From crowded restaurants to social dances to the most prestigious competitive venues, the challenge of getting around a dance-floor and avoiding other dancers is a big part of ballroom dancing. No matter who your are, if you spend enough time on the dance-floor, collisions and accidents with other dancers are inevitable.
So what’s a dancer to do? Well, whether you have just learned your first steps or you’re a 5-time champion, handling these situations with grace and courtesy marks a truly mature and complete dancer. Here are a few tips to help you avoid collisions and to handle them properly when they do happen:
- If you are passing other dancers, it is generally your responsibility to avoid them. In a social situation it is often the more experienced dancers who are moving most quickly around the line of dance, and therefore have the most responsibility for avoiding collisions. Beginner dancers usually don’t know as many dance steps and therefore don’t have as many options to get out of the way. No matter who you are though, don’t be afraid to stop or just mark time. Trying to squeeze steps past someone without enough room is never a good idea.
- That said, it is also a good idea for beginner dancers to try to stay out of the flow of traffic. Generally this means moving towards the middle of the dance-floor which allows more advanced dancers room to move around the outside of the floor. If you have just learned your first steps or are practising a new move, move to a corner or the middle of the room.
- If you do have a collision it is common courtesy for both couples to apologize and leave all ill will behind them. Realize that as annoying as an unexpected crash can be, it is almost never completely one couples fault. A genuine concern for the other couple and a sincere apology from both parties is the most courteous and desirable outcome.
In the end my best suggestion is to keep your head up, your eyes open, and your smile ready!