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 Salsa Etiquette

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pauljustin
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Registration date : 2006-11-13

PostSubject: Salsa Etiquette   Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:28 pm

Etiquette is what ensures that your partner and yourself get an enjoyable dance not only during that ONE dance, but that you get people asking you back for dances again.

The following was taken from this website but thought it would be good to share with all.

Preparing for the dance

1) Personal grooming. Remember that you ll probably be dancing with a lot of people. Be fresh and clean when you start. Avoid using cologne or perfume because a sizeable percentage of the general population is allergic to them, and many of these people are sensitive enough to become seriously ill from even brief exposure to other s fragrances. Dancing is a physical activity that stimulates the sweat glands, greatly accentuating the effect of even the smallest amounts of colognes and perfumes. If you perspire a lot, try wearing an undershirt. If that is not enough, bring a hand towel and one or more clean shirts.

2) Up close and personal. When dancing, fresh breath is a must. Breath mints, sprays, etc. are good. Avoid onions, garlic, and similarly strong foods because you are going to be in close contact with your dance partners. Gum should be used only as a last resort. Remember the saying about walking and chewing gum at the same time? Well, it s more apparent when you try to dance! Besides, nobody wants to step on the gum you chewed with his or her nice new dance shoes!!!

At the dance

3) The dance invitation. If you d like to dance with someone, go up to him or her, excuse yourself if necessary, and ask to dance. If you are a woman who feels uneasy about asking men to dance, stand near the dance floor and appear eager to dance rather than sitting away from the dance floor appearing bored.

4) Turning people down. If you must turn someone down because you re tired or for your own personal reasons, thank the person for asking. If you are tired, offering to dance later might be appropriate. If you tell someone you re tired, or that you are just resting, do not dance that song with someone else. Even if that "someone else" is your favorite dancer and asks you to dance, explain politely that you just turned someone down. Turning a person down and then dancing that same song with someone else is rude and gets noticed by others. What goes around comes around! If you don t ever want to dance with a specific person who is persistent, perhaps you should try giving that person an extremely
polite hint why.

5) Monopolizing a good dancer. If a top dancer comes to your area, don t be afraid to ask him or her to dance -- that s why they are there. Do give others the opportunity to enjoy these same moments. Also remember that great dancers need a little break every now and then, especially if they have been dancing non-stop.

6) Interrupting conversations to ask someone to dance. Many people are of the opinion that if you re not dancing, you re available to be asked to dance. Some people gauge your availability to dance by how close you are to the dance floor. If you don t want to dance, but instead want to converse and not be interrupted, or just need to take a break and rest, move away from the dance floor to the edge of the room or go outside. If you feel that you must interrupt, be sensitive to the intensity of the conversation. If it seems to be small talk, excuse yourself before asking the person to dance and if they acquiesce, allow them a few moments to gracefully finish the conversation.

7) Taking a break. Remember to stay clear of the dance floor and out of the way when you are not dancing, even if you only intend to watch the action. This makes it safer and more enjoyable for you and the other participants, and shows that you are considerate. While eating or drinking, DEFINITELY stay away from the dance floor!

While dancing

8 ) Teaching while dancing. Unless specifically asked to do so, DON T DO IT. It s very rude! Besides, you didn t ask your partner if he or she wants a private lesson, you asked to social dance. Before you start giving out advice, consider that it might be YOUR lead or follow that caused the problem. Even better, don t start giving out advice at all -- unless you are asked for it, AND you know how to do both parts, AND you know exactly what you are talking about.

9) Dancing at your partner s level. For lead-and-follow couples dances, the goal is to make sure your partner has a good time, not to show off. Watch your partner s face -- if you see smiling or other signs of happiness, he or she must be enjoying the dance.

10) Bumping into or stepping on other dancers. Be aware of what s going on around you and adjust your dancing to fit. If space is tight, take smaller steps and don t do all your hot moves on other people s feet. ALWAYS acknowledge and apologize to someone you bump into or step on.

11) Apologizing to your partner. Usually unnecessary. Don t worry about blowing a lead or not following all the moves perfectly, as it was not done intentionally. Enjoy yourself and try it again. Relax, it s only dancing!

12) Dancing close. This is generally determined by the woman. While a man needs to hold and guide the woman, she ultimately determines the level of closeness that is comfortable to her. Different people have different spatial requirements; and both men and women need to respect that.

