Although there is much information about dance and ballroom etiquette on many websites, we believe this information is important to our members.

Above all …. Kindness

The nature of partner dancing is that it is social, so knowing and applying these measures of kindness will enhance the dancing experience for all.


Ballroom dancing is close contact activity, not just with your dancing partner but with others. In public spaces and many workplaces, scented products are mostly unwelcome.  Please be considerate of others.

Ladies can ask men and men can ask ladies

Asking another person to dance has absolutely no hidden agenda attached other than to dance one dance.  Ladies can ask men and men can ask ladies. Ballroom dancing is a social activity so it is customary to dance with people who have no partner and attend our dances (including practices).  Dancing with someone other than a regular partner can lead to a better understanding of the dancing whether as a lead or a follow and besides sharing is a very good social experience.  At the end of the dance thank your partner.  Men, remember to escort your dance partner to her chair at the end of the dance.  The most practical way to do this is to offer your arm.

Line of dance

During dances that follow the line of dance (all of the standard dances, Samba, and Paso Doble), less experienced dancers should stay near the middle of the floor keeping the outside open to dancers having more flight in their steps. This may be counter-intuitive to beginner dancers who likely keep to the outside for a fast exit off the dance floor at the first sign of trouble.  While some of the dance floors used by VBDS are smaller, making this rule of thumb difficult to apply, please keep it in mind.

Collisions on dance floor

Collisions are inevitable and are ‘no-fault’, each couple apologizing is the polite thing to do.  Dance floors will get crowded, whether it is a practice or a social dance, and when it is crowded it is the best time to make your steps a bit more compact and work on floor craft.  The long routines learned in classes or being worked on for competitions will be quite difficult on a crowded floor.

Bad harmony

Practicing dance steps can be a challenge and often times couples may disagree – the bad harmony between dancers can make others feel uncomfortable.  If it is a bad day where things just don’t seem to be working out, be considerate of others with the tone and volume of your voice.

Respect the dance floor

Wear dance shoes; or clean shoes that are used specifically for dancing and not those you have just worn to the dance. Use the outer perimeter of the dance floor to get around in the ballroom rather than transiting across the floor.  Do not block the flow of dance to engage in conversation with your partner or others; move off the floor and stand in the seating on the very outer perimeter.