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Articles of Interest

Articles of Interest » Erin's Etiquette Corner » Erin's Etiquette Corner - #1 Shall we Dance? Procedure for extending and accepting an invitation to dance

Erin's Etiquette Corner - #1 Shall we Dance? Procedure for extending and accepting an invitation to dance

Author:
Erin Retelle (Erin is the president of USA Dance Boise. Since 2010, she has served as the chairperson for the Chapter?s annual gala, Mad Hot for Ballroom. Erin began ballroom dancing in 1997 & has continued socializing, learning, performing & competing ever since.)
Date Published:
February 21, 2013

Shall we Dance? Procedure for extending and accepting an invitation to dance.

You mean, there are rules about that? Yes indeed. Rules that help facilitate an understanding between partners, rules that keep the ballroom churning and happy, and rules that protect the feelings of both the person asking for the dance and the person being asked.

The inviter:
Although the old guidelines of the ballroom dictated that the gentleman was the one who would do the inviting, the new-school ballroom dance etiquette allows and encourages ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. The person extending the invitation to dance should extend his or her hand toward his or her intended dance partner, make eye contact, and ask, "Would you like to (foxtrot/waltz/tango)?" It is important to verbalize what dance you intend to do once the pair of you reach the dance floor. There are many songs to which one can comfortably dance several different styles.

The invited:
You know that song from Oklahoma that goes, "I'm just a girl who cain't say no!"? Well, when you're the one being asked to dance, that's pretty much your mantra. It's a rather large breach in etiquette not to accept a dance without a specific reason.

A person who is invited to dance in the correct manner, (i.e. Would you care to foxtrot?), can respond in one of 4 ways (1) Certainly. (2) I am taking a break - and THIS response dictates the person can't, in good manners, accept a dance from another partner or ask another to dance (3) I'm sorry, I do not know this dance. (and the addendum YOU should include when this is your own response is, "Could you find me later for a __(dance I know)___?" Be specific. At our dances, you can even pick one out on the song sheet. What this will do is educate the inviter that it's not that you don't dance at ALL, and it's not that you don't want to dance with him or her EVER, it's that you don't know the Quickstep.) (4) I have promised this dance to someone else, would you like to dance (the next one/the waltz coming up later/etc.). That's it. There are no other polite responses.

An option for the inviter if the invited responds that he or she does not know the dance you have asked for - a.k.a response (3): The inviter can offer to teach the invited the dance in question... realizing that they will need to dance just basic figures and also that it is within ballroom etiquette for the invited to decline his or her offer to teach.

So whether you're the asker or the askee, remember your manners and enjoy the dance!

Shall we Dance? Procedure for extending and accepting an invitation to dance.

You mean, there are rules about that? Yes indeed. Rules that help facilitate an understanding between partners, rules that keep the ballroom churning and happy, and rules that protect the feelings of both the person asking for the dance and the person being asked.

The inviter:
Although the old guidelines of the ballroom dictated that the gentleman was the one who would do the inviting, the new-school ballroom dance etiquette allows and encourages ladies to ask gentlemen to dance. The person extending the invitation to dance should extend his or her hand toward his or her intended dance partner, make eye contact, and ask, "Would you like to (foxtrot/waltz/tango)?" It is important to verbalize what dance you intend to do once the pair of you reach the dance floor. There are many songs to which one can comfortably dance several different styles.

The invited:
You know that song from Oklahoma that goes, "I'm just a girl who cain't say no!"? Well, when you're the one being asked to dance, that's pretty much your mantra. It's a rather large breach in etiquette not to accept a dance without a specific reason.

A person who is invited to dance in the correct manner, (i.e. Would you care to foxtrot?), can respond in one of 4 ways (1) Certainly. (2) I am taking a break - and THIS response dictates the person can't, in good manners, accept a dance from another partner or ask another to dance (3) I'm sorry, I do not know this dance. (and the addendum YOU should include when this is your own response is, "Could you find me later for a __(dance I know)___?" Be specific. At our dances, you can even pick one out on the song sheet. What this will do is educate the inviter that it's not that you don't dance at ALL, and it's not that you don't want to dance with him or her EVER, it's that you don't know the Quickstep.) (4) I have promised this dance to someone else, would you like to dance (the next one/the waltz coming up later/etc.). That's it. There are no other polite responses.

An option for the inviter if the invited responds that he or she does not know the dance you have asked for - a.k.a response (3): The inviter can offer to teach the invited the dance in question... realizing that they will need to dance just basic figures and also that it is within ballroom etiquette for the invited to decline his or her offer to teach.

So whether you're the asker or the askee, remember your manners and enjoy the dance!