Guest writer Gonzalo Lara from Orange loves going out dancing. Along the way he’s picked up some tips to make your nights out even better!

Gonzalo’s 10 Rules for Social Dancing

1. Manners: Accepted everywhere!

The same rules apply inside and outside of the studio. Do it right, be polite!

2. Leave your pick up lines at home.

Some people enjoy dancing for the social aspect, while others may be looking to meet a special someone. No one is looking for cheesy pick-ups and a “meat market” ambiance. The best line you can use is “Hello, would you care to dance?” and not, “Have you seen my frame? Because I can picture you in it!” Dance with someone; use the skills you’ve attained from the studio; and be social.

3. Hygiene for when you say, “Hi, Gene!

Social dancing can be very active! Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on with your body so other people don’t mind dancing close to it. Remember, you want your partner to smile… not smell.

4. Drinking and dancing: liquid courage or dance scourge?

One drink, two drinks, three drinks poured! Four drinks? Five drinks? Lying on the floor. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself while out dancing, but just because you can’t feel your feet doesn’t mean your partner can’t feel you stepping on theirs.

5. Teaching is best left at the studio, not on the dance floor with your social partner.

If you’re a dance instructor raise your hand! If not, try not to teach your partner how to dance in the two minutes you have before the next song. Helpful tips are okay, but a basic will be plenty enough for someone who just wanted to enjoy a dance with you. When in doubt, box it out!

6. It’s okay to say no…

Everyone has their reasons for sitting out a dance or two. Whatever your reason, if you happen to say, “No thank you,” to someone for a dance, be sure to wait until after the current song playing to dance again. And try to be polite. The rules for encountering a wild bear and encountering an unwanted partner are about the same: Show them respect. Stand your ground. Keep your distance if at all possible. Don’t make them angry. Don’t run. And if all else fails lie down and play dead.

7. You are not an acrobat!

Please keep your feet on the ground! That’s where they belong. Your partner’s feet also belong on the ground. If either of your feet leave the ground, please make sure it’s not on the dance floor. Faces everywhere will thank you for not introducing them to the bottom of your foot.

8. Rhythm: Good for the body, good for the soul, bad for the arms.

Try not to share your rhythm with your partner by pumping your arms. No one likes feeling like a water pump.

9. Know where you’re dancing.

What kind of dancing do they do there? Hip hop? Country? Salsa? Line Dancing? Swing? What age group typically goes? Don’t accidentally crash a high school prom! What kind of attire is worn there? Wearing a three piece suit or cocktail dress is great… unless you’re at a college country bar. What are the best times to get there? Showing up at 5 p.m. when they open at 9 p.m. might not give you the experience you were hoping for.

10. Talk to your teacher!

Before you go out experimenting on unsuspecting social dancers talk to your teacher. Ask them all the questions you’d like. They are a wealth of dance knowledge. Anything from etiquette to timing to styles of various dances. Remember, the studio is your place to work and learn so you can enjoy your experience when you strike out on your own! Use the parties to practice what you’ll use while social dancing. And above all else have fun!