Updated: Mar 18
Social activities from all over the world entail a set of etiquette that revolves around what and what not to do, and salsa dancing is no exception. The experts and experienced dancers know the proper etiquette to the dance floor.
If you’re a beginner, however, it’s easy to make a mistake and earn a bad first impression during salsa sessions.
If you want to learn how to stay away from such instances, here is a quick guide to the salsa etiquette, ensuring that your social dance life remains fun and happy:
Rule #1: Be assertive, not aggressive
Even though someone is available for a dance, always remember to ask them first. Grabbing them by their hand and whisking them off to the dance floor is not acceptable, and this applies to ladies and gentlemen alike.
When they do accept your invitation to dance, keep in mind that you should adapt to your partner. Salsa relies on fun and connection, so pay attention to your partner and their comfort level. Don’t force patterns, styling, and proximity that may be uncomfortable to them––respect their needs! Doing so will ensure an enjoyable experience for both of you.
Rule # 2: Be polite
Although you may have all the right to turn someone down, make sure to do so politely! Do not turn down a person and immediately accept another person’s invitation. Good manners dictate that you must sit out that dance, all in respect to the person you’ve just turned down.
Do keep in mind as well that salsa dancing is a social activity. When you wish to ask someone to dance, ensure that they are not in a conversation with someone else. As with any context, interrupting conversations is never polite. Even with salsa dancing and any other dancing environment, this should be carefully observed.
Rule # 3: Stick to your lane
Yes, the energy, groove, and adrenaline rush will be overwhelming! As much as possible, remember to keep in your dance space. It’s only respectful that you honour another dancer’s place on the dance floor, as it is a valuable possession.
When you find a spot on the dance floor, be mindful of the other couples dancing around you. Rewire your dance moves according to the available space because no one will thank you for a sharp heel stab or an elbow blow on the head.
Rule # 4: Avoid lurking, especially on the dance floor
As mentioned, the dancing floor space is valuable to each dancer. If you’re not dancing, do not hover over the dance floor. That’s designated for dancing and only dancing, and the couple beside you will probably thank you for moving away.
If you wish to socialize and just watch, move over to the bar or the side-lines. If you want to visit the washroom or the exit instead, do not cross through the middle room. Skirt over to the edge where there is space, and then walk from there. Cutting through people dancing isn’t appropriate, especially since you’ll be interrupting mini salsa classes, salsa romances, and other salsa-induced socialization.
Rule # 5: Remember that it’s just dancing
That salsa social space is a shared space, which is why you should stick to dance moves that you can execute comfortably and safely. This means that it is best for you to avoid doing lifts and mind-boggling dance moves (unless you’re a professional) or overly complicated dips.
The dance floor is already crowded enough, and one wrong move can cause you and the people around you to get injured. Remember, you’re there to enjoy and socialize. There’s a time and place for performance dancing, and it’s not on this social dance floor. Everyone is there to enjoy, so relax and smile with them!
Salsa dancing is an art form that deserves to be respected, along with everyone else enjoying its many benefits. As a beginner salsa dancer, keep the etiquette rules mentioned above in mind, as they’ll help you keep your newfound love for salsa burning with a fiery passion!
As you begin your journey, why not look to improve your salsa dance moves? If you’re in Toronto, get in touch with us to begin your salsa dancing lessons! With our commitment to excellence and astounding services, you’ll be a professional in no time!