How to act at a school dance
How to Prepare for Your First High School Dance
Your first school dance may be a memory that you remember forever. However, you don't want to ruin this momentous occasion with stress and anxiety over tiny details.
Prepare for your first dance with these tips and insights on how to make it a night to remember forever:
1. You Don't Need a Date
In all honesty, it's so much more fun to go stag to school dances. Worrying over who's going to ask you—or not ask you—is a waste of time when you have an entire group of friends to dance with all night long. Cross "find a date" off of your school dance to-do list.
2. Dress Functional and Affordable
You want to pick out a dress that's easy to dance in… it is a dance after all. Strapless dresses with narrow bodies are nearly impossible to walk in, let alone dance in. You'll majorly regret buying an expensive dress that drives you crazy, no matter how glam you look in photos.
3. Figure Out Transportation
You don't need to show up in a fancy limo but you should arrange a way to arrive or else you may find yourself walking all the way to school in your new heels. Don't wait until the night of to ask a parent to drive your entire squad to the dance. Parents have plans, too!
4. Don't Spend Too Much Money
Your first dance is an important benchmark in your life, but keep the expenses low because it's only the first of many fabulous nights in your future. Instead of getting your hair, makeup and nails done at a fancy salon, consider planning a get together at one friend's house before the dance. You may find that getting ready together is even more fun than the dance itself.
5. Browse the Rules
It would be a total bummer to be turned away just because you forgot your school I.D at home. Make sure you read the list of rules before heading over. There may be certain items you aren't allowed to bring in, which might mean throwing away your favorite make up. Alternatively, there might be certain things you need to bring, like your I.D.
6. Leave Your Movie Expectations At the Door
High school movies have a much larger budget than our school's party planning committee. You may be a little disappointed to find those magical movie decorations swapped with tacky cardboard wall decor. But this will hardly matter when you start dancing and scream-singing along to the music with your best friends in the world.
7. Post-Dance Plans
Consider planning a little something after the dance to top off the night. Even if this just means cruising through a fast food drive thru, you'll want to end the night with a little something extra. Plus, you will have really worked up an appetite after all that dancing. Make sure your parents are in the know about these extra plans before you commit with your friends, though.
One final tip: You may want to work on your moves before hitting the dance floor. But if you aren't sure school dances are your thing, check out THIS list of reasons why they may not be worth your time.
The Ultimate Guide To High School Dances
I really didn’t think that I was the type of person that would enjoy school dances. I mean, I do love dancing, but I didn’t think my socially-awkward (In reality, I was much more of a quiet loner in elementary school. Ivy Prep was when I built up my confidence more, spoke up and made friends, but I digress) self would enjoy that type of thing. I wanted to go to at least one dance in my whole high school career because I never even bothered to go to any in middle school. I ended up going to the first dance in my freshman year and loved it. (I didn’t end up going to the second dance that year, but that was mostly because of laziness). I remember being so nervous about it. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I was confused about convincing my parents to let me go, shopping for dresses, and everything after. I wasn’t the only one. My friends and I discussed how clueless we were all the time. I sort of just winged it (I was unaware of a certain entity called Pinterest at the time), and it ended up going really well. It was a load of fun. I’m writing this because I know that there is some freshman girl (or boy) somewhere who is as clueless as I was. These are things I really wish there was a guide for when I was a freshman. Hope you feel a bit at peace because of it. (There a few little personal stories intermixed with this post as well)
//Ask your parents if you can go
In my freshman year of high school, my mom was a bit weary of me going to the Fall Dance (I went to nerd school, so we didn’t have “Homecoming”. No football team). My dad convinced her to let me go. But she said he had to stay parked in front of the school the whole time. I didn’t really mind because he didn’t really do anything. I’m not really embarrassed by my parents and he never went inside, so it was fine. Remember to ask your parents. I feel like most American parents would be excited, so something like that probably wouldn’t happen to you. Just tell them so that they can add the date to their schedule//Buy Tickets
My school charged $8 if you buy them before the dance and $10 at the door. If you’re bringing a friend from another school, buy their ticket and put their name down as your guest. At GSMST, we were only allowed to bring one person outside of school.
I got into a lot of dances for free because I took pictures for yearbook, but of course, I actually had to take pictures and do interviews and stuff, so it wasn’t all just socializing. There was work to be done.//Buy a Dress (Or a Suit, if you’re a guy)
This is what I panicked about the most in my freshman year because I literally hadn’t worn a dress since 2nd grade. I also went to a uniformed all-girls school for 3 years, so I didn’t know anything about clothes (still don’t really). I went to Macy’s with my mom the first time. Other times I went shopping with my friends.
- Don’t spend too much money!!!-Every upperclassman has this discussion with a freshman. I’ve heard so many people say, “I paid $80 for my freshman year dance and $15 for my sophomore year dance.” Some high schools may be a bit more fancy in terms of dresses, but mine wasn’t. Any dress can look classy if your hair and makeup look nice. And remember: It’s dark. Don’t clear your bank account in one day.
- Same goes for guys– you can probably get away with nice pants and a button-down shirts (Us women are jealous), and a jacket maybe. And again, you don’t need to spend that much money.
- Make sure you can wear it again. Don’t waste your money on something you will only wear once.
- Just don’t worry about your appearance too much. Dressing up once in awhile is fun. You don’t need to be too excessive about it. Enjoy yourself.
Let me start with this: YOU DON’T NEED A DATE. It is not a requirement in having fun at dances. In fact, there were more people at my school who didn’t have dates than did. I’ve been to dances with dates and without them. Both are fun and absolutely awesome. I am so lucky that I have awesome friends to do things with. Dances are no fun without them. I will talk more about this later in the “At the Dance Section.” Let’s just stick to planning right now.
- Make plans with your friends– not all your friends will want to go and that’s fine. Make plans on meeting each other at school or getting ready together or going out to eat. I will elaborate on this more below.
- Ask someone to the dance (If you want)– as I said above, dates aren’t necessary. I have had fun with and without dates at dances. If you like someone, just do it. It’s better to look back on life without any regrets. If they say yes, that’s awesome. If they say no, you can move on. Stop making things so complicated and take control of your life, darnit!
- Stop waiting for someone to ask you– don’t wait around or ponder on (isn’t that just an awesome word: ponder. It has a nice ring to it) whether or not someone will ask you. I was never one to think about this stuff because, well, men are cowards. I don’t speak for all men, but I went to nerd school, with socially awkward geeks and very confident female STEM people (that is probably grammatically incorrect, but I stand by it). Nerd women are scary. What was my point again? Oh yeah. Don’t wait around. You have more important things to worry about. Like school!
- How are you going to get there ( Who is your ride)
- Are your driving?
- Are your parents driving you?
- Are you carpooling with a friend?
- Is your date driving you?
- Where are you getting ready
- Your house?
- If someone is coming over to get ready with you? If so, should you buy some snacks? Turn on a movie or some music?
- Friend’s house?
- Remember to bring everything you need: dress, shoes, jewelry, makeup, curling iron, am I forgetting anything?
- This is also a fun option. I loved getting ready with my friends.
- Are you going to eat dinner before or after the dance?
This depends on what plans you have with your friends or your date. My friends and I had a tradition where we go to Steak and Shake after every dance and eat chicken strips, fries, burgers, and ice cream. We did this every year after every dance (I went to 7 out of 8 of them). We just ate unhealthy fried food and talked. I wouldn’t end up getting home until after midnight. Those are some of my fondest memories. Being tired and sore from dancing for three hours and taking pictures for yearbook, then filling up on fried food and ice cream. One of my friends is allergic to peanuts, eggs, and bananas, and there’s a milkshake at Steak and Shake with all three ingredients and all of us laugh at the fact that everything she’s allergic to is in one food. I’ll stop digressing.
- Just because I always ate dinner after dances doesn’t mean you have to. Not everyone can put off dinner until 10 PM. And not all parents are willing to take their 14-year-olds (when we were freshmen. It was fine when we could drive ourselves) to eat that late. Plenty of people go out to eat before dances. Just make sure to plan when you are going to dinner so that you have time to get ready and get to the dance on time.
- Going home?
