Country Time Dance Lines NOTE: This page was taken from Don Deyne's old web site (The Information Super Dance Floor) at http://homepages.apci.net/~drdeyne/ with his permission. We thank Don for allowing us to use it.
Dance floor etiquette should be viewed not as a bunch of rules somebody is trying to force on the dancers, but rather as a way to fully utilize the dance floor so that EVERYBODY has fun. I hate it when the "line dancers -vs- couples dancers" arguments start flying. If each dance is done in it's proper area, and if the band or DJ can mix the music and provide a little guidance, there should be room for everyone. In effect Dance Floor Etiquette serves to increase the available space of the dance floor.
Julian Gothard's C&W Dance & Music FAQ - Floor Etiquette section provides a great overview of floor etiquette, so this page will be mostly my personal observations and ideas that I feel add to the subject (you don't have to agree :-).
DANCE THROUGH THE STEENKING CORNERS! We've all been there. You're doing a popular line dance and you're on the corner of the center area (the swing dancers don't like this song). And you see it coming. "Mr 2-step" approaches the corner and across, cutting off some partner dancers. They have to retreat or retaliate. So you are now in their way. They glare at you, you glare back ('cause you'd NEVER do anything else (hee hee hee)) and hold your ground, so they try to reclaim their ground and the clown who started the whole mess now glares at the folks in the slow lane. OK, so you're mad, the partner dancers are pissed at you AND Mr 2-step, and the 2-steppers move off cussing about the clown who was in HIS way. Now NOBODY's havin' fun. BUT, if you use the corners, once again we virtually increase the size of the dance floor by reclaiming the part we've never used before. Every once in awhile, when I'm doing a lesson and the circle starts compressing, I place chairs at the corners and playfully admonish anyone who cut inside the chairs.
LINE DANCERS, USE SELECTIVE FLOOR PLACEMENT: The first person on the floor usually has the right to set the dance they want to do. However as a courtesy so everyone has the opportunity to do what they want, I suggest that if you think lots of folks know the dance you place yourself in the center of the floor. If however, you feel very few know the dance you want to do, line up on the edge of the line dance area. This gives us better use of the floor by not having people all around you trying to do a different dance than the one you're doing.
FACE THE LONG EDGE OF THE FLOOR: This really only helps on 2 wall line dances, but if you make it a practice, then it becomes second nature and one less thing to think about. Many dance floors have a short edge facing the bandstand or DJ. The initial logical feeling is to face the music. Dancers joining lines have a tendency to join an already existing line rather than form a new one. Lines facing the longer edge can stretch out farther.
DANCERS BUMP INTO THE NICEST PEOPLE: It's a fairly accepted practice that when a collision occurs, apologize, EVEN if it wasn't your fault.