What to wear? You’ll move your body around a lot, so wear something comfortable. For ladies, fancy or casual—it’s your choice--a dress, skirt or slacks or even jeans are all fine. Many ladies like to jazz up their look with a sparkly or sexy top, but just make sure you can move in it, and that your clothing doesn’t get in the way or caught when your partner turns you. Depending on the style of dance, you may even find yourself sweating! Dressing in layers is the answer; when you get warmed up on the dance floor, you can always remove your sweater or shawl. For men, just make sure you’re neat, clean and groomed.
A word about personal grooming. You will have an opportunity to dance with different partners, so please remember to attend to your personal grooming before taking the dance floor. As a courtesy to your partners, everyone should wash their hands after using the restroom. Keep your breath fresh with complimentary mints and candies that are always available at the front desk.
For your safety, no bare feet are allowed on the ballroom dance floors. We do recommend that you purchase dance shoes. They are specifically designed for flexibility, comfort and moving easily on the ballroom dance floor. Ask your dance instructor or friends for recommendations on the type and style best suited for your dance style pursuits.
Dance Floor Etiquette
Asking/Refusing a Dance. Be aware that JDB welcomes dancers from all ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, and sexual orientations; many have customs or cultural behaviors that you may not be familiar with. Sometimes shyness or a reserved demeanor may be mistaken for coldness or unfriendliness. A smile and a kind word works best to break the ice. We encourage everyone to dance with others, but sometimes they may not know how to dance that particular dance, or at least not with anyone but their partner—or they may not speak or understand a different language, or they’re just shy. Also, many couples come with their partners and only want to dance with them. If you are refused a dance, don’t take it personally. There are plenty of other people to ask. Keep trying... they’re out there waiting for you to ask them.
What if I continually get turned down? Have you checked your personal hygiene? You may want to ask a friend to verify this for you. If you’re OK there, it may be your dance steps or leading techniques are in need of a little brush-up. Remember, dancing should be a pleasant experience for you and your partner. Are your dance skills matched to your partner? Leaders should try to adjust to the level of their partners. The Leader should ‘show off’ their partner. Leaders: If you’re out-dancing your partner, holding them too tight or muscling them, stepping on their feet or otherwise hurting them, they won’t want to dance with you. Be a considerate partner, observant and respectful. Take a private lesson (call JDB @ 510-436-9888) or group lesson (check the website for class times http://www.justdanceballroom.com) and learn to lead your partner like Fred Astaire!
What is Floor Craft? Floor Craft is the art of maneuvering on the dance floor. It involves watching for dance traffic and avoiding collisions with other dancers.
Common Courtesy in Navigating the Dance Floor. We all share the ballroom dance floor, and like the freeway, must be considerate of others and share the space around you, lest you have a collision. If the dance floor is crowded, use your good common sense and don’t be a ballroom bully. Don’t “take over” the dance floor with your International Waltz or other aggressive, demonstrative dance steps, or while doing your Rumba, extend your arms so fully outstretched that you hit someone. A collision is always unpleasant and interrupts everyone’s timing and concentration. If you DO have a collision, apologize. Leaders: it is your responsibility to keep your eye on the floor traffic and use your peripheral vision to keep your dance partner away from others while moving down the line of dance. However, occasionally the Followers will need to warn their partner of an impending collision when the leader’s back is to the line of dance.
Floor Craft Etiquette ~ Reminders
If you are new to the dance floor, having just taken a few lessons and want to try your skills on the Grand Ballroom floor, be aware that some dance styles, like the Waltz, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz, have couples traveling in a fast, fluid counter-clockwise direction around the outer perimeter of the floor.
- When you enter the dance floor, MERGE with CAUTION. BE AWARE of approaching dance traffic and allow dancers to pass without interrupting them.
- Don’t walk backwards onto the floor, but rather, lead your partner by the hand, and face forward as you enter the dance floor.
- If you make a mis-step, DON’T STOP dead in your tracks, because it will cause couples following behind you to crash into you. It is better to keep going and ‘correct’ your steps on the next move. Besides, if you keep moving after a mistake, most likely, no one will notice! So, keep moving!
- If you MUST STOP to correct a step, GET OUT OF THE WAY and MOVE OUT OF THE LINE OF DANCE. You can move to the center of the floor to avoid the flow of dancers, or better yet, get off the Grand Ballroom floor and go to the smaller Sunset Ballroom to practice your steps. Your fellow dance enthusiasts will appreciate your consideration.
- Remember that although your arm extensions add style and pizzazz to your look when doing the Bolero, Rumba, Cha-Cha & Night Club Two Step, be AWARE of other people around you and CAREFUL not to strike or hit your fellow dancers in the face. THAT would be a very unpleasant event for anyone, to say nothing of interrupting the rhythm of your dance. If there IS ever a collision, remember to APOLOGIZE!
Other JDB policies
All individuals dance and otherwise utilize the JDB facilities at their own risk. Keep in mind that the JDB facility is for the enjoyment of social dancing, so we do not allow lifts, flips or other risky moves that may cause injury to you or others. For your safety, no bare feet are allowed on the dance floors. No videotaping is allowed without express permission of JDB management and dance instructors. Music played during general practice time should not be monopolized by individuals and will be determined by management if an issue arises. All tickets, admissions, class fees, special event admissions and other fees are non-refundable. JDB is not liable for lost or stolen items or personal effects. JDB reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.
Thank you for observing the rules of the JDB dance
HAPPY DANCING and KEEP SMILING!