- This is what I usually did after eating out with my friends. I didn’t usually get home until around midnight (as I said above).
- Going to a restaurant?
- Like I said, I always went to Steak and Shake after dances with some of my friends
- Watching a movie
- This is what we did after prom
- Sleeping over at a friend’s house
- So this happened at a dance in junior year. My parents were really tired and didn’t think it was safe to pick me up that late (That is how tired they were), so I had an impromptu sleepover at my friend’s house. I discovered that she snored.
- Going home?
- Make Appointments (If you want)– I personally didn’t go out and get my hair done anywhere. I just did my hair at home. I’m all for saving money on stuff like that. You can apply your own makeup and do your hair. You can have a friend do it or your mom. I’ve done all three. Some people like to do that stuff, but I feel that splurging isn’t necessary. You don’t have to make an elaborate plan early on, but here are a few things you should think about pre-dance.
- Hair– Do something different from what you do normally. In my freshman year, I wore my hair in a braid every day. This isn’t an exaggeration. Literally every day. As in, my name in sign language is “braid” with a “T.” (Generally a deaf person names you based off of how they remember you, and a hard-of-hearing student named me after that, but I digress). Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, the dance was the only day I let my hair out. My hair is naturally straight, so I didn’t do anything with it. I just let it out and I looked so different. Everyone thought I put in effort, but I seriously didn’t do anything. When I cut my hair short (which basically means I chop it all off when it reaches my waist, like always), I curled my hair for dances. You see, you don’t need to do anything elaborate. If you keep your hair down all the time, put it up. If you have curly hair, straighten it. You don’t need to book hair appointments or anything. Keep it simple. If you do something different, it’ll automatically look festive.
- Makeup– You know how much makeup you normally wear. I didn’t really wear makeup in my first three years of high school (Granted because I didn’t own much and I sucked at it. Looking back, I probably looked really weird on my first date because I TRULY didn’t know what I was doing) I barely wore any makeup in my Freshman year. When I was 16, my aunt taught me how to properly put on makeup and I slowly got better. In my senior year, I wore it more (still very sporadically). If you wear makeup every day, you probably will want to go with something a bit more bold for dances. If you’re like me, putting minimal makeup will probably be enough for you. Just keep a mental note about what you want to do about makeup.
- Nails– I don’t really paint my nails. I did it a few times for dances, but it wasn’t a huge priority. If you want to put on nail polish, think of what colors you want to match your dress. If you’re like me and don’t own nail polish, borrow some from a friend. (That’s what I always did)
- Shoes– Boots. That is all I wore to dances. I’m a southern gal, born and raised in Georgia, so those are what I’m most comfortable in. There are logistical reasons as well. I’m 5’9’’ so heals aren’t the greatest idea (which sucks because I’m that weird person that likes and can walk in heels). Also, flats are uncomfortable. Boots are what I recommend.
- Mini Rant– A friend of mine and I have this rant where we say that only southerners have enough sass to pull off boots. Down here in Georgia, you can tell whether or not you are from here based off of how you wear boots. We say that when we go to New York and see people wearing boots, we internally cringe. Reading this now, this may be a wee bit exaggerated, but we truly do rant about this. We are not the only ones that say this. There is just something about being born in the south that makes you look good in boots. Ok. Rant over. (For now. This will probably come up again)
- Jewelry– Think about what jewelry you are going to wear. Wear something you own or buy something new if you want. I can’t control how you spend your money. I’m just the type of person who wears the same jewelry regularly.
//Go to where you’re getting ready, if anywhere?
Sometimes I’d get ready at home and sometimes I’d go to a friend’s house. It depended on the plan and who was driving.//Get ready
Duh//Head to the dance or to dinner, if you did that first
As you read above, you should make a plan.//Hang out with friends and your date
That is the best part about dances
You should hang out with both your friends and your date. You made a commitment to hang out with your date, so you should be with them at least half the time. The other half should be with your friends. And both.
