Group dance classes are lots of fun and a great way to gain experience and material (not to mention meet new people!), but they also present unique social circumstances that can be tricky to navigate, especially for newbies (what? personal space?). Follow these reminders to get the most out of your group class experience and ensure everyone in class has a positive experience!
Partner Dance Class Etiquette
- Check your ego at the door. Be 100% friendly, encouraging, and kind to all (including yourself)!
- Partner dancing is a close contact sport. Remember mints and deodorant. If you come straight from work/activity, consider a fresh shirt. Hand sanitizer applied strategically also works wonders.
- Phones silent and out of sight, unless you are filming a pattern (with instructor permission).
- Be on time. Missing even the first five minutes can set you back for the rest of the class or cause you to feel confused about what’s going on.
- Pay attention/don’t talk while the teacher is talking. Don’t be that person asking questions about something already covered because you weren’t listening.
- Rotate partners and thank everyone you dance with. The fastest way to get better is dancing with a variety of people.
- Respect your instructor and fellow students by not dancing ahead or free-styling during group instruction. It’s distracting.
- And lastly – but very importantly – no teaching! Do not: correct other students, point out other’s mistakes, give unsolicited advice, or embarrass your classmates in any way. Pointing out that another student is struggling can make them feel very small. The teacher is aware of who is getting it and who isn’t, and has a good reason for his or her pacing with each student. Just keep smiling and carry on. (That said, if the way someone is doing a move is making you physically uncomfortable or causing pain, politely speak up. Perhaps, “Excuse me/sorry for interrupting, but this part is making my [arm/back/hips/etc.] uncomfortable. Can we get the instructor over here to help us sort that out?” When the instructor comes, don’t point blame.)