I love social dancing. I love the variety, I love the musicality, I love the connection. I love being challenged by new movements.
Every once in a while, it seems there arises some sort of new move that has managed to crawl its way out of the list-of-things-that-should-never-be-done onto the list of things-some-leads-absolutely-love. The good intentions are certainly there, but oh-my-gawd some of these moves just…
…The irony is, it’s not usually one person. Usually, there’s a wave of these people, all doing the same move. Frustration mounts, and eventually I see that one teacher who is deciding to teach this… abomination… everywhere they go. To people who really should not be given that power – or that idea.
Maybe it worked for that one couple in a routine. Maybe there’s that one particular instructor who somehow manages to do it without it being completely effin’ weird. However, most of these moves will go horribly, horribly wrong for 90% of the population when done in social dancing.
Anything where any part of you intentionally touches the follow’s face.
No. Just, no. Do you like random people coming up to you and touching your face? It’s social dancing. Your hands are dirty – maybe even sweaty – and I certainly don’t know who else they’ve touched. Yes, there are some very cool things that can be led by the chin. Yes, some couples have done moves like this and they can look cool. But, please think very, very hard before deciding it’s a good idea to touch your finger-parts to your follow’s face-part.
As for other body parts? Aside from your forehead, there’s almost no body part that is appropriate to touch to the follow’s face. There’s this move that recently went through one of the dance scenes which featured the lead rolling their face all over the follows, with the idea that the follow mimics the movement. News flash: it feels like you’re trying to kiss me – especially when your chin is trying to find my chin. It’s a bad idea to make follows fear for their lips during social dancing.
You are social dancing. Under no circumstances is it OK to lift someone you barely know (or even know well) into the air on a crowded dance floor. Nor flip them – willingly or unwillingly. It’s not the time. It’s not the place. Don’t do it.
If you happen to be on an abandoned dance floor at 2 a.m., sober, and with a sober partner who knows how to do lifts, have at ‘er. Otherwise, no. If this isn’t common sense, please, write me a message. I’ll be happy to explain further why people swinging through the air are a bad idea during social dancing.
Moves that Involve Your Groin.
Groin, crotch, private parts… you get the picture. Those parts should not touch your partner. Let’s keep it PG. If it’s a move that could accidentally result in Close Encounters of a Below-The-Belt Kind, pleasepleasepleaaaaase practice BEFORE hitting the social dance floor (I’m looking at you, thigh-to-thigh hip wiggles. You can be fun, but I don’t want to feel certain body parts on my thigh).
Also, leads, for the love of everything: tuck left.
Moves that Involve Weird Places on Your Partner’s Body
Weird, intentionally-done move where you grab the upper thigh with your hand? Always weird – except for that one guy that I met who could actually pull it off. I think that was actually more weird.
This also includes move where you lead the follow using your foot. I get it – cool concept. But… once again, only that one guy could pull this off. And even then, it was a surprise every single time.
Moves that Pretend Your Partner is an Object
There’s always that one guy determined to pretend I’m a guitar.
This can work in routines. If you’re with a good friend, it can be funny. If you don’t know the person and you start doing that? Honestly, I’m not comfy with you pretending that my butt is your bongo set.
But seriously, guys. Consider what you’re doing on the social dance floor. There are THOUSANDS of really cool things you can do. You do not require your partner’s face, your groin, airtime, or air guitar to make a dance interesting; you are interesting enough as is. 🙂