Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rules and Guidelines to Dance By

Da Rules

I pretty much don't break my rules.  They're too important to go by the wayside.
  1. Do everything in my power to keep the follow that I am dancing with safe. Don't hurt them, and don't let anyone else hurt them. This is rule #1 because it is the most important thing. IT IS BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.
  2. Dance with everyone, and enjoy dancing with everyone. It's not easy to have fun with every single partner, but I think that it is part of what makes dancing fulfilling for a lifetime rather than a year or two (this rule is a carry-over of my "rules to sing by that I've had for most of my life").  I'll write more on that later.
  3. Care, and show and say that I care. Show my partners that I like dancing with them. Tell them. Encourage partners who have learned something new, or do something that I like about them.If there are too few leads, ask the follow who hasn't danced in a while. Heck, if I see that there is such a follow no matter if there are enough leads, I ask them.
  4. Make friends as much as possible. Dancing only with acquaintances isn't as fulfilling.  Part of dancing is sharing with someone else emotionally.  You will do that more with a friend than with an acquaintance.  Also, those compliments mean a lot more from a friend than from a stranger.
  5. Workout really hard at least three times a week.  That includes, most especially, weight lifting and endurance training.

Da Guidelines

I break these some of the time.  If I'm too tired, or there's some unusual circumstance, I might not follow these rules.
  1. Be about to die before I say no to someone who asks me to dance who I don't know (who may therefore be a beginner), and if so, ask them later. #5 from the previous list means I'm tough enough to take anybody on.
  2. Take extra effort in making beginners feel happy. If I can't get 'em to smile because they're worried about being bad at it, try for more than one dance at different times in the night. Try talking.
  3. Give no advice unless I'm worried about safety.The only one I've actually given without asking is "please don't grip my arm like that, because a lead might accidentally dislocate your shoulder or you might dislocate theirs doing that."
  4. Always ask to dance, never expect, never drag someone onto the floor - even with friends who have never said no. No one should be taken for granted.
I think that most everything else is subject to change.

Why do I have these?

I suspect that everybody has their own set, but doesn't actually put them into words. But putting into words I can know what I expect of myself, and of other people.

Now, I think I should point out that these are my rules and guidelines.  They don't necessarily apply to you.  A friend of mine over at LindyHopProblems has her own view of guideline #1.  And I personally know people for whom I would say that they shouldn't dance with everyone for safety reasons (in other words, they're fragile, and some potential partners are big and dangerous).

I believe that it is to your benefit, however, for as many of these rules as you can apply to be your rules as well.

What about you? How do you choose to behave when you dance?

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