Shag Dancing Etiquette  

The American College Dictionary defines “etiquette” as conventional requirements of socially correct behavior as established in any class or community for any occasion. “Etiquette” is a borrowed French phrase meaning required code of rules governing social behavior to safeguard against conflict in social interactions. To put it more simply, etiquette is just plan old-fashioned good manners!  Below are some of the more common shag dance rules borrowed from other shag websites.  These are meant for men, or women and are not meant to be negative - only suggestions on how to keep things pleasant when you find yourself dancing cheek-to-cheek.

1. ASK ME TO DANCE -It is equally permissible for a woman to ask a man as it is for a man to ask a woman to dance. Take your partner's hand onto the dance floor and at the end of the dance thank your partner.

2. NO THANK YOU - If you don't want to dance, say "No thank you."  Don't dance with someone else if you just turned down a request to dance.  Please, if someone says "no thanks" do not be persistent, take them at their word.

3. LET IT BE - It is not polite to correct your partner on the dance floor.  Remember this is a social club (have fun).

4. TEACHING - It is not polite to offer instruction to someone in a social dance setting (or in a dance class if you are not the instructor).  Let's face it, you may be the one doing the step wrong.  Unless they ask for help or are hurting you, don't teach.  If your partner requests help, kindly take them off to the side away from the other social dancers.

5. DANCING UP A SWEAT - Ew, what's that odor.  If you perspire a lot, pace your dancing or bring a change of shirt or blouse.

6. DANCERS BUMP INTO THE NICEST PEOPLE - and it isn't even a contact sport.  Be aware of the dancers around you!  If you bump into someone, kick someone or step on someone's foot, or if they bump into you, apologize whether it was your fault or theirs. Show concern that no serious injury has occurred.  It's a fairly accepted practice that when a collision occurs, apologize, EVEN if it wasn't your fault..  Leaders, protect your partner, since you are directing her movements, you need to be sure to protect her safety.

7. DANCERS USE SELECTIVE FLOOR PLACEMENT - Find your Spot and keep your Slot!  The first person on the floor usually has the right to set the slot of the dance. Dance Small! If you require 1/2 of the floor in order to do your thing, you need to change your thing!  Nobody likes to be pushed around the floor.  Also save the arm waving, clapping and hand dancing for Flag Day as they may end up in another person's face.  Sorry, but unless you're on a stage, you're not the only one on the floor.

8. DANCE FLOOR TRAFFIC - Please step off the dance floor if you're not dancing.  If you are drinking a beverage of any kind or smoking, keep off the dance floor because of damage to the floor.

9. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DANCING? - Leaders, if dancing with a less experienced partner, keep the steps simple at first and build to the level that your partner can handle.  Leading should be defined as "the art of making your partner comfortable." Work as a team, don't showboat.

10. SHHHHH - Leaders, if you must count and give verbal leads, keep it low enough that just you and your partner can hear.  It can confuse those around you and besides, just because you can count doesn't mean "you are on the beat."