Dancing Karma

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"Treat others as you wish to be treated." We've heard the saying a million times since childhood, yet sometimes we forget that when we're on the dance floor.

A simple phrase to remember: you give your partner respect, and you will get respect in return.

Often in a social dance setting, there is a mingling of dancers of all levels, from basic beginners to professionals. Imagine the scenario: a gentleman has mustered all of his courage to come to his first social dance class, and loves it so much that he sticks around for the practice party, despite having no inkling of what may be to come. He takes a risk and asks a lady to the dance floor. Once on the floor, the lady, who has been dancing for three years, continues to correct him, "This isn't how you turn me! No, that step goes like this." The gentleman's nerves are so heightened that after the dance, he leaves the floor, feels like a failure, and doesn't come back to dance for a year.

This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it can and often does happen. Often dancers feel a duty to correct others on the floor. While this may stem from the best intentions, the safest and most polite way to deal with a scenario like this is to refrain from correcting the other person, unless they specifically ask you for feedback. Ideally, we should leave the teaching for the domain of the instructors.

While there are exceptions to this rule, especially if a dance partner is acting inappropriate or making you uncomfortable, in general the dance floor is for just that: Dancing! Let's leave the corrections for the classroom.