DANCE ETIQUETTE AND ETHICAL GUIDELINES

Swing dance etiquette


GENERAL ADVICE

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Smiling helps create a positive atmosphere.
  • Dress comfortably in clothing suitable for dancing. Choose appropriate footwear for dancing. If you're unsure about what kind of shoes are suitable for a specific dance, ask the instructors. You can also dance in your socks if you don't have suitable shoes yet.
  • Avoid outfits, accessories, watches or jewelry that could get caught on your partner or cause harm in any way.
  • Take care of your personal hygiene (sweating, breath).
  • Avoid strong fragrances.

INVITING TO DANCE

  • In swing dances, anyone can ask anyone to dance.
  • Simply ask someone to dance by saying: "Would you like to dance?", "Care to dance?", "Shall we dance?", or any similar phrase. You can also check which role the other person prefers to dance in at the moment. For example, "Would you like to lead?"
  • Invite dancers of all levels to dance, from beginners to advanced.
  • Invite both familiar faces and new acquaintances.
  • Asking someone to dance is recommended to be done from the dance floor or its edge, as not everyone wants to dance every song. Sometimes it's nice to socialize and take a break.
  • You can always decline a dance politely if, for example, you want to rest for a while or you don't like the music playing at the moment. If you want you can suggest to the asker to dance to the next song or later.

ON THE DANCE FLOOR

  • Eye contact while dancing is desirable, but constant staring may make some people uncomfortable.
  • Pay attention to your dance partner: it is the responsibility of both partners to make the dance enjoyable.
  • Do not teach or correct your partner without their consent.
  • The more experienced dancer aims to adapt their own dance to match the skill level of their partner.
  • Be considerate of other couples. Act safely and politely on the dance floor. The leader should try to lead in a way that avoids collisions with other dancers, but the follower should also alert or prevent potential hazards. Apologize if you accidentally bump into or hurt someone.
  • Acrobatic moves and lifts are not suitable for social dances. Especially when the dance floor is crowded, it is easy to injure yourself, your partner, or other dancers.
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable while dancing, let them know politely. If the person continues their behavior, you should report the situation to the event organizers, people in charge, or instructors. If someone tells you that you're making them uncomfortable, listen and try to understand the situation, and do your best to adjust your behavior accordingly.
  • In swing dances, typically one dance is danced at a time, but it is not uncommon for dancers to choose to dance two dances in a row.
  • Remember to thank your dance partner after the dance. Some people appreciate a hug after the dance, while others may not. By asking, you can find out if a hug is OK!
  • In swing dances, it is not necessary to escort your partner back to the original spot where you asked them to dance.

Argentine Tango dance etiquette


In Argentine Tango dances, the same general advice as in swing dances applies. However, unlike relatively young dances like West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango has deep historical roots that have shaped its unique dance etiquette.

On this page, you can find a comprehensive description of the Argentine Tango dance etiquette. The same website also provides a wealth of other interesting information about the dance style, its history, and culture in Finland and around the world (in Finnish).

Principles of Creating a Safer Space


The Safer Space principles of TSS are still in progress.
In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the Safer Space principles of TYY (Turku University Student Union), which we, as a sub-association of TYY, also endorse.

Discrimination-Free Zone


Turku Swing Society has declared itself a Discrimination-Free Zone. We commit to treating everyone equally regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin, religion or belief, opinion, health status, disability, or sexual orientation.

Turku Swing Society wishes you enjoyable dance moments!