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Etiquette of swing dancing

Asking someone to dance

In the world of swing dance, it is perfectly acceptable for any leader to ask any follower for a dance, and also for any follower to ask any leader. It is perfectly OK for the newest beginner to ