1. Chocobo

    A few months ago my husband and I took up dancing lessons and we’ve enjoyed it so much it’s become our hobby. We’re starting to get to the intermediate level now which means we can pull off some impressive-looking moves that are not dangerous or interruptive to nearby dancers, but are rather attention-grabbing and fun to watch (and fun to do!).

    My question is we have several weddings coming up this summer and I’m excited to be able to put our dancing abilities to use when the D.J. or band plays. However, I’m a bit wary of drawing too much attention to ourselves. I don’t want to make the dance floor all about myself and distract from the bride and groom, but I also would like to dance the way that I know how and enjoy myself. Not too many people know how to dance (myself included not six months ago), and even doing simple things seems to draw attention. What do you think? How much should we restrict or use our abilities on the dance floor? Barring of course any moves that might put other people at risk or get in their way.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      By all means, enjoy yourselves! My cousin and her boyfriend are competitive ballroom dancers, and they showed off some of their moves at my wedding last year. While it was impressive and as you said attention-grabbing, I at no point thought they were stealing the spotlight. I actually think they contributed to the night by not hesitating to be the first couple on the dance floor when others might have been thinking “I don’t want to be the only ones dancing; let’s wait until a few other people go out there first.” Just make sure if there is group dance going on (either planned or spontaneous) you join in instead of dancing by yourselves the whole night.

  2. Alicia

    Dancing is fun, I love it personally. Well ballroom space ettiquette is the issue. The lead(and lesser extent the follow) needs to be aware of the space and the flow of the ballroom in order to not cause issues. So if you are doing large or acrobatic moves novice dancers(ie most folks) will not really have a sense of how much space and control you are using. As a result you should be giving novice dancers extra floor space. What is appropriate space when everyone knows what they are doing and what novice space is needed are different. Yes dance and dance well and appropriate to the song in question. However, ariels and other moves that are designed more for the competition or classroom floor are not appropriate at a ballroom full of novice dancers as you do not know what their behavior will be and as such what risk will be introduced. So basically I’m advizing you to show off a little but be aware of your floorcraft and that floorcraft needs to be modified based on those who occupy the floor.
    Also as you are a woman and thus most likely a follow. Be careful not to backlead when you dance with the other friends and family at the wedding as once you know how a lead should lead it is often frustrating to not have a good clear lead. However trying to lead as the follow can come across as insulting to the novice lead. Also remind your husband that those he will be dancing with are likely novice as well and that they may not know how to follow his lead(many do not) and to be careful not to jerk their arms.
    I’ll always dance to the best of my ability at weddings but I’ve only been to one wedding (both in couple were lindyhop instructors and competative on the international level) where the throws and air steps were used but in each case that was when each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were introduced and danced a few bars but almost every person in that wedding was an international competative dancer. That wedding is not the typical level of dance and even then it was kept to the moments that each bridesmaid or groomsman had a showoff introduction moment.

    • Chocobo

      Good to hear from another dancer! We dance the Lindy Hop too, and obviously after a few short months we are still largely beginners. But since no one else in our families or friend groups do any kind of dance (we don’t really have close friends in the dance scene yet), I was mostly concerned that we might be attracting too much attention simply by being the only people dancing “official” dance styles at all at the wedding. I wouldn’t dream of aerials or air steps — not only because they are dangerous outside of competition, but we’re not yet advanced enough to pull them off anyway. You make a good point about floorcraft having to do with the level of dancers around you. I imagine that energetic kicks or stomps, even if they are constrained and safe, might spook nearby dancers if they don’t know what’s happening. We will keep that in mind. Thanks!

  3. Kristin Watkins

    What is the etiquette regarding the number of hosts hosting a shower vs. the number of guests invited to a shower? I have seen almost a dozen hosts on an event invitation for a shower that had a guest list of only maybe 40-50 people. I felt like that was overkill and quite frankly a little tacky. This same situation has arisen again, and I can’t find any etiquette directly relating to this issue. Thoughts?

    • Chocobo

      You are right that an invitation listing a dozen people as the hosts seems a bit cumbersome on paper and perhaps there is a better way to word it, but frankly I don’t see any harm in that many hosts for an event if they are all truly hosting as a group. If this is a bridal shower that a large number of attendants are hosting, I see no faux-pas.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m not sure why multiple hosts would be considered tacky. Showers can be really expensive (in which case, the cost has been sensibly spread around to a group that obviously cares about the bride/expectant mom) or showers can be homey potlucks, in which case each of the hosts is probably bringing or providing something. I personally have never encountered an invitation like that, but my ‘circle’ (and the circles of my circle) sounds smaller than this lucky person.

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