Dance Floor Etiquette

Everyone has a right to space on the dance floor, but in an acceptable location. Dance traffic travels in a counter-clockwise direction in concentric tracks on the dance floor. This is called the “line of dance.”

Faster-traveling dancers use the fast (or outside) lane. Such dances include: Waltz, Fox-Trot, Quickstep, Tango, Polka, Viennese Waltz, County Two-Step, Triple-Two/Progressive, etc. They generally have the right of way, but should not cut through floor center. Do not use back-up steps without looking for adequate clearance.

Slower (and beginner) dancers use the slow (or inner) lane, as well as Country Couple or Partner Dancing.

Floor center is for spot (or position) dancers (e.g., Jive, Rumba, West Coast Swing, Slow Dancing, Meringue, Night-Club Two-Step, Cha-Cha, Mambo, Bolero, etc.) and line dancers. Do not dance in the outside lanes unless everyone else is doing that same spot dance at the same time.

Following dance floor etiquette is a way to fully utilize the dance floor and avoid accidental collisions. If a collision occurs, it’s common practice to apologize, even if it wasn’t your fault. Avoid standing and socializing on the floor. Be sure to yield to oncoming dancers as you enter the dance space. Do not cut across the floor if a dance is in progress. The floor diagram (below) shows dance positioning.

At many dances, often the DJ or band (or instructor, if a lesson has been given) would remind dancers of such dance floor etiquette. Please share and/or forward this to all of your dancing friends, instructors, DJ’s, and bands so that dancers can enjoy dancing without frustration on the dance floor.