What are the Social Dance Rules and Regulations ?

Question by by cheesewings

I’m a beginner and I would like to know what are the main rules when it comes to socials.

For example, why most people don’t dance with the same partner twice in a row

Why not consume any alcohol during socials?


User obubaley

You can dance with the same partner if you really want to, but there are probably a few people waiting to dance with your current partner.

Plenty of people drink at socials, but don’t drink on the dance floor… If you drop it that area will be sticky and horrible and not good to dance on.

Always respect your partner’s comfort level, particularly when dancing bachata. Don’t get too close if it’s obvious your partner doesn’t like it.

Dont try to teach anybody while dancing. If they don’t know something, adjust the difficulty of what you’re doing.

Don’t walk through the dance floor in the middle of the song. That should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do.

Hygiene is important. Bring a change of t-shirt and some deodorant and a towel if you’re gonna be sweating a lot. If you’re a smoker, make sure you don’t smell like it when you’re about to dance.

There’s probably more, but those are the ones that come to mind straight away.

User LastDanz   

I would only add: DON’T FLIRT with your dancing partner, even more when you’re dancing.

Another good one: Consider the other couples – Adapt your steps to the available space: The club is not only yours’.

An important one: Announce your dancing partner what kind of salsa you pretend to dance (on1, on2, casino..)

User TentaclesForEveryone 

I would only add: DON’T FLIRT with your dancing partner, even more when you’re dancing.

Hard disagree. Salsa can be a flirtatious dance and it’s a lot of fun when it is. You just have to remember a) not to try and force a dance to be flirtatious, and b) that just because your partner is returning that energy on the dancefloor, it doesn’t mean that they want anything to do with you off it. So long as you’re in it for the process and not the outcome, flirt away.

User gumercindo1959 

Agree. Nothing wrong with flirting at all – just don’t be a sleaze. There’s a WIDE difference b/w the 2. Most couples that dance do flirt with each other in some form or another – nice smile, exclamations, etc, go a long way to making a dance more enjoyable.

User LastDanz   

It’s really appalling suffering your dancing partner flirting when you just wanna dance

User pdabaker 

Replace “dance” with “talk” in that sentence and it’s just as true.

The problem isn’t trying to do it, the problem is continuing to do it when it isn’t reciprocated.

User Mcgranewaves

When someone wants to dance with you excessively, they may come across as they want more than just dancing… Brush your teeth! Mens hands dont go past the waist! Dont try and teach soneone on the dance floor, no one wants to be given lectures while there out trying to have a good time. Smile! Dont be too rough and dislocate her shoulders… If someone makes you feel uncomfortable while dancing, you dont have to finish the whole song. Stop as soon as you feel uncomfortable and decline there offer if they ever want to dance with you again.

User Bento-  

The most important rule, have fun and smile 🙂
And thank your dancingpartner for the dance.

My rule is like, 1 dance / partner / night.
If my dancepartner asks me back for a second song, I dont mind in most of the times.

Alcohol wise, everyone should know their limit, and stop waaaay before that limit. And dont spill sticky liquid on the dancefloor 🙂

Hygiene is also an important point. So dont miss your dentist apointments ^ ^

User waitImcoming

This one may not apply till you advance but it’s important Try to be inclusive and limit how many dances you decline. As in don’t decline dances based on only wanting to dance with the best or best looking. Social dancing is more fun when we are kind. We all were beginners at some point.

If the person is lacking in hygiene/boundaries/politeness/you really need a break, it’s a different story. But declining can be done kindly or dismissively. The social dancing scene dies out if the good dancers don’t help foster a new generation by dancing with the less experienced and new dancers are afraid to start due to a cold attitude to newcomers/outsiders.

User El_Bard0 

Never correct someone that you’re dancing with at a social unless they explicitly ask you for help.

User gumercindo1959 

– People don’t like to consume alcohol b/c it makes them sloppy and for the people who take dancing seriously, they like being sharp. If you’re at a regular nightclub, though, there’s much more drinking.

– just be aware of people dancing around you – make your partner feel safe and taken care of

– if you get turned down for a dance, don’t take it personally; move on

– if you have a GREAT dance with someone and there’s obviously good chemistry, sure, ask again for a dance. Typically, I would hold off doing this. Salsa socials aren’t like Milongas.

– Please take some practice classes before going out dancing

User dwkfym 

– since most guys start salsa to meet girls I wanted to say this. Single best thing you can do to ‘get girls’ in salsa is to get good and not flirt. Its way safer for you to receive flirting than the other way around, but eventually you’ll dance just to enjoy dancing (I’m assuming you’re a male/lead, sorry, I don’t have advice for women/follows for this)- usually one dance with one partner because more than one tends to be boring, but yeah that is the etiquette and yes people are probably waiting to dance with people- you can drink if you want, but don’t get drunk. it is pretty bad dancing with drunk people- regardless of whether you are a lead or follow, respect each others boundaries. don’t dance close unless you know 100% they want to dance close. even then its better to use it sparingly anyways.- have fun!! don’t be afraid to say no to someone and take breaks if you need to.

User curiouscheesecake

My personal rule for beginners

Slowly start getting used to looking at your partner if you are shy/nervous kinda guy and maybe smile if you feel comfortable enough. As you are dancing with another human. So you need to get out of the habit of looking away or looking at your own feet while dancing and give them the equal attention :).

The other salsa social etiquette coming into the social scene:

Don’t take it personally if a girl rejects you when you ask her for a dance. Sometime she may just want a break from dancing. So don’t jump straight that she hates you already.

Let them know your a beginner if you are nervous dancing at a social, so they know that your trying your best doing the beginners/improvers moves and they won’g give you the “eyeroll they are so basic” look.

A follow up to the above point, if you are not confident in footwork/musicality as you are a beginner. The followers should just continue dancing with you when the music changes.

4. You can consume alcohol one or two drinks won’t make your partner fall or collide into someone. If that is the case for yourself, don’t drink lol.

User FToaster1 

If you ask someone to dance and they say anything other than a firm ‘yes’, accept it and ask someone else to dance.

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