
    Totally agree. Who does that guy think he is. Anytime you bump someone it's only polite to acknowledge it no matter whos fault it may of been. Although I have to say that I've found inner london venues which are crowded to have alot of people that behave like this so prehaps it's the norm for them.

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    The Perfect Woman!
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    Originally posted by Jon
    Totally agree. Who does that guy think he is. Anytime you bump someone it's only polite to acknowledge it no matter whos fault it may of been. Although I have to say that I've found inner london venues which are crowded to have alot of people that behave like this so prehaps it's the norm for them.


    I have noticed that the more crowded the floor gets the more inconsiderate people seem to get ! (maybe its that when its not crowded they are too far away from me for me to notice that they are inconsiderate)..

    Its up to both the man and the woman to be aware of the space around them, and if as a woman you see someone heading towards the back of the man you subtely pull them out of danger. simple pressure on the hand usually suffices...

    dancing should be taught almost as driving 'mirror, signal, manouvere'...
    A number of moves should only ever be done (in a social environment) after a glance over ones shoulder to check that there is space available..


    Having said that I think Taxi dancers (and I do) should counsel beginners to stick to the edge of the dance floor when they are at the early stages of learning, as an unpredictable beginner couple in the middle of the floor can be a hazard... IMHO

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    Registered User Jon's Avatar
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    Re: Dancefloor Etiquette

    Originally posted by Gus
    Seriously, how best should dance etiquette and safety be communicated to those who either donít know or donít care?
    Having spent last night being thumped, kicked, elbowed and generally spending the dance doing avoidance tactics, and getting thoughly (rude word) off. I spent most of the time thinking about this thread.


    1. People just do not look where they are going or care about the space they have to work with.

    2. Some people just dont acknolwedge a bump, even when you stare at them waiting for a response. One guys fist last night came straight at my face and it only missed because I ducked! Yet got no acknoledgement from him, I was so tempted to have a word with him after the dance but then didn't after the anger subsided.

    3. From day one it was drummed into me, take small steps, always look for space, have a backup move ready in case the space you were going to use gets taken by someone else, etc, etc and yet today I never hear this said, prehaps teachers and taxi's do need to revive this.

    4. My personnal favourite is that Venues could always issue electric shock braclets that people wear and when the floor gets too busy anyone attempting to join it automatically gets an electric shock, same goes for people attempting an areial or drop at the wrong time p.s I've got dibs on the electric shock button!

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    Last edited by Chris; 7th-February-2004 at 05:23 PM.

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    Re: Re: Dancefloor Etiquette

    Originally posted by Jon
    From day one it was drummed into me, take small steps, always look for space, have a backup move ready in case the space you were going to use gets taken by someone else, etc, etc and yet today I never hear this said, prehaps teachers and taxi's do need to revive this.
    Maybe a bit much for people on their first night (unless a new format is agreed with taxis) but certainly a useful mantra for teachers at the end of the intermediate class, especially when it is a very busy night . It needs to be done before that long list of 'announcements' that are commonly done in a bit of a fast monotone (please oh please could ceroc teachers have some training on voice modulation - pace-pitch-power variations - those announcements frequently get 'lost' - they do a fantastic job, but keeping that bit at the end interesting can be quite hard, especially when folk are busily looking forward to freestyle. I do hope I can say this gently without it being taken as a heavy criticism! )

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    Re: Re: Re: Dancefloor Etiquette

    It would be good if people did pay a little more attention on the dance floor.

    My own really personal bugbear though, is the people who walk onto the floor, halfway through a track, without looking where they are going.

    You're generally watching for, and aware of the people dancing around you. But can't possibly be expected to watch out for people entering the floor.

    Another bugbear are the people that stand around on the dance floor when the music is playing, and they aren't dancing. Especially when it's busy.

    Steve

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dancefloor Etiquette

    Originally posted by TheTramp
    My own really personal bugbear though, is the people who walk onto the floor, halfway through a track, without looking where they are going.
    I can think of one venue, if I remember correctly, that had a notice drawing attention to this by the check in desk (Not walking across the dancefloor that is, not that it's your personal bugbear lol)

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    I feel sensitive to this. I will dance on a crowded dancefloor but I don't enjoy it because I spend most of my focus ensuring that I keep my partner and myself away from bumping into others.
    Other than asking people to be careful on a busy dance floor, I don't know how to teach people to be more careful. Perhaps regular reminders at venues which are consistently busy would be helpful? I do not want to attend a venue which I believe will be packed all night.

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    Registered User Daisy's Avatar
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    Having been KO'd on the dance floor at Hipsters, and suffered concussion, I now feel very uncomfortable dancing in the middle of a crowded dancefloor. I much prefered to stay near the edge these days but then there is always the risk of colliding with couples entering and exiting the dance floor during a track ( the first 45 seconds are the worst).

    Luckily serious accidents are few and far between but I do feel that if you do accidently bump into or hurt someone then an apology is due, even if it wasn't particularly your fault.

    Will....I am sooooo sorry I head chopped you last night. You must duck next time.....ooops

    thats if I get a next time!

    LOL Jane

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    Originally posted by Daisy
    Will....I am sooooo sorry I head chopped you last night. You must duck next time.....ooops
    No Problem at all Jane. It's just nice to be smacked upside the head by accident for a change!

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    Originally posted by Daisy


    Will....I am sooooo sorry I head chopped you last night. You must duck next time.....ooops


    LOL Jane
    I am sooooo pleased to hear that I am not the only one

    Last night at Newcastle I 'head chopped' a lovely guy really hard with my spare arm, not only did I almost knock him out, but I sent his hearing aid spinning across the crowded dance floor.....


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    Ooooops should not laugh really, but it sounds funny,

    Give me warning before you start dancing tomorrow night
    tee hee

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    It was - VERY funny! Luckily he thought so too!

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    Originally posted by sarahw31
    I am sooooo pleased to hear that I am not the only one

    Last night at Newcastle I 'head chopped' a lovely guy really hard with my spare arm, not only did I almost knock him out, but I sent his hearing aid spinning across the crowded dance floor.....

    Erm............. can you wear a big name badge please Sarah. I'd love a dance on Saturday but wil lbe careful about the moves

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