Dance Floor Etiquette

Dancing is a social experience that can be enjoyed by anyone. Omaha Jitterbugs wants to foster an environment of acceptance and encouragement where everyone feels good about shaking that thing. You’ll find success when you follow these simple guidelines while you’re out on the dance floor.

Note for beginners: Remember, everyone starts as a beginner. We encourage people of all levels to dance with all levels. Prior experience does not preclude people from enjoying this dance. We’re all here to have fun!

Be respectful: Smiles and eye contact are chief traits here. Always be polite when engaging with others. Thank your partner after each dance. If you accidentally hurt someone, apologize. Forceful grabbing, pushing, or pulling doesn’t feel good to anyone. Treat others like you would like to be treated. If someone is hurting you, tell them, and if they persist or resist, report this bad behavior so we can address it.

Mind your hygiene: No one likes to hold onto someone that hasn’t properly cleaned up. Be sure to shower, put on deodorant, and wear clean clothes to dance. Dancing is an athletic activity, and you will sweat; bring a towel or extra shirt. Take care of your breath with toothbrush or mint. 

Asking for Dances: Don’t feel like you have to wait for someone to ask you to dance. It’s encouraged that everyone can ask anyone for a dance. Be respectful and polite if someone declines your offer but don’t let it discourage you from asking later.

Saying No to Dances: It is perfectly fine to turn someone down for a dance. You’re not required to give a reason but if you offer a dance later be sure to mean it.

Mind the dance space: Be aware of those around you while dancing, and always check before you send your partner out on a move or do something sporadic, especially on nights with a crowded dance floor. No one likes getting thrown into another person without warning and errant elbows can ruin a good dance.

Armchair teaching: Unsolicited advice is not appropriate on the social dance floor. Do speak up, however, if your partner is doing something unsafe or unwelcome. 

Aerials, Dips, & Drops: Swing dance tricks are exciting, but they are unsafe on a social dance floor; save them for jam circles and performances. These moves are dangerous without the right training, technique, and preparation. Be sure to get the “OK” from your partner before attempting any tricks, and always be mindful of your surroundings.

Live Bands: Musicians are artists, and we should appreciate them. Do this by clapping or cheering after each song or impressive solo. It is also a sign of respect to dress a little nicer than usual for a live band.

Inappropriate conduct: Bullying, sexual harassment, and other abuse will not be tolerated. You are not required to finish dancing with people that make you feel uncomfortable. Please seek a staff member or volunteer if you feel unsafe. We always have someone at the front desk on dance nights ready to answer any questions or concerns. Please check out our Code of Conduct for more information about tolerated behavior. 

Feeling Ill? Take the night off and recover, we’ll be here when you’re better.

Dance Floor Care:  We love our dance floor, so please wear shoes that are free of dirt, sand, snow, and will not hurt our floor. Do not put wax, powder, or any other floor-altering substances on the dance floor. An unexpected slick or sticky spot of the floor could really hurt someone.

Shoes: Comfort is important, wear shoes that you can move around in for long periods. Good shoes equal happy knees and feet. If you like your shoes to slide, a quick remedy is to glue leather on the bottom of your shoes. When you’re ready to buy proper dance shoes, options are available to suit any preference. Check our FAQ for information on appropriate dance shoes. (insert hyperlink to FAQ:Shoes Here Josie 🙂

Dress Code: Dressing classy is encouraged but not required. Just make sure to wear something you are comfortable moving around in, and will stay in place while dancing. 

Omaha Jitterbugs