Dance Etiquette: Let the Teacher do the Teaching
We know your intentions are good. You just want to help, but each student is at a different place with their learning and teaching on the dance floor is a hinderance to the learning of that student. Often, while dancing socially partners are not at the same level and have not yet been taught everything that you know. As a dancer at a higher level, it is your responsibility to dance to the level of your partner.
If you are an intermediate or advanced leader, try beginning with simpler dance moves and working your way up to the more complicated patterns with each partner. If you are a follower at a higher level, it can be distracting (and even intimidating) to your green leader to do extra syncopations or school figures. Beginning dancing can be extremely intimidating, so encouraging the strengths of each new partner rather than giving advice or teaching your partner on the dance floor is the best option to nurture your partners progress and avoid a major dance etiquette faux pas.
Giving advice on the dance floor is unfortunately one of the most common breaches of dance etiquette. This often happens in group classes after attempting the school figure or at practice parties in the midst of a song. Please do not blame your fellow student for any mis-steps. The leaders have a very big job, listening to the timing, figuring out the footwork, leading you around the floor and best of all, making you look beautiful. Even if they don’t get the move quite right, let them lead you. Eventually with support and encouragement they will be able to lead you through the move properly.
Please remember that dance etiquette is here to ensure each experience on the dance floor is enjoyable. Dancing to the level of your partner and not blaming your partner for missteps is the acceptable protocol. Todays beginners will be the great dancers of tomorrow, please be nice to them and treat them the way you would like to be treated: with a warm smile!