- Mini story– So after a slow dance, Single Ladies came on and my boyfriend at the time nudged me towards my friends and told me to dance with them and left, saying “you gotta be single” and raised his eyebrows. I felt so grateful that he was like that. I would have talked with him, but I know that my girlfriends appreciated me being there (Also, one of our guy friends left his girlfriend to dance to this with us. It was so fun. )
- Note: Dancing to Single-Ladies when you are in a relationship is not that fun.
- Moral of the story: Spend time with everyone you love. Don’t prioritize one over the other. Because all these people are still a part of my life and those memories are cherished.
I also love doing this. Don’t be that person who stands to the side because they think they can’t dance. Being dorky and having fun is the point of it all.
In my freshman year, I discovered that American dancing is basically jumping and pumping your fists. If you can do that you’re solid. I don’t do only that, but whatever floats your boat.//Eat food
Soda. Cookies. Gummy Bears. Who could ask for more. (Of course there is more food than that, but you can see what my priorities are)//Take pictures
I was in Yearbook, so I took a lot of pictures. I just wasn’t in most of them. I always ended up regretting not taking enough pictures with my friends at the end of the night at almost every school event. I love looking back at old pictures, so I prioritized taking more personal pictures. Not just yearbook.
Have a photo shoot. They are surprisingly fun and you’ll get a lot of good photos with a ton of funny looking ones.
I already talked about these in depth in the “Planning” section. You can read my personal stories there. Other than that, these three options are pretty self-explanatory.
- Go out to dinner with friends
- Head home
- You can have a sleepover
- I was never really involved in things like drinking alcohol or doing drugs. I’m just not that type of person. Even if I preach how dangerous that stuff is, I don’t think it’ll help much. Just remember all the basic safety/common-sense stuff like:
- Don’t drink and drive
- Be careful about taking drugs
- Don’t walk off into dark alleys
- Please don’t smoke. It won’t cause any immediate danger, but come on! There are way too many reasons for you to stop.
- Random Story: My AP Biology teacher in my sophomore year told us that the first time he hosted a GSMST prom, he saw a group of boys go out to the patio and play cards. You heard me. Play cards. My teacher told them to go inside and have fun at their prom, but he was really thinking about how at his old school, he had to always go outside to stop the students from smoking. Reasons I love Nerd School!
- Please don’t smoke. It won’t cause any immediate danger, but come on! There are way too many reasons for you to stop.
- Keep your phone on so that your parents can contact you
- If you choose to have sex, be safe
- There is probably a ton more stuff, but I’m a huge goody-two-shoes and don’t really know what happens at regular high schools. But really, the best safety advice I can give is to NOT DO THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOU.
That’s all I can say about that. I hope I helped you with planning for dances. Those are truly some of my favorite memories of high school. I also hope you learned more about me as a person. Until next time my loves.
Is there anything I missed? What’s your favorite high school memory?
Rules of etiquette in social dances
Dance etiquette is inseparable from the etiquette of everyday life. At first glance, all this seems obvious, but we constantly encounter partners who think only about how stunning they look and what complex figures they can demonstrate.
As part of the dance community, we must be responsible for our words, actions and behavior, because this not only affects those with whom we directly communicate, but also affects the general atmosphere and energy in the hall. Therefore, there are recommendations that should be followed.
Of course, they are highly dependent on the social norms and culture of the country, but basically these rules are universal and will help you not be considered a rude person, wherever you are.
No comment. Just before you hit the dance floor, take a shower, put on deodorant and put on clean clothes. Otherwise, you risk earning a reputation as a "skunk".
But you will still be sweating on the dance floor, so will help youemergency kit :
- A handkerchief or tissue paper to clean your face after dancing.
- Antibacterial Wet Wipes: If you continue to sweat, take action and wipe your underarms with wet wipes.
- Spare T-shirt or top, and this tip will work for both gentlemen and ladies: it's always nice to feel in a new look.
- Some take eau de toilette, deodorant, cosmetics with them.
All of the above applies to bad breath. It never hurts to brush your teeth once again and take chewing gum with you. Just don't chew while dancing - it's ugly and dangerous. Stay away from onions and garlic before a party because only time will kill the smell.
Clothing and footwear
When choosing what to wear to impress everyone with your appearance, you should remember that certain accessories can be dangerous for a partner and other couples. This includes, for example, long beads or hemlines. Don't dance with your bag: leave this deadly weapon with your friends or on the table.