13) Safety. Men, this is primarily your responsibility, although women need to know when to take over when partnering with the occasional guy whose brain seems to be on a permanent leave of absence. Please follow these guidelines:

a) While escorting your partner onto and off the floor, keep in mind that no woman appreciates being walked through the path of another dancing couple. Spinning bodies have elbows which inflict a variety of injuries to the body, face, and head. Shoes have hard, sharp heels. Legs can trip. Bodies can knock other bodies down or off balance. Avoid making your partner an obstacle and she will not have to confront such objects and the pain they cause.

b) When selecting a location on the dance floor, NEVER choose a spot which places your partner, yourself, or others in peril. If the floor is so crowded that insufficient room exists to dance without colliding into others, wait for the next dance and DO NOT squeeze in expecting others to make room for you. This is a dangerous practice and men who do it are grossly indifferent to the safety of their partners, who endure the highest risk of sustaining neck and back injuries as they slam into another dancer while moving backward. Even on a floor that is not excessively crowded, the man must constantly be on alert for the sudden appearance of another person in his partner s line of travel during the dance. Women, you can also tell if your partner lacks sufficient common sense to look out for your safety. If he can t do at least that much for you, then take yourself out of harm s way by getting off the dance floor. Then grab another partner who will hopefully display a bit more intelligence.

c) If another couple squeezes in and dances nearby after you have started, NEVER try to see how closely you can make your partner travel toward the other couple as a way to stake out your space. That is a childish game and shows your foolishness. Instead, kindly tell the other couple to move to a spot with more room or to leave the floor if no such location is available. Should they become belligerent and argue with you, handle the situation appropriately and notify management.

d) Do not attempt aerials, drops or lifts on the social dance floor unless you are highly skilled at these maneuvers, and NEVER perform them in any manner which can possibly endanger your partner or other couples. In our litigious society, a mishap could jeopardize access to dance venues for everyone.

e) ALWAYS be considerate toward others. If some of you gentlemen simply have trouble doing this, just remember that if your partner gets hurt for any reason, YOU are the one who looks like an idiot, big guy. And ladies, please remember that showing consideration and courtesy toward other occupants of the dance floor is a team effort - you are not exempt from this rule either.

After you dance

14) What to say and do at the end of a dance. Thank your partner for the dance and perhaps compliment him/her. Then either ask for the next dance or walk each other off the floor.

15) When there is a live band. After they finish a song, be sure to applaud and show them that you enjoy what they are doing. A happy band plays a better performance.

16) When there s a disc jockey. If you enjoyed the choice of music the DJ played, or if you danced to a lot of your favorite tunes, go up and show your appreciation! A DJ is a professional who takes pride in his or her work, spending lots of time and money researching and finding the most danceable tunes. The job of a DJ is to keep the dance floor crowded with as much variety as possible, NOT to play your favorite song ten times a night. Remember that the dance is only a few hours long and the DJ can t possibly play everyone s favorite songs.

In a dance class

17) Teaching. Unless you are specifically asked for advice and are qualified to give it (meaning that you have devoted substantial time to learning your part AND the opposite part), DO NOT TEACH, I REPEAT DO NOT DO IT. It is not only rude to the other students, it is both rude and disrespectful to the teacher. Be quiet and pay attention. Usually when you start giving advice is when the teacher passes out that hint or tip your partner needed but could not hear over your voice. If you are having difficulty, stop and get the teacher s or assistant s attention and ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask questions -- that is how you get answers. Concern yourself with your part, which is why you are there. You probably don t know what your partner is supposed to do and you are just guessing. Consider the fact that in most cases the one passing the blame is the one at fault. It is quite possible your lead or follow is the problem and not your partner s. If all else fails, ask the "expert" to please be
quiet so you can hear what the teacher is saying. In extreme cases, as a last resort when a partner simply refuses to shut up, bring it to the attention of the instructor right then and there, and do not be concerned about embarrassing the offender.

18 ) Rotating. Many people believe that they can only learn or get better with their own partners. In fact, the opposite is true. When you stay with the same partner, you end up compensating for each other s mistakes. That makes both partners think they are dancing correctly. When they try to dance with others, they can t understand why someone else doesn t lead or follow the way their partners do. Rotating partners teaches you to adjust to different people, such as when you get one who dances at a lower level than yourself, or a more advanced dancer. When the teacher calls "Rotate" do not try to sneak in just one more try of the move being taught and DON T give advice. Thank your partner and move on. You ll not only help the line move much more quickly, but you ll get to dance more and maybe even get a better partner. Couples, if you insist on not rotating, please stay out of line or on the ends, and as the others rotate, promptly make the next person aware that you are not rotating.

A Final Note From The Author of this List:

IF YOU THINK THIS LIST DOES NOT PERTAIN TO YOU,

YOU'RE EXACTLY THE ONE WE ARE TALKING TOO !!!!

_________________
Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias
A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.
Quoted from the movie Strictly Ballroom
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