Dancefloor etiquette for absolute beginners…
It’s Saturday night, the party’s on, you’ve got your best high heels and you’re pumped full of confidence for the night ahead. Except… uh-oh. The dance floor. Whether you’re a smooth shaker or a diva of disaster, here are some simple rules to making sure people think you’re a happy bunny and the best little mover out there…
If you’ve put on your best strappy stilettos or your favourite knee-high boots you must always ask yourself if they’re comfy enough. If they’re not, you’re cruising for a catastrophe! Seriously – pinched toes and toppling off your Empire State Heels after a couple of drinks mean there really will be blood on the dancefloor (and ditching said heels mid-shimmy is never a good look). So, before you leave the house or before you even consider dancing, check that your shoes are comfy enough.
If you want heels and aren’t used to them, consider kitten heels (lower to the ground) or slightly blockier heels (more support for the leg). And take a pair of pumps with you to change into if the going gets tough. Pumps are great. You can get kitsch pumps, lolita goth pumps, Audrey Hepburn pumps – they come in all styles, don’t mince your feet and fit into a small bag. Yay for pumps.
Keep it simple.
It’s all over the TV and you may even see it in everyday life. But. Unless you are born swift on your feet, do not try and pull off the moves from Step-Up, or you’ll fall flat on your face and everyone will laugh. Stick to your comfort zone of dancing. Whether you’re just rocking from side to side with your mates or shaking booty with a hottie, do what suits you best. Dancing is about feeling the rhythm and beat and letting it move you, rather than trying too hard to choreograph yourself. Don’t try to be one step ahead – even if you’re a polished dancer, you’ll look like you’re trying rather hard. Let the music move you. And always try to dance with someone else – dancing on your own is only cool if you’re a skilled or at least confident dancer.
Speaking of which… confidence!
Everyone’s worst nightmare! If you’re a shrinking violet or a loud lady, confidence always matters when it comes to dancing. You need to be able to get out there, dance like no-one’s watching and have the ability to laugh at yourself if you do trip up. If you’re a shy person, stick to your comfort zone with your friends or boyfriend, and if you’re pumped full of confidence, you can venture further by dancing with the boys. But don’t overdo it. You could over-step the confidence line and upset one of your girl-pals by dancing with her crush. Ouch.
Everybody loves to rave. It’s true! Even those girls who think they’re too pretty to be seen with you secretly rave away in their bedrooms. So here’s what to do if you’re going to rave: Keep it safe! Jumping up and down madly, waving your arms around, shouting at the top of your voice is never a good look unless you’re in a mosh pit. If you’re going to rave, jump up and down with your friends and do not wave your arms around, that’s just plain dangerous and this brings us onto the next rule…
Enjoy! Live la vida loca!
The whole idea of dancing is about having fun. Fun, fun, fun. Whether you’re dancing to express your wounded soul, lift the roof with your friends or flirt with the best looking bloke on the floor and perhaps even gently touch him ‘by mistake’ with your lucky bosom, the whole concept is about having fun. So smile! Make eye contact with the people you’re dancing with! Or, if you’re a shoegazer, then you are of course allowed to make eye contact with the floor… but the key word here is ‘enjoy’. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a gifted dancer, you can still have fun. If dancing is really not your thing, you don’t have to take part if your friends are doing it. You really don’t. Some girls are better off on the edge of the dance floor watching rather than being out there themselves.
Tips for hugely unself-confident dancers
- Look around. See what kind of *simple* moves other people are doing. Pick one move you think you can do and add it to what you’re doing. Not straight after you see it though – people might notice if you’re too obvious.
- If in doubt, wiggle your bottom from side to side to the beat. Dancing is a beautiful display of eroticism, like peacocks with their tail. Humans have been flirters longer than expressive artists – that’s human nature for ya. So if you wiggle your bottom a bit, no-one will think you’re a bad dancer.
- Sometimes hiding in the middle of the dancefloor is safer than hiding on the edge of the dancefloor. Fewer people notice you, and you feel more involved, which will give you confidence. You have to be a pretty confident dancer to stray to the edge where you’re not camouflaged by other dancers.
Here’s one for the boys…
It’s cute to be shy, but the girls love a guy who can dance! So pull up your socks, lads, and get out there. You never know. Romance could blossom…