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 the dance.
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!