Social Dance Etiquette
Here are some simple guidelines for new dancers who are learning
to navigate our scene.
- Saying Yes.
This is one of the main principles of our culture. You don't have
to say yes to every dance request, but what if you did? The scene
only benefits from people dancing with each other. If you only dance
with one or two partners, not only are you not helping the scene, but
your dancing will not improve as much as if you danced with everyone.
- Asking For A Dance
Don't be afraid to ask someone for a dance! It doesn't matter if you're
a lead or a follow. But if you do, it's
generally best to avoid asking someone who is engaged in conversation
or else obviously in the middle of something (working at the venue,
looking for someone, etc..). And while we believe in a culture of
accepting dances, you may get turned down. Keep in mind that this
is more of a reflection on the dancer turning you down than it is on
you, and go ask someone else!
- Avoiding Being "Clique-ish"
When people start learning how to dance, they want to become great
for one of two reasons. Either because they want to be able to dance
with everyone, or they want to not have to dance with everyone.
The Rent Party is dedicated to the first ideal. We believe in
dancing with everyone, and want you to be a part of our world.
- Taking Classes
We have a strict policy for our students of not giving instruction
or unsolicited feedback. If you are in rotation and someone asks you
how something is working, feel free to tell them what you are experiencing,
but remember, it's up to the teacher to teach, not the students. We
find, in fact, that it's almost always the students who are least fit to
teach who are most likely to be giving advice in rotation.
- Giving Advice
Nobody likes to receive unsolicited advice while dancing. Unless someone
has asked you for your opinion, then it is never acceptable to tell someone
how they should dance. Rent-A-Dancers are not
allowed to give unsolicited advice on the dance floor.
The only exception to this rule is in the unlikely event that you are
being hurt by the dance. The best way to handle this is to simply
state what you are experiencing, i.e., "this move is hurting me."
If the dance continues to hurt, then protect yourself and ask to end
- Personal Space
Lindy Hop and Blues can be very close physically. They are not, however,
invitations to create unrequested intimacy. This is a place to dance,
not to grind with your partner. We highly recommend taking some beginning
classes to learn about how to connect with your partner in a way that
will be comfortable for both of you, if you have any questions about
what behavior is appropriate, please find the host or our staff and we'd
love to talk to you about it! Furthermore, if someone is making you
feel uncomfortable, please do talk to us about it! Oftentimes it is
merely a misunderstanding of what the dance is about, though in more
difficult cases, we will remove people from the venue if necessary.
In general we'd like to avoid ever bumping into another couple, but
inevitably this will happen. Just be sure to apologize, even if it's
not your fault. You can avoid these situations by dancing smaller
when it's crowded and by keeping track of where dancers are around you.
- Quiet Outside!
This isn't normal social dance etiquette, but it's an important part
of our venue. We are located in a residential area, and we have a
strict no-talking policy on the sidewalk outside the venue. That
means that from the door of the venue to the door of your car, put a
sock in it. We're not kidding. If we have noise problems, we can
lose our ability to stay open late, or possibly even lose the venue.
If we have repeat offenders, we may restrict their ability to return
to the venue. We may also hire snipers.
- Have fun!
Our venue is all about having fun. If you make this your first
priority at The Rent Party, then we'll have a great time!