Ladies should pay attention to the choice of shoes : huge “hoof” shoes run the risk of falling off and hitting one of the dancers or may result in injury to yourself. Professional shoes for the Latin American program, which are fixed with a strap, are best suited. Flat shoes can also be used, but not everyone is comfortable moving flat.
Partners are required to wear the off-the-shoulder shirt or T-shirt . Believe me, it will be much more pleasant to hold on to you!
It's not an exact science, just be polite and smile. Approach the person you want to invite with a smile and say, "Let's dance?" When he says yes, take him by the hand and lead him to the dance floor.
If you already know each other, you can be creative: try to make eye contact, wink and nod towards the dance floor. Ladies, don't leave dance invitations exclusively for men, at least make eye contact with them!
Try not to refuse even though life is full of exceptions. There are times when you don't want to dance with a person because they are unpleasant or uncomfortable. Either way, don't do it all the time. The reason is simple - it offends. But there are a few situations where you can say “No”: if you are not familiar with this style, if you are tired and want to rest, or if you are going to the toilet. You must explain with a smile the reason for the refusal to the invitee and promise him the next dance.
One of the main advantages of social dancing is the opportunity to practice with different partners. Therefore, you should not invite the same person all night. Give yourself and him a chance to dance with different people.
Don't create obstacles on the dance floor
There is nothing worse than an ill-mannered brute who decides to squeeze in where there is no room. This creates inconvenience and increases the risk of collisions. Do everyone a favor and take a break if there is nowhere for an apple to fall on the dance floor. Wait for the next song and secure your seat early.
Don't fight your way to the exit or the toilet by pushing other couples away and pushing each one: in this case, try to move along the edge and avoid the dancers.
Always apologize for a collision
Collisions in salsa are inevitable due to its active nature. The best thing to do is admit the mistake, apologize, and keep dancing. No need for long speeches, just a nod, the magic word "sorry" and a smile.
Do not train on the dance floor
Sometimes you can observe the following: suddenly the couple stops, and the more experienced partner begins to teach the beginner. Dancing is, first of all, joy and fun, and if they start to stop you, correct you and say that you are not good at dancing, no one will like it. However, if someone asks for help or advice, take it as a compliment, be friendly and help them.
Strange, but for many it causes difficulties. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, we are too focused on the correct execution of movements and forget to smile. It seems insignificant, but you need to show your partner that you are enjoying the dance. In addition, a smiling person is more likely to be invited.
Keep your distance
Pair dancing is when two people move as one in close physical contact. But that's no reason to let go. When dancing with someone for the first time, it's best to be more conservative. Some gentlemen misinterpret intimacy in motion and try to snuggle up to each partner. If this is about you, then you better go to a dating site. Of course, flirting can add zest to the evening, but you should not overstep the bounds. After all, most people come to the salsateca just to dance.
Consider your partner's level
If you're dancing with a partner for the first time, it's best to start with the basics and then gradually increase in difficulty. Otherwise, you risk not only hurting your self-esteem, but also physically injuring a person. If you're dancing with a less savvy partner, show that you enjoy dancing with a smile.
The magic word "thank you"
Be polite: when the music is over, smile and say "thank you". Then take your partner by the hand and take them off the dance floor.
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How dancing helps boys grow into real men
When choosing the type of extracurricular activities together with their child, parents of girls often lean towards dance classes and choreographic clubs. After all, the ability to move to music brings up flexibility, grace, refinement, and these qualities are traditionally considered very important for future women. There are much fewer boys in such circles, unfortunately. But dancing is good for all children. What important qualities do they bring up in future men? Samira Filatova, a teacher-psychologist of the Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University, a sports psychologist, discusses this topic.
Samira Filatova, sports psychologist, teacher-psychologist of the Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University
Dances and choreography
In the lesson schedule of some Russian general education schools, you can find such a subject as choreography. There are circles with the same name. What do they teach there? Strictly speaking, choreography is not some kind of dance, but the basis of any dance direction. This is a broad concept, which includes, first of all, elements, movements characteristic of certain types of dance, as well as a scheme, drawing, staging. Very often this word is used as a synonym for classical dance. It is during choreography lessons that children get an idea of the basics of ballet.
