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          (01/16/2009 20:08 ws)

Dance group etiquette: To ask or not? Mixing Dance Partners?

Dance Tip of the week:

Dance group etiquette: To ask or not? Mixing Dance Partners?
Lately we have encountered a few instances of both the benefit and downside of mixing dance partners.

Case One is when there is a new single person (female) at a dance who winds up sitting most of the night while the good male dancers only ask the good female dancers. This doesn't often happen at Two Step Tidewater dances, but it does happen.

Our thoughts on Case One:
1. When attending dances and group lessons make every effort to bring a partner, but DON'T STAY AWAY, because you don't have a dance partner.  (That's the fun of growing in dancing - bring someone new to the dance - they WILL come back!)
2. When at a dance DON'T WAIT to be asked, take the initiative. For some ladies this goes against the grain but if the goal is to dance then grit your teeth and ask (after all, this is the 21st century). The good female dancers do not always get asked, and some new dancers or wannabe dancers don't come back, because nobody asked them to dance.  Ladies, this goes for male dancers too.  Many of the male dancers, especially the new ones, are too restrained to ask.
3. During a group class try to ask someone in advance, dance with the instructor and above all, if you must, practice alone. Group classes are tough on single ladies. The pace is fast and it's hard to keep up when you are partnered only some of the time. This is the time when you really need to push someone into attending with you. Even if it's a relative. (We have seen numerous lasting dancing relationships begin with two strangers or relative strangers who begin a lesson series together.)
4. If you are new to the social dance, quickly size up the room layout. Try to move closer to the action. When single male dancers hear a great song and get up to dance the ladies who are closer get asked first. Ladies that sit just inside the door or in a corner, far from the dance floor will sit out more dances. Come on in!  Dancing is great!
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Case Two is when the instructor asks the students to mix during lessons. The lady, who came with a partner, gives him up and winds up with someone totally unsuited to her level or not dancing at all. She feels like she is being penalized because of other ladies, who have no partners.

Our thoughts on Case Two:
1. If you feel your progress is being hurt because your dance partner is elsewhere you can ask him to not wander or you can limit your mixing to others that you know and are at the same level. If you don't know the other dancers introduce yourself and watch for those who rotate partners. Then you can ask.
2. There are some dancers who do not rotate. That is their right and although it is detrimental to developing social dance skills, the instructor should not push it.
3. Most group classes in this area are short on men. Ladies AND GENTLEMEN, If you know a fellow who may be interested invite him along.
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Case Three is when you attend a dance as a couple and you don't mind mixing but problems arise when one winds up sitting when the other dances.

Our thoughts on Case Three:
1. If your partner gets up to dance with another and you want to dance, ask someone. If you are a lady you may not want to ask but it's better than sitting. If you are a man and someone at your table asks your partner to dance please ask the other lady. You may not want to dance but if you leave her sitting, her partner will get an earful sometime that night.
2. Guys, you have to find a balance of courtesy toward your partner and being able to dance with others. If you can't find that balance you had better play it safe or get used to being in trouble.
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Although traditional etiquette and social manners dictate that a lady should wait until asked, this usually proves to be impractical at many social dances. On Sunday night, at our Two Step Tidewater dances, the odds are usually pretty good (only 4 or 5 extra ladies out of an average of 75 to 80 dancers) but some of the men will not dance every dance. That means that at any given time there will be ladies who want to dance and can't. Do we have a solution? No! With everyone dancing there will be ladies sitting. The only advise we have is to use common sense and if you want to dance don't wait, ask!

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Thought for a day...

Challenges
When people keep telling you that you can't do a thing, you kind of like to try it.
~ Margaret Chase Smith ~
 

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(www.twosteptidewater.com The Best smoke free Country & Western two step (2-step, Texas two-step), Ballroom, Latin, Disco (Hustle), West Coast Swing (WCS), Night Club two-step, Swing Dancing for all of South East Virginia (VA) or North East North Carolina beaches areas  (Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, Chesapeake VA, Suffolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Newport News VA, Hampton va, Hampton Roads VA, Yorktown VA, Gloucester VA, Jamestown VA, Williamsburg VA, Hickory NC, and the beaches and outer banks of North Carolina (NC)