Image: A couple performs in the Waltz Competition.
Viennese Ball is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion (or lack thereof), socioeconomic status, beliefs, or experience.
Steering Committee members can be easily identified by the sashes they will be wearing and are always available for you to approach if an individual is making you feel uncomfortable.
Here’s a guide to helping keep our dance environment safe and enjoyable for everyone:
Anyone can ask anyone else to dance. Do so verbally, especially if you don’t know them well.
It’s okay to say no
Everyone always has the right to decline a dance. A polite “no, thank you” will do, no reason needed.
Listen when told no
Don’t ask why. It’s probably not you. Respect their wish and ask someone else instead.
The dance floor’s a happier place if you dance with people of lots of different experience levels and backgrounds.
Don’t hit on people
People go to dance, not find a date. Don’t flirt or try to pick someone up during a dance. Read more by Richard Powers.
Any role you want
Anyone can choose to lead or to follow. Don’t assume role based on gender expression or what they just danced.
Listen to your partner
Be attentive to your partner; never force a move on them. If you’re not sure whether they’re up for that dip or close embrace, just ask first!
Don’t teach on the floor
Don’t correct others’ dancing unless they ask: it’s not as helpful as you think. Exception: If something physically hurts or is uncomfortable, please tell your partner.
Smell like nothing
Use deodorant. Don’t wear perfume or cologne (three minutes is a lot). Breath mints will be available, use them. If you sweat a lot, consider bringing a spare shirt.
Watch for others
Both partners are responsible for floorcraft: preventing collisions with other couples. If you bump into another couple, apologize. In the waltz room, fast lane on the outside, slow lane on the inside.
No aerials, no lifts
Even if you can do them, they’re dangerous with other dancers around. Don’t do them on a social floor.
Everyone’s there to have a fun time. Enjoy yourself and do what you can to make the night a memorable one for others too!
Many of the statements above draw inspiration from fellow social dance venues. Here are some codes of conduct from local dance venues which elaborate further on the ideas presented above:
- Richard Powers’ Guide to Going Out Dancing
- 9:20 Special has a Dance Etiquette section, about halfway down the page
- South Bay Fusion Dance Etiquette
- Mission Fusion Code of Conduct
- Wednesday Night Hop Code of Conduct
- Friday Night Waltz handout, see page 4 for the section on Etiquette
- Mission City Swing Code of Conduct