top of page

What do I wear dancing

It depends. Do you like to dress up or do you feel more comfortable dressing down and being causal? Most social dances are without an exact dress code because it is more about enjoying the dance and each other. So for most social dances, at least ones that do not have a specific dress code, be yourself. 

There are a few tips to make being yourself and being comfortable while you are dancing.

So here we go:

  • Dancing is active, dress in clothes that allow you to move freely. There is nothing more frustrating than to arrive at a dance in your favorite dress only to find out you cannot lift your arms up enough to make a turn.

  • Sweat happens. Clothes that breathe and move moisture away from your body is a good idea. Clothing made out of polyester may not be the best. And if you tend to sweat more than average, bring a small hand towel to dry your forehead and hands with. Also think about bringing an extra shirt for a change mid-way through.

  • Shoes!! It is best to wear shoes with slick soles like leather bottoms or very low rubber treads. If you plan on dancing often, it is worth it to have suede soles. Thick or heavy tread will impede your movement and tax your knees and ankles.

  • Causal is cool. Vintage is lovely, dressy is wonderful. And CLEAN is King. Any kind of partner dancing comes with close contact, need we say more.

  • Lastly, while baggy low riding pants or clothes with tears/rips can be hip, it is best to wear clothes that will not fall down or rip more exposing you and everyone else to what your mama gave ya...

What kind of music do you swing dance to?

The right answer is anything that swings of course! Swing music is in 4/4 time and what makes it unique is the juxtaposition of an actual sound that you expected or an emphasis to fall in a predictable even place in the music, and it didn’t. For instance, lots of musical styles place a note on “1 & 2” and instead in swing you often get  “1  a2”. 

Swing is actually really interesting because there is an element of predictability as well. The beats, the rhythm section, keep a solid steady backing. That is the part that makes it so nice for dancing. It is the other elements that displace their rhythms away from the beat in various unpredictable ways that create an anticipation or lagging and whamo - musical magic!

Look for music from musicians like:

Or some more modern musicians like

What Else Should I know?

That dancing is an intimate activity and manners and etiquette matter. Please and thank you go a long way to keeping dancing an enjoyable social activity for everyone. Like good hygiene, when you are kind and courteous people enjoy being around you.


One of the first things people need to do when they get to a social dance is ask a person for a dance. The best way to ask another person is by keeping it simple and polite.


Try something like, "Would you like to dance?" or "May I have the next dance?" 

Additionally, a polite and appropriate response might be, "Yes," or "That sounds great!"

It is also nice to thank a person for a dance once it is done. Letting others know the dance was fun and worthwhile is a good thing to do. 

A few more notes about dancing etiquette:

  • In the US, it common-place to dance one dance together, and many people are happy and willing to dance more than one in a row together. Just do not be offered if the offer for a second dance is turned down because they have already accepted the next dance with another person. In Europe, it is very common to dance two dances consecutively. 

  • If you do not feel comfortable dancing with someone for whatever reason, it is okay to politely decline the dance. If the person asking is being inappropriate or aggressive, please find a friend, or anyone near by, for safety then go and speak immediately with the host of the dance or event. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable dancing. Creeps need not spoil the fun.

  • This is not the place for debate or heated discourse. Dancing is one of the few social activities that does not require us all to believe in the same religion, politics, or ideology (other than that swing is awesome). If you want to talk smack, take it somewhere else please.

  • Speaking of inclusion, our dance lessons, social dances, and events are for everyone no matter color of skin, sexual orientation, religion or creed, relationship status, or age. We love our dances being full of all types of people. And we all love to dance with everyone. And it is normal to have men dancing with men, women dancing with women, a married person dancing with someone other than their spouse, etc. If you cannot handle dancing with people who are different from you, maybe find another hobby.

  • We get it, money can be tough to part with, but we ask that you pay for your dances, lessons, and events. We host dances and events through our passion and love for sharing these dances. We do however have to cover the costs of renting spaces, paying bands, teachers, DJ's, etc to put on a fun event or dance for you. When you choose not to pay, you are only cheating yourself out of future awesomeness. 

  • Lastly, air steps are great for a jam circle or special performance! BUT We ask that you keep four on the floor when you are social dancing for the safety of everyone around you. If you are seen performing an aerial on the social floor, you will be given a warning to stop. If anyone is harmed or you decide to throw a second one, you will be asked to leave the dance immediately without reimbursement of your entrance fee. 

Please reload

bottom of page