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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 LOD.

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 this.


© 2003 & reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, September 2012. For a round world, Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid.




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If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors triquarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.

Aditional articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
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Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)



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