by Harold & Meredith Sears
dancers are usually easy-going and peaceful. But occasionally, a
couple can become either thoughtlessly or exuberantly unaware of the
effect of their behavior on others. They are focused on their own
dancing, a bit blind to those around them, and they can really start
scaring the women and children (so to speak). Recently, a couple (out
of state, but still . . . ) actually ran into a friend of ours and
knocked her to the floor. Obviously, this was much more than a matter
of etiquette. There could have been serious injury.
Floorcraft is the skill to dance among other couples without hitting them
or intruding into their personal space. It is the ability to adapt
your dance style to that of the floor so that everyone feels
comfortable and unthreatened. One with good floor craft is like a
courteous, defensive driver, as compared to a texting, aggressive
driver that tailgates and then swoops in to cut you off in front.
is a top-ten list of ballroom rules to help us be a little less
wrapped up in our own thing and a little more aware of other dancers
and their feelings and well-being. Not all relate specifically to
round dancing, but the focus on consideration certainly does.
two-lanes counter-clockwise around the floor. This is called the
line-of-dance. Avoid frequent lane changes.
Use the rest
of the floor, that is, the inner floor or center floor, for spot
patterns, practice and alternative dances (e.g. Swing during Foxtrot,
Jive during Quickstep).
Do not travel
through the center.
Do not travel
or step back against the line-of-dance. A couple of back steps by the
leader are possible by turning and dancing in the line-of-dance.
However, the leader must first check if space and traffic permit this
Keep moving in
the line of dance. Do not stop suddenly, practice, or do spot patterns
that hold up traffic (other than quick turning patterns that finish in
the line-of-dance) in the travel lanes.
If you feel
like doing a spot pattern, move to center-floor, finish the pattern and
then move back into the travel lanes (when there is an opening). See
spot dancing below for spot pattern or spot dancing floor craft tips.
overtaking. Use rocking or other types of hesitation steps (such as
Cadencia steps in Tango), and wait patiently for the travel to resume.
DO NOT push or elbow your way past the blockage. When someone is
stubbornly holding up traffic and overtaking is necessary to help
maintain flow, move to the next lane only if there is an opening in
that lane's traffic.
protect the lady against collisions and must never place the lady in a
position where she can get hurt by others.
Do not invade
another couple's space. Do not tail-gate. Give other couples enough
space to execute normal patterns.
Do not focus on completing a pattern if a
collision can result - or if completing a pattern can result in
invading someone's space. Learn to adapt patterns to what the traffic
in Round Notes (CRDA),
If you would like to read other articles on dance
position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit
the article TOC.
Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.
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