Dance Etiquette


Everyone at Hammer Hoppers shares the common interest of providing a fun, inclusive, and respectful space for everyone to dance. Here are a few things we can all keep in mind to ensure everyone has a good time.

Personal hygiene is key. This includes fresh breath, deodorant, clean shirts, the works. Minimal fragrances is also important for anyone who may have an allergy.

Multi-shirt-plex. We all sweat. The more you dance, the more you sweat, it’s been proven. When dancing with other people it is good to remember to keep it fresh, change it up now and then, and bring a few spare shirts. Easy, breezy… dry.

Moderating eye-contact. There is a happy middle zone here. Too much eye-contact may seem creepy and no eye-contact may seem like you are not enjoying the dance. Everyone is different, but be wary to avoid any stare downs when dancing with another person.

Asking someone to dance. When asking others to dance (and we hope you do) a simple, “Would you like to dance?” often has a high success rate. Less direct approaches may be unwelcome and will set the dance off on a bad foot (figuratively and/or literally). At a social dance it is safe to assume most people are there to dance and you can ask anyone for a dance and that goes for both leads and follows. If someone politely refuses a dance don’t ask again that night. Remember that some people may be shy or nervous and we want them to feel welcome to join in the fun at their own pace.

You’ve been asked to dance. Well you really have two options here, accept or refuse. To accept a dance a simple, “Yes, thank you” will do the trick and together you find an empty space on the dance floor. If you are uncomfortable accepting a dance for any reason, whether you are nervous, tired, injured, or just content watching this is your right and you do not need to feel obliged to accept. We encourage you to accept dances, but your enjoyment and personal safety are our top priority. You can always tell someone you will find them later, but if you go this route be sure to hold true to this and ask them for a dance when you can. It is also considered extremely rude to refuse a dance with one person and accept a dance with another person during that same song. If you refuse one person, for whatever the reason, it is best to sit that song out. Ok, that seems really complicated, but it’s not. Just do what is right for you, because that is what is most important.

Finishing the dance. At the end of the song, always thank your partner. If you enjoyed the dance, you can always ask them to dance again, but never assume that you will dance together for the next song.

Aerials/Air steps are saved for special occasions. Any and all aerials are strictly forbidden on the social dance floor. This is to protect unsuspecting participants and surrounding dancers. An aerial is defined as a move where the follower’s feet leave the floor and they are not in control of their own weight.

Collisions on the social dance floor. People are moving, things happen, and minor collisions do occur. If you find yourself in this situation, always take a moment to ensure everyone is uninjured and to offer a brief apology. The best offense is a good defense, and solid floor craft is key. Everyone really appreciates this. Look out for your partner and take care when navigating the dance floor.

Clean dance shoes. There are many types of shoes that are good for dancing, but always wear clean shoes on the dance floor. This protects the floor and other people’s shoes and helps us get invited back to dance at the venue.

Teaching on the social dance floor. It is considered very rude to instruct any dancer while dancing socially. The only time this is acceptable is if someone invites you to provide comment on their dancing and you are experienced enough to provide positive constructive feedback.

Speak up! If someone is doing something that is making you uncomfortable in absolutely any way it is important you voice your concern, no questions asked. This could be something like, “Sorry I don’t know that move” or “I have a bad back so no dips please”. This doesn’t mean the end of the dance, it’s just you letting the other person know your personal boundaries and it always makes the dance better. Almost all dancers will be happy you said something because no one wants you to leave the dance floor uncomfortable.


If you ever feel these rules of dance etiquette are not being practiced by any dancer, please bring it to the attention of one the instructors so we can address the issue and ensure any problems do not persist. Now stop reading and go dancing!