Absolute Beginners Guide to Our Social Dances


Social dances are some of the most fun you will have in the U of S BDC. To make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time, here are some things to keep in mind:

What do I Wear?

For our non-dinner (Harvest Swing and Winter Warm-up) and dinner dances (Mistletoes, Ice Crystal Ball, and Dancero) this gives you the opportunity to dress up as fancy as you would like. We have seen everything from coat and tails to dress pants and a nice shirt, and floor length formal gowns to fun cocktail dresses.

For our monthly dances, you can get away with being more casual. Jeans are a common sight.

Shoes: bring clean shoes you do not wear outside. If need be, you can brush them off into a garbage. Suede bottom shoes tend to be a popular favourite to get nice glide on the floor, however they are not necessary. Avoid shoes with too much grip.

Where do I Sit?

For non-dinner dances, you can choose to sit at whatever table is available – be sure to check you are not taking someone else’s seat. This is an easy way to make friends.

For dinner dances, choosing to sit with your class puts familiar faces nearby to get you started on the dance floor. As you make more friends in the club, you might choose on your request form to sit with them instead.

Line of Dance

When doing a travelling dance, such as waltz, foxtrot, or tango, all dancers should travel around the floor in a counter-clockwise direction. Be wary of corners, where traffic jams do tend to happen.

Stationary Dancers to the Centre

When doing a dance that is primarily stationary or danced in a slot, such as west coast swing, jive, or rumba, keep to the centre of the dance floor as there may be other dancers choosing to do a travelling dance. When entering the dance floor, be aware of where other couples are as to prevent collisions. Note that there tends to be extra room on the far side of the dance floor if you need more space.

Faster Dancers to the Outside Line of Dance

Allow the faster dancers on the floor to use the outside lanes during travelling dances. Slower moving dancers should try to keep toward the centre of the floor, keeping in mind there may be dancers doing a stationary dance. Remember that traffic jams will happen in corners.

Follows, Help your Leads!

Your lead cannot see out the back of their head and does not know if they are about to cut off or back into someone. Something as small as a little pressure on the shoulder if there is someone coming up from behind can help choose the next move, thus avoiding a collision.

Ask People to Dance

The best way to have fun and meet people at a dance is to, well, dance! You will meet people from all levels which helps you learn and make new friends in our dancing world.

Respect Your Partner’s Dance Level

If you are a more advanced dancer dancing with a newer or less experienced dancer, please remember that your partner may not know all the moves that you do. While it can get repetitive doing the same moves, it is also frustrating being expected to do a move you do not know.

Be Polite

The focus of dancing in our club is ultimately a social activity, and is more enjoyable when people follow basic social and dance etiquette. Be as polite and friendly to others as possible – for example, if you choose to say no to someone asking you to dance, consider remaining off the floor for that dance. If you see or experience harassment at any of our events, please report it to a member of the Executive immediately – it is wholly unacceptable.

Safety First

Please do not try a move on the dance floor that may cause injury to your partner, nearby couples, or yourself.