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7 Reasons to Leave a Dance – BEFORE the Song Ends

For many people, the answer to this question is an automatic ‘no’. After all, you’ve agreed to dance with someone for the duration of a song – that means you have to hang in there no matter what, right?

Well, yes and no. While you certainly shouldn’t walk away just because your partner isn’t leading your favourite moves, there are certain exceptions that supersede normal ballroom etiquette. Here’s a few examples.

1. They are hurting you.

Your personal safety is up to YOU to protect. If someone is leading too forcefully, or stepping on you repeatedly, let them know they are hurting you. Most people will be more careful after being told this, but if this person ignores your request, say goodbye.

2. They are touching you inappropriately.

Before you whip out the mace, ask yourself, could they have touched you by accident? The close contact of many dances can easily result in an accidental boob or butt-brush. If there’s room for doubt, ask them to be more careful. If they clearly aren’t respecting your personal boundaries however, scratch them permanently off your dance card.

3. They make rude, or inappropriate comments.

For me, it’s a matter of intent. It’s one thing for someone to make some poor attempts at humour, quite another if they are being deliberately malicious or overly-sexual. It’s ultimately up to you where your limits are on this one.

4. You feel unsafe.

Maybe they though it would be a good idea to try a lift in the middle of a social. Maybe they’re leaning so far back in your frame you feel constantly on the verge of falling over. If dancing with your partner is a recipe for disaster, give them one warning to change what they’re doing, or head back to your seat.

5. There is a serious accident.

Though most ballroom mishaps consist of a jarring bump and an apologetic smile, major collisions or bad falls do happen. If you get badly hurt, get off the floor (hopefully with your partner’s help) and seek medical assistance.

6. You have to leave quickly.

If you’re waiting for a ride, or to meet a friend who can’t stay, you may have to end the dance early. Be sure to warn your partner at the beginning of the dance, and they’ll be a lot more understanding.

7. You feel dizzy, or unwell.

Is the booze, heat, or vertigo getting to you? No need to stick it out until you throw up on your partner – tell them immediately you don’t feel well and need to sit down. As a nice touch, apologize and promise them another dance in the near future.


About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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