Attire and Grooming

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. Courtesy toiletries are available in the JDB restrooms to refresh yourself—mouthwash, deodorant spray and lotion or aftershave. 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.

Dance Shoes
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 and nationalities, and 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? Partners should try to adjust to the level of their partners. The man should ‘show off’ his lady partner. If you’re out-dancing her, holding her too tight or muscling her, stepping on her feet or otherwise hurting her, she 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 and learn to lead your partner like Fred Astaire!

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. Men: As 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 lady partner will need to warn her partner of an impending collision when the leader’s back is to the line of dance.

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 floor.