The Ballroom Floor

Printed by courtesy of Merrymakers Singles Ballroom Dance Club - - - April 2003

Did you Know?

1.  The ballroom dance floor is divided into two kinds of areas: the oval for traveling dances (waltz, polka & foxtrot are examples) and the rest for spot dances (most swing and Latin dances are examples). The oval extends to the four sides leaving the center and the four corners for the spot dancers. The width or thickness of the oval will vary according to the dance, but it is always there. In other words, room is always left for traveling dancers so the outside of the oval area is there for them.

     Likewise, even during the fastest traveling dances, i.e.: the Viennese Waltz, the four comers and the center is always there for spot dancers, only the center would be smaller. When looking toward the center of the floor, direction of travel (line of dance or LOD) is left to right.

2.  The traveling dancers have the right of way in the oval. Slow or spot dancers should not impede them by stopping in the traveling oval to do a swing or other spot dance. Do not stop to socialize in the traveling oval. Dancers on the floor always have the right of way.

3.  The spot dancers have the right of way in the spot areas, and traveling dancers should not cut across the spot areas. West Coast Swing slots parallel the floorboards, or the bandstand if there is no floorboard pattern.

4.  The outside of the oval is for the fastest dancers. Slower dancers should move toward the inside of the oval as soon as practicable. Please, do not impede the faster dancers, it is dangerous and impolite.

5.  Dance in a straight line or lane in the traveling oval. Do not zigzag and never cut across nor back up against the direction of travel.

6.  MEN - look where you are going! Do not blindly back up. When you bump into anyone, apologize and make sure no one is injured. Dancing is a neighborly and friendly, not a confrontal sport.

Lovers - driving has priority over eye gazing. Both deserve your undivided attention.

No food, drinks, gum or smoking on the floor!

Obeying the rules of the ballroom floor makes you a desirable partner, makes the dance safer and a lot more fun for everybody. Happy dancing!

Ed Dittell