Dance Etiquette

Saigon Swing Cats Dance Etiquette

We all want to have a great time dancing and to feel safe. Every dance community has slightly different guidelines (references at the end of page). For Saigon Swing Cats, we’ve tried to keep it short - and please come chat to any SSC organizers, i.e. all our DJs, teachers of the taster classes and of course of our official classes if you have any questions. Also, please do let us know via fb.me/saigonswingcats inbox if you prefer to do so than in person.

Appearance and hygiene

Please think about you and your dance partner’s comfort.

  • Shower
  • Use deodorant,
  • Keep your mouth fresh,
  • Cover skin your partner will touch, and
  • Bring spare shirts & towels.

How Do I Tell Someone They Smell

Body Odor at Dance Events

Shoes & Clothing

We would recommend flat or medium thick heeled shoes with leather soles for most of our dance venues with wooden floor. Avoid spiky killer heels, sandals, slippers, even sports shoes with gripping rubber soles.

Check out our SHOES section for more brand recommendations and where to find them.

Can I dance with everyone?

You absolutely can, please ask people to dance with you. The more people you ask to dance, the more dancing you will do. In general, if you are not creepy or dancing dangerously + taking good care of personal hygiene, you have a high chance of getting Yes to dancing.

However,

  • If you receive No for a dance, accept it gracefully and ask someone else.
  • If you don’t want to dance with someone at any point, you don’t have to and you don’t have to give a reason.
  • If you say No to a dance with someone, please don’t then dance that same song with someone else – wait to the next song to find someone else.

Safe space

Let's make sure everyone coming to dance with Saigon Swing Cats can all feel safe! Anyone is accountable for our common dance space. If someone’s dancing or behavior makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and you are comfortable raising it with them, please do.

You could say something like ‘I’d like to dance with you, but when you ... [behavior] / [action], it hurts/ I feel uncomfortable'.

Alternately, please talk to one of the SSC organizers about any discomfort you might have encountered as soon as possible.

Etiquette on the social dance floor

Dance floors can be crowded but we can all play a part to vote for safety:

  • Both can look over your partner’s shoulder to make sure there is space before sending them – pull them safely back towards you if you spot danger behind them.
  • Never do aerials on the social dance floor. It’s too crowded and everyone is moving too fast for this to be safe. Keep your moves to an appropriate size, e.g. if the floor is super crowded, this isn’t the best time to do huge swing-outs.
  • If you do bump into someone, apologize! If they are hurt and can’t keep dancing to that song, stop your own dance and check they are OK.
  • If not dancing, please move away from the dance floor to leave space for others.
  • If you want to learn how to dance, sign up for our classes or join in the Free Taster classes (20.30 - 21.00 every Wednesday).
  • Refrain from giving critiques / comments on your partner’s dancing as you are dancing, unless they specifically ask for it.

What do I do when I’m not dancing?

  • Please stay off the dance floor. If you see something on the dance floor that is dangerous (spilled drink/hair clips) grab it to keep the floor safe.
  • Do chat to other dancers who are between dances. Don’t feel annoyed if they get asked to dance and go dance though, as that's why they're here too.
  • If you’re dancing in a bar or restaurant, make sure you buy something, esp if there is no cover charge. This makes sure the venue is happy for us to keep dancing there.

What is a ‘jam circle’?

In swing dancing we celebrate special events (birthdays, someone leaving, someone arriving), with a jam dance. This means that celebrated person dances the whole song, and everyone else takes turns to dance with them. Gather round and support them by clapping along to the song! Learning some ‘steal’ moves will help you be part of a jam.

After the dance

Thank your dance partner and shout out to your dj/band. They’ve put a lot of work into the evening and will appreciate your support.

Where can I find more info/thoughts on this?

There are lots of blog posts/web pages on dance etiquette:

From Holy Lindy Land