Dance Etiquette & Safety

Crowded dance floor

Basic Rules

Following dance floor etiquette helps everyone to have fun. As Sundance Saloon gets more crowded, it becomes even more important to be courteous and respectful of those around you. Beginners and experienced dancers alike can all benefit from reviewing these guidelines.

Dance counterclockwise around the floor. Don’t back up, but if you have to for some reason, look behind you first.

Leaders - look where you are going, and be prepared for the unexpected (like the couple in front of you who didn’t look before they backed up). Leaders are responsible for protecting their partners. (Remember, it’s always the leader’s fault.)

Slower dancers should move towards the inside of the dance floor, allowing faster dancers to pass them on the outside. If there’s a large space between you and the couple in front, either move to the inside, or speed up to close the gap. Faster dancers should not move faster than they can safely go, regardless which lane you are in.

When doing complicated moves that don’t travel forward, move towards the inside of the dance floor, or alternatively one of the four corners of the floor.

West coast swing dancers should leave room at the ends of the dance floor for other dancers to get by. And we request you don’t do swing dances on the main floor during line dances. Similarly, shadow, shuffle and two-step dancers should pay attention to dance clear of the west coast swing slot.

If you bump into someone, smile and apologize. If someone bumps into you, smile and apologize. If you find yourself apologizing all the time, maybe the problem isn’t just everybody else. If you find yourself smiling all the time, well, good.

If you are not dancing, don’t stand on the dance floor. Stand close to the wall so we don’t experience the incredible shrinking dance floor.

Don't carry drinks onto the dance floor. Report spills immediately.

Fragrances and variations in personal hygiene are tolerated differently by different people. Please be respectful of the many types of individuals around you.

Finally, there is no excuse for “road rage” on the dance floor. If you see someone breaking the rules, let it go. Maybe he isn’t aware of the rules, maybe she’s trying her best, but it’s unlikely he really is a jerk who simply enjoys getting in your way. We all make mistakes. Getting angry isn’t going to solve anything. Smile, and apologize.

Dance Floor Road Maps

Depending on the style of dance, there are different patterns of movement on the dance floor.


Two-step and waltz are traveling couples' dances. The direction of movement is always counter-clockwise. Dancers moving slower down the line of dance should stay towards the smaller inside lane. This inner lane is usually a good place for beginners. 

Dance floor map for two-step


West Coast Swing dancers dance in a slot and couples line up down the center of the dance floor. Traveling dancers (two-step and shadow) travel around the West Coast Swing dancers in the usual counter-clockwise direction. They should not cut through the line of West Coast Swing dancers.

Dance floor map for west coast swing


East Coast Swing is a stationary dance, and couples generally take over the entire floor. It is usually not advised to try to two-step around them.

Dance floor map for west coast swing


Line dancers arrange themselves in rows across the dance floor. At Sundance Saloon it customary to begin facing in the direction of the bar. Line dancers should have the floor to themselves. If you do not know the dance but want to practice, it is best to stay towards the edge of the dance floor away from the lines of dancers. If you know the dance but need help with cues, it is best to stay in the middle of the floor, so each time you turn there's someone in front of you.

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