1) Before the dance - When approaching a dance partner, be polite. If they are in the midst of a conversation, say "Pardon Me" or "Excuse Me" and wait to be acknowledged before asking for the dance. Always introduce yourself with a smile. Ask "Would you like to dance?" (Although traditionally the men ask the women to dance, it is also now perfectly acceptable for a woman to ask a man to dance.) If your offer to dance is accepted, take the person's hand and lead them onto the dance floor. If the offer is declined (no matter what the reason), be courteous and understanding. You never know when the opportunity might arise again with that particular person and you don't want to burn your bridges by being rude. We will discuss accepting and declining a dance in more detail in a later blog post.
2) During the dance - This is where you have the most opportunity to interact with your partner. Here are a few tips:
-ask questions about your partner -talk only about yourself
-sing along to the song -don't count out loud as you dance
-say positive things about their dancing -correct your partner on their dancing
-find something to compliment them about -make fun of them
Remember that everyone is out to have a good time. You don't want to come across as selfish, boring, obnoxious, full of yourself, insecure or overbearing. Be genuinely interested in the person you are dancing with and find something to genuinely compliment them on. Everyone's favorite topic to talk about is themselves, by asking them questions you get a chance to learn more about them. The more fun your partner has, the more likely they are to dance with you again and to encourage their friends to dance with you!
3) After the dance - There is really only one main rule for when the music ends, but it's very important.
MEN: Do NOT leave your partner alone on the dance floor and walk away. PLEASE escort her to the edge of the dance floor and thank her for the dance.
WOMEN: SAME RULE! Do NOT leave your partner in the middle of the dance floor and walk away. Allow him to escort you to the edge of the dance floor and thank him for the dance.
Next time: Part 3: "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Interested in learning to dance? Contact the Arthur Murray nearest you to get started today!