Can I refuse a dance or stop an on going dance ? Understand basic rules of courtesy and respect in the the dance floor !!

In a ballroom dance party we are not available or willing to dance 100% of the time. This is defenitely not a crime! We are free to dance with whoever we want whenever we want. Keep in mind, however, that one of the best qualities of a social dancer is to dance with everyone with the same excitement and interest.
I have some tips for you so you don’t cause any discomfort at the parties nor at any dance floor.


When someone you don’t know asks you to dance, try always to say yes promptly. Try not to look at the person and make a brief assessment before giving your answer, this is clearly a sign that you are trying to predict whether the person dance well juging only for her appearance. Two serious problems with you in this scenario:

  1. If you haven’t discovered that appearances do not determine how people are you’ve been missing a lot of classes in the school of life.
  2. Dancing only with who dances as well or “better” than you, is a clear sign that you do not want to evolve, cause if you do, very soon there will be no one good enough to dance with you. Try to understand how hypocritical it is to want to dance only with who dances “better” than you and make yourself unavailable to dance with who is “worse.”

If you refuse to dance, be spontaneous and no excuses are necessary. If you are unwell, tired or involved in any conversation that interests you, there is no problem in saying “no”, just thank for the invitation. It is better to refuse to dance than dancing grudgingly.
Moreover, it is of extreme kindness when you ask the person you previously refused to dance. It is not mandatory, but keep in mind that you have the power to help someone have a wonderful experience in the dance scene.
There is nothing worse than refusing a dance and accepting an invitation or inviting another person to dance right after your refusal. It is not forbidden, but know that will greatly annoy the person you refused. Do not hide behind the famous excuse “but I did not do it to hurt / annoy anyone” because if you know it will hurt, and do it anyway, you’ve just chosen a very selfish path.
To ask someone to dance, have at least a bit of cordiality. Smile sincerely and don’t be afraid to say a complete phrase, such as, ex .: “would you like to dance with me?”; “wanna Dance?”; “let’s Dance?”.

Man asking woman to formal dance

Believe it or not, there are some people who just look akwardly at you , Show you their hands and are still very upset if you don’t get up to dance. Some people just satay stood in front of you speachless and stares at you until you understand that they doon’t want to scare you off or for you to get out of their way. So go ahead and practice some kindness!
If you want to ask someone who is clearly accompanied to dance, go directly to the person you want to dance with. In such cases, do not ask permission to the “spouse” because this is an attitude linked to retrograde customs and conveys the idea that a person has power over the freedom of the other. Saing “excuse me”, however, is the sign of respect you are looking for if you want to be as formal as possible.
Finally, note that people may be having a nível conversation, may be tired or even watching a couple dancing. So if someone refuses your invitation, do not be offended. Move on;! There are other people in the party or in the lounge. Try to identify those who are most available.


This is the most important moment and it is crucial to understand that there isn’t any contract that requires someone to dance throughout the whole song, so respect your partner throughout the dance and not allow yourself to be disrespected even for a moment.
Try to be gentle in your movements: the shoulders are joints with wide range of motion and are, therefore unstable, easy to hurt. If your partner is hurting you, pulling You hard or pushing you sloppily through the dance floor, you have two possible solutions:

  1. Warn you’re hurting.
  2. Stop dancing thank and leave. Yes! You can and should leave in the middle of a dance that is causing you pain or is invading your privacy.

In addition, establish a distance from your pair that is comfortable for you. Being in touch with the whole body is beneficial for the leading and the readings tô follow; however, if it is not natural for you to get too close and bring you discomfort, feel free to walk away.
IN NO EVENT touch private parts of the body of your pair without your clear and explicit authorization and consent. Harassment is serious and should be eradicated from the dance. I say It again: You can stop dancing when you want and you MUST stop dancing if you are suffering from any kind of abuse or intrusion to your privacy or your body, whether physical or psycological.
Note that there are other people dancing around you, so respect the space you have to dance: your cool step or wonderful charm can and should expect a momebt when the dance floor is empty enough to suport It.

There are two situations in which you should avoid dancing all songs:

  1. If the room is too full. Take turns And ler others dance as well.
  2. If your role (follower or leader) is much higher in number than the other role, try not to dance all songs an let your similar dance a little bit as well.

There are dances in which couples traditionally displace themselves in the same flow . What is it? Couples dance moving all the time, usually counter-clockwise. Who is more nimble and can move with more dexterity occupies the outer layers of the circle and people who have more difficulty leaving the place to dance occupy the most central space of the room. Watch for people diaplacements and if they ara moving do not saty put!
There are other dances called line dances. It’s not hard to imagine that in these dances couples move along an imaginary line on the ground. In these dances remember dancing parallel to the line of the other dancers. Example: if couples are dancing in the north-south direction does not dance toward Nordeste much less in the West East-West direction.

Can I show myself dancing ??

Many people dislike anyone who tries to show off. In my opinion this is nonsense: if your pleasure is being noticed when dancing, do not let people judge and go shine. But remember that this is a dance for two. You have a couple to dance and have fun with you, brimg your couple to the show and don’t try to go solo. And you can not forget that the space is not only yours. You should not take the space of others in order to be noticed.

Can I do aerial moves in the middle of the room?

It is also not prohibited, but make sure:

  1. Your pair also need to be willing to make such a maneuver. air movements can be dangerous if done unexpectedly.
  2. Make a move you have security and has already trained before with that pair.
  3. You need a space away from walls and tables and mostly away from other dancing couples. (Yes it greatly reduces the chances of you being able to do this at a party or prom)


Can I stop dancing If my pair os a base dancer?

The answer to this question is only “yes” simply because you have free will. But I should say, this is one of the worst attitudes you can ever have. Be patient, try to be thoughtful and to use the most basic drive. It is not necessary to be teaching the person, just be there in that moment with her.

Steping on the foot of my partner is a sign of disrespect?

In no circumstances should you worry about it. Steping on the foot is one of the most natural things and in most cases the mistake comes from the person who hot steped ob. Therefore, there is no reason to get stressed if someone steps on your foot. Look out only if the person is with an open shoe or barefoot and be a little bit more carefull.


Thank sincerely whether or not you liked it. Every interaction brings experience and makes us evolve in a way. And the bad dances bring more luster and more value for the good dances. Also, your partner is willing, for a few minutes, to try to give you a good time and it is worthy of your gratitude.

The community of Lindy Hop in Boulder Colorado taught me a practice that I consider of extreme kindness: walk the person you just dance off the dança floor. Is a brief moment when and you can interact and exchange a few words more comfortably than at the time of the dance in which you find yourself in the middle of turns and movements that require concentration. I lost this practice a few years after returning to Brazil, but still intend to do it again.Thank you for reading!

If I have left something off the list I invite you to comment on other clues education tips to have more and more pleasant surroundings in the middle of ballroom dancing!

I invite for you to come visit me at one of my schools in Belo Horizonte, or any unit of the forró chain that made me fall in love with forró and dance, Pé Descalço (BH, São Paulo, Santo André, Niterói, Juiz de Fora, Contagem and London).

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2 comentários sobre “Can I refuse a dance or stop an on going dance ? Understand basic rules of courtesy and respect in the the dance floor !!

  1. Pingback: Forró Pé De Serra, Universitário, Roots, Eletrônico. Which are the difference between these styles? | FORRÓ

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