Ballroom Dancing at the Cubberley Pavilion

Ballroom Dance Etiquette for Beginners

What follows is a brief guide to ballroom etiquette. This is not an exhaustive, all-encompassing manual, but a short introduction for those who are new to dancing.

We provide etiquette guidelines for Dance Parties as well as group dance lessons.

What is a Ballroom Dance Party?

A Ballroom Dance Party, in the traditional sense, is an informal gathering where people meet to dance with each other. In the 1960s, the ballroom dance party was largely replaced by the cocktail party (and borrowed many of the traditions). A ballroom dance party is quite a bit different from a nightclub, just as a potluck supper is quite a bit different from a restaurant.
Some of these differences are listed below:

Dance Party /
Potluck Supper
Dance Club /

You can go alone or as a couple. You can expect to socialize with the rest of the guests, and should not be offended when they approach you and invite you to dance. Often, you'll develop close friendships with the other party-goers.

Usually you go with a partner. You probably don't know the other people in the room, and you are not expected to mingle with them. It is perfectly acceptable to interact exclusively with the person you came with, and nobody else.

It's not unusual to see old friends, and make new ones.

By chance, you may briefly run into some people you know. You'll be spending most of your time, though, with the person you came with.

Dance Party Etiquette

Asking Someone to Dance

On the Dance Floor

Dance Lesson Etiquette (Group dance classes)

For additional information, call 650/856-6991