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The etiquette of social salsa dancing

When you first start learning to dance salsa socially, there is always an etiquette of your social dancing scene. Now this can vary slightly from city to city and indeed country to country, so it's always best to ask a longer standing member of the social dance scene for advice.

However, specifically about the social salsa dance scene in the UK, here are a few tips for the new Social Dancer:

  • Always ask as many people to dance as possible in the practice session. Men and Ladies can ask each other. NEVER say no to a dance, it can really knock someone’s confidence to be told no. Do not dance repeatedly with the same partner, usually 1 Salsa and 1 Bachata with someone is considered the etiquette per night.

  • Try to ask people from levels above and below you. You will learn a lot from people above you and you will be able to help people below you…We all had to start somewhere.

  • Make sure you wear soft soled shoes that slip easily on the floor.. invest in a pair of dance shoes as early as possible (suede soled). Men especially should not wear hard outdoor leather shoes that can seriously hurt a lady if you tread on her toes. If you don’t have dance shoes yet please wear something soft.

  • Please be aware of your personal hygiene. Dancing will make you perspire, that can’t be avoided. However you should bring deodorant and spare T shirts / Tops to change into throughout the night. You can also use a flannel or small hand towel to deal with excess perspiration.. No-one wants to dance with a very sweaty person!

  • Breath freshener, mints and clean teeth are a must.. try not to each a particularly strong smelling food before you come dancing.. especially garlic.. it’s not pleasant for you fellow dancers!

  • If you are waiting for a dance, wait on the edge of the dance floor standing up, look ready to be grabbed and taken on the floor. Generally if you are not wanting to dance / taking a break you should sit down away from the dance floor. If you are sat down all night and don’t get a dance, don’t complain.. the general etiquette is to wait by standing on close to the side of the dance floor.

Hope this gives you a few pointers on the start of your social dance journey!

See you on the dancefloor...

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