Today, we're going to talk about safety, which is an important but frequently overlooked part of social dancing. It's crucial for all dancers to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to stay safe while pursuing their dance passion.
While this article is written primarily with the female dancers in mind, it is important to keep in mind that many of these points are also applicable to male dancers as well. Safety should be practised and enforced by dancers of all gender, not just a preventive measure or sole responsibility of female followers.
This blog post will highlight some helpful suggestions and guidance on how to keep yourself safe while social dancing.
Select your dance partner:
It is important to feel secure and at ease with your dance partner. Trust your gut and dance with the ones who makes you feel comfortable. You always have the option to watch while they are dancing with others first to ascertain if the moves they are executing are within your comfort zone.
Remember that you are never required to dance with anyone if you don't want to and don't be scared to decline a dance (politely) if you feel uncomfortable. It goes without saying that your judgement should not be impaired by superficial looks or level of experience, we still need to be a supportive and welcoming to beginner dancers.
Communicate your boundaries:
In any social dance, clear communication is essential. Inform your dance partner right away if you experience pain or if a certain move makes you uncomfortable. You're laying the groundwork for a secure and happy dance session by establishing clear boundaries. It is also crucial to respect the boundaries communicated, what is an acceptable distance or move by some may not be the same for others.
Trust your instincts:
When something seems off or you find yourself in an uneasy position, follow your instincts and take appropriate action by speaking up to your partner, or implementing safe holds or distancing techniques. Always choose safety first and foremost.
For the leads, learning the right the technique to prepare and execute a move safely is crucial to giving a good social dance experience. It is also ideal when you are able to adjust the social moves you plan to execute according to the experience level of the follower you are dancing with.
For the followers, your instructors will usually teach how to hold your core, hand placement to create space, where and how to connect correctly amongst many other things.
Learn self-defense techniques:
Invest in studying the fundamentals of self-defense to safeguard yourself from potentially dangerous situations. Both on and off the dance floor, these skills can give you a sense of empowerment and increased self-assurance.
Use the buddy system:
Utilize the buddy system by going to social dance events whenever you can with a friend or group of friends. Being close to someone you can trust can add an additional degree of security and comfort. It is also a fantastic method to enhance the shared enjoyment and fun of the event you are attending together.
While it may be tempting to indulge in a few too many drinks, staying sober can help you stay focused and in control when you dance. You may appraise situations and make wiser decisions while you are sober, not to mention faster reflexes.
At Caliente Dance Studio, we maintain an open communication policy where all dancers are encouraged to approach us and share their concerns and seek help when they need. It is important for all dance studios and social dance organisers to offer a safe space for dancers to voice out in a confidential manner.
Whenever a report is received, our team has processes in place to verify the claims, and take necessary follow up actions such as issuing warnings, or even banning them from attending any classes or events organised by us (this has happened before).
Ultimately, dancing is a lovely and thrilling form of self-expression, but we also need to put safety first in order to better appreciating this art. The above pointers serve as a general guide to help you dance with confidence and safety. Dancing with joy comes when respect is served both for ourselves and to others on the social dance floor.