Why there are more girls in dance schools
When parents choose a sports section together with their child (and dance is not only an art, but also a sport), they are guided by a number of factors: the child's abilities; qualities that I would like to develop; technical ability to engage in any sport.
Dancing has many benefits. They not only improve posture, increase endurance, flexibility and other qualities that are important for many sports, but also develop a sense of rhythm, the ability to hear music and, importantly, coordinate body movements in accordance with the music. For creative children, choreography lessons, where artistry is important, are an opportunity for self-expression. Little dancers learn how to present themselves, and this skill is valuable for future professional activity, whatever it may be.
In girls of preschool and primary school age, the level of development of flexibility and object dexterity is higher than that of their male peers. And musical and rhythmic movements are also easier for them. This is most likely why there are fewer boys than girls in dance studios.
In addition, the stereotype that dancing is not a serious, not masculine occupation, that they do not develop those qualities that are important for the stronger sex, will not be eliminated. This is an erroneous opinion. Dance lessons can give boys a lot, in addition to physical activity, which is so necessary for a growing body.
What dancing gives boys
Dance classes are also moral development . After all, a partner in pair dances is a girl, and in order to work well with her, a boy needs to develop the skills of interacting with the opposite sex, learn to be restrained, behave politely and correctly. The boys I know who are engaged in a dance ensemble, I can characterize as real gentlemen. Moreover, they maintain a reverent and respectful attitude towards girls outside the classroom.
Not in vain in Tsarist Russia, future officers were taught not only to handle weapons, but also to dance. In those days, it was a mandatory skill for an educated and comprehensively developed young man. And now this tradition is being revived in many military educational institutions.
Dancing also involves aesthetic education is an important element of harmonious development. Such lessons are regular listening to high-quality music, the opportunity to wear beautiful clothes (now there is even a training uniform that is both comfortable and looks spectacular). Often classes are held in spacious halls and halls with a large number of mirrors. This creates a solemn atmosphere, and also, whatever the direction of the dances, a feeling of flight. Some dancers are especially lucky: they practice in the luxurious interiors of historic buildings.
Many parents perceive dance studios as a place where their child will open up, get rid of muscle tension, become more self-confident. This is possible, among other things, thanks to good posture and a beautiful gait, which are developed through regular exercise. It is the boy who leads in pair dances, he learns to take a dominant position, and after some time after the start of classes, even the most shy guys feel more confident.
A person with healthy self-esteem most often treats others with respect. I will tell the story of one schoolboy who was shy and at the same time conflicted. His parents sent him to the modern dance section. And somehow, at a New Year's party in the class, he danced a composition that he had learned in class. This moment became a turning point in his relationship with classmates. Some of them showed interest in his hobby, began to pay attention to a classmate. And this, in turn, strengthened his self-confidence, and he became much less likely to conflict with his peers. In addition, among other members of the dance ensemble, the boy found true friends.
It is traditionally believed that boys have more excess energy, which is important to find a peaceful use. Dance lessons can be a way to spend it usefully .
Of course, all these pluses, for all their obviousness, will not manifest themselves. The individual typological characteristics of the child, the general atmosphere in the dance class, the personality and qualifications of the teacher are very important.
At what age should classes start? This age is considered ideal for kids who are tipped to have a dancing or sports career. This does not mean at all that it is too late for six-year-olds to start. It's just that psychomotor development is not the same in different age groups. So, for example, at the age of 5-6, boys have a high level of speed-strength abilities, general endurance. At a slightly older age, at 6-8 years old, speed and accuracy, coordination of movements increase, orientation in space, balance and a sense of rhythm develop. If we compare two five-year-old boys with approximately the same inclinations, one of whom has just started classes, and the other has been dancing since the age of three, then the difference will be significant. The second child will be at least more flexible and flexible. But another 2-3 years will pass, and the first boy can show even better results if he practices intensively.
According to the guys themselves, for whom dancing has not become a professional activity, the optimal age to start classes is 7-8 years old.