Dance Etiquette Basics: To the Dance Floor

You’ve responded to the invitation, chosen appropriate attire, found a partner for the first dance… Now what?

Hands and Partners

Gentlemen, now that you have found a partner, offer your right hand to her. (Your hand should always be supporting hers, so yours will be on the bottom. See pictures below…). Now, lead her to the dance floor, and find a place among the other dancers. Traditionally, there are two positions that you will use… Either your partner will go on your right, or directly in front of you.

Ladies’ hands go on top, with the gentleman supporting and leading them. (This is a picture, I believe, from Pride & Prejudice, found on Pinterest.)

Ladies, when he offers his right hand, give him your left, and follow him to the dance floor. A dance is not a time for you to be pulling, tugging, dragging, or coaxing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dancing really is a beautiful and enjoyable display of willing cooperation, that only truly comes together when the gentleman leads, and the lady faithfully follows.

Another image from Pride & Prejudice (found on Pinterest), shows again how to properly take hands for the dance.

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Dance Etiquette Basics: Before the Dance – What to Say, etc.

Now that we know how to respond to the invitation, and how to choose what to wear to the dance, it’s time we discuss what to say.

What to Say

Gentlemen, if this is not your area of expertise, I recommend not over complicating this part. Simply walk up to a girl, politely get her attention (say her name, or “excuse me, ma’am,”), and ask, “May I have this dance?”.

Ladies, when presented with this offer, your response should be something similar to, “Certainly!”. If you would rather sit this one out, be straightforward, and say something like, “I’m not dancing this one, but thank you!”.

Mr. Darcy asked Lizzie if he might have the next dance. Even though Lizzie, at the time, was striving to loath the man, she did the polite thing and agreed to dance with him. (found on Pinterest, as always… This is a scene from the Pride & Prejudice film with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen.)

What Not to Do

Gentlemen, unless she is your wife, do not ask the same girl to dance multiple times in a row. In some settings, it’s best not to even ask the same girl twice in an evening! But, use your judgement here. You do not want to monopolize her evening, and (if the ratio of ladies to gentlemen is as it usually is) you want to give other girls the opportunity to dance.

Ladies, do not refuse to dance with one man, then accept the offer of another man for the same dance. If you especially want to avoid dancing with a man who has just asked you, you may politely decline (as stated above), but you should sit out for that whole dance. This is more honorable and considerate.

The Basics of Dance Etiquette

As I have said in the past, this subject is important enough to warrant it’s own series.ย So, I will be doing a quick series, as I have time this week, covering just the very basics.

Our dance is taking place in the evening, but is not a formal “ball”. We’re doing a combination of English and American country and square dancing, with very simple live music (provided by yours truly, on fiddle, and Kyle on guitar).

So, here’s what I would recommend for, first, responding to the invitation, and, second, how to choose what to wear:

R.S.V.P. –ย As always, when an invitation says “R.S.V.P.”, without any qualifications (e.g. if it doesn’t say “with regrets only”, etc.), you should respond on or before the date given withย whether or not you hope to attend. If you can’t make it, the host or hostess needs to know. If you are planning to come, they still need to know. You get the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Norman Rockwell favorite… found on Pinterest, of course.

What to Wear –ย Events (even, specifically, dances) come in all shapes and sizes, but I’ll speak to this one in particular. This is not a formal event, so wearing a ball gown would be overdressing… by a lot. This is more of a barn dance. However, dancing in a barn does not imply that wearing your farm chore clothes and boots is okay.

  • Footwear

Gentlemen, if it is possible, please refrain from wearing heavy chore boots (or anything similar). If you want to wear boots, riding boots, and such, are lighter weight and will be much easier/safer to dance in.

Ladies, wear shoes that you are comfortable in. If you can’t wear high heels comfortably (and without endangering your ankles and the toes of other dancers), please don’t wear them to the dance… Or, just remove them before getting on the dance floor.

Flip flops, and other shoes that slide off easily, should not be worn while dancing.

  • Clothing

Dress comfortably, but nicely.

Gentlemen, wear shirts with collars, and avoid pants or shirts with stains/holes, etc.

Ladies, pay special attention to your tops: while dancing, you will be stooping (so be aware of those necklines!), as well as reaching up high (so hemlines should be checked).

The point is not to stress about your clothing, but wear something that is comfortable for both you and the mind of those around you.

  • Perfume/Cologne, etc.

You will be in close contact with many people throughout the evening. Please don’t wear strong scents, for our sakes. ๐Ÿ™‚

2nd Most Popular from 2014…

And here is the second most popular post from 2014. These things were fun to make! We had a great time…

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial

For those of you who have been interested in how we made the coffee filter flowers, here’s a step-by-step tutorial. The great thing about these flowers is that they cost next to nothing to make! Plus, it’s simple enough for kids to do.

All you’ll need is a stapler, a good pair of scissors, some tape (optional), and your coffee filters. We used several different sizes – and even tried mini cupcake liners!

Coffee Filter Flowers - tools

Each flower uses 10 coffee filters. To start, you take the first filter (or two, if you have good scissors), and fold it as shown in steps 1-4 below.

Coffee Filter Flower Tutorial (steps 1-5) final

When it is folded, simply cut around the top to create a rounded edge (shown in step 5 above and in the picture below). For a different look, try trimming the filters to a point. This will give your flower a spiky look!

Creating the petals

Repeat with the other 9 filters.

DSCN7198

When all the filters have been cut, lay them out on the table and begin stacking them.

Starting the flower

We found it worked nicely to alternate the petals, rather than aligning them with each other.

Alternate petal patterns

Continue stacking until all the filters have been used.

Stacking the filters

Now, staple the filters together in the very center. We stapled both from the top and the bottom of the stack, in order to provide more stability.

Staple the center of the filters.

If you have large coffee filters, you can reach the middle by folding over the edges of the filters, as shown below.

How to reach the center with a stapler

Once they are all stapled up, and ready to go, take the top filter and bunch it together. This will be the center of the flower.

Forming the flower

Repeat with each filter until a relatively tight flower is formed.

The flower - pre-fluffing

Now, stand your flower up and fluff it. You can do a bit of shaping now to suit your taste.

Fluffing the flower

At this point, if you like, you may pinch the filters around the staples and tape it up. This creates a sort of stem, and can help finalize the shape of your flower.

The stem

And voila! A lovely flower.

The final product

Holiday Makeup Looks to Try

Here are a few looks worth trying that I’ve found on Pinterest. The great thing is, I probably already own most of what these take!

This season, try going for a clean, fresh makeup look. Add a bold red lip color, and maybe some simple eyeliner, and you’re ready for whatever the holidays throw your way!

Even if you don’t go really festive with your outfit, your makeup can subtly show your holiday spirit. (found on Pinterest)

 

You can take it up a notch, and add a metallic eyeliner, as shown below:

found on Pinterest

 

Or, if you prefer a more casual look, try doing less to your eyes. Keep it looking natural: Use little to no eyeshadow, and only white eyeliner (for the lower waterline… I would consider this optional).

found on Pinterest

Chick Flicks

To pack movies, or not to pack movies? Hmm. That’s to be determined. But, here’s a list (off the top of my head) of favorite chick flicks that I am considering traveling with this coming week (some, if not all, I usually watch with ClearPlay):

This is my go-to favorite. It suits basically any mood I’m in, and I love it every time. I also really enjoy the older version with Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn.

This one can use a bit of ClearPlay, but is so much fun every time we watch it!

This is definitely a family favorite. It’s funny, light-hearted, and ultra-quotable.

I know, I know. It’s really nothing compared to A&E’s 1995 version… But, it’s a lot shorter, and I think it’s a pretty movie. I still really enjoy it.

What to Have on Hand: Drink Coolers

These have been invaluable through the years. I highly recommend having at least one on hand! It’s amazing how quickly a small group of folks can work through 5 gallons of ice water…

5-gallon drink cooler/dispenser from Amazon.com (click on the picture to find it there)… You can often find other colors, too, if you’re not a fan of orange. ๐Ÿ™‚