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Country-Western Dance Floor Etiquette

Country Western Dance floor etiquette is a topic that can't be stressed enough. Now this page is not all inclusive and is general in nature but should give you the basic idea of Country/Western Dance Floor Etiquette. As you read through them try to remember it all boils down to just being friendly, polite, and respectful to other dancers and using a little common courtesy.

Common Country/Western dance floors are divided into Lanes and Areas. The outside lane is the FAST lane. Traffic moves around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise direction. If you are going slow, stay in an inner lane and let people pass you on the outside. The closer you go to the center, the slower you may go.

Use the entire lane when doing a progressive dance. In other words, don't cut the corners or dance across the floor (unless it can't be helped).

If you are doing a stationary dance such as a line dance or swing dance instead of a progressive dance, you should dance in the center area of the floor. Line dancers, swingers, free-stylers, etc. should stay out of the lanes. If they see a couple progressing towards them in the lanes they should make an attempt to get out of the way. Couple dancers should realize that line dancing is popular and sometimes the floor fills up (Cha Cha, Mambo Shuffle, Tush Push, etc.). When this happens it's best to wait for another song.

A hardwood dance floor should be treated with care. Drinks, food, cigarettes, chewing gum or any other foreign substance should never be brought onto the dance floor as this can be both dangerous and unpleasant. When you spill liquid on a hardwood floor, it leaves a dangerous wet spot. Even when it dries, this spot is pretty much ruined for the dancers the rest of the night because it becomes "tacky" and they cannot slide across it.

Don't use the dance floor for a pathway to the other side of the bar. I'd be willing to bet there is another way around to the other side. A dance floor is for dancing on and not meant to be used as a sidewalk.

Don't bump into other dancers. To this end, Leaders plan your moves so you don't run into anyone. And Followers don't be afraid to warn the Leader about a dancer s/he can't see. If by accident you do bump into someone, just apologize to them and be more careful next time. It's a fairly accepted practice that when a collision occurs, apologize, EVEN if it wasn't your fault.

Remember, no one's perfect. On the dance floor, don't teach, offer suggestions or critique your partner's dancing unless they ask you to or they give you permission - dancing is meant to be fun, not stressful. If someone makes a mistake, the best thing is to just smile and keep going!

When a song/dance is over leave the dance floor. Don't hang out on the floor socializing. Even standing on the floor against the rail is not safe. This is the fast progressive dance lane. Think about it. Would you lean against the inside rail of a horse track during a race?