Folk Dance Etiquette

(for an explanation of folk dance moves see )

Please do not:
1. Join the middle of a set – join at the bottom.
2. Go onto the dance floor after all the sets have been made up, and the caller is about to start the walk-through, and expect to be accommodated.
3. Fail to listen to what the caller is saying during the walk-through and then expect a re-cap just for you.
4. Get ahead of the caller in the walk-through, even if you know the dance (this can confuse the caller and doesn’t help the dancers who are trying to relate what is happening to the call: it is just showing off).
5. Inspect the floor or walls whilst dancing – you are dancing with people: look them in the eye and smile.
6. Grasp the other dancer’s arm in an elbow turn or swing – keep your thumb alongside your index finger.

Please do:
1. Give “weight” in turns, circles, stars, swings etc. – this helps you feel that you are dancing with someone and makes some figures easier (very light people can give weight: ask a good dancer to demonstrate).
2. Hold hands with the opposite person in a star (a bunch of bananas is not a proper star: it should usually be like a handshake); this enables you to give weight, helps the star round and gives you the feeling of dancing with someone; otherwise you are just walking round with your hand out.
3. Remember that you were a beginner once – be tolerant of those who are new to this type of dancing (they may become regulars and experts of the future).
4. Wear soft shoes: (if you do then be extra careful, especially with narrow heels).
5. Make eye contact.
6. Be careful not to dig sharp nails into other dancers.
7. Not worry if you get behind in a dance – just miss out a figure that doesn’t alter your position in the dance (this gives you time to catch up).