Floorcraft and Etiquette
by Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid
Floorcraft and etiquette are a part of
how you move across the floor. We need to be especially careful when
dancing the smooth dances, since there is more floor movement and
where you generally move in a counter clockwise direction in the flow
of the dance. This direction is called Line of Dance, abbreviated
As you progress, you need to think of
yourself as moving on a sort of imaginary road around the perimeter
of the floor. Your object is to avoid stopping or moving against the
flow of traffic as you dance. You should not stop on this dancing
road; if you need to stop, for instance, to tie your shoe, or to fix
something, you should move off to the side. Another responsibility of
each dance couple is not to bump into someone who has stopped, yet
not yet moved off to the side. This requires good knowledge of the
figures you are dancing. Having a good knowledge of the figures will
help you change the size, direction, and speed of your steps so you
can guide your partner correctly around the other dancers.
One of your goals on the dance floor
should be to dance with "zero bumps". Especially when
learning a new figure or a new sequence, sometimes we forget that we
still need to consider the social aspects of dancing. We should be
careful not to fall into the category of dancer who, no matter what,
will use "their space," pushing, bumping, and moving all
the other dancers out of their way. Remember that round dancing is
social dancing, not combat dancing -- we need to keep that in mind as
we whirl around the floor.
If possible, we should try and keep at
least 1 meter of space between ourselves and the next dancing couple.
Sometimes on a crowed floor this is very difficult. Good floorcraft
and etiquette include not bumping into other dancers and the ability
to continue to dance when "boxed in." But sometimes, even
if we are careful, we will bump into someone else. If for whatever
reason you do bump into another dancer, remember to apologize for
2003 & reprinted in
the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, September 2012. For
a round world, Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid.
If you would like to read other articles on dance
position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit
the article TOC.
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Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.
Aditional articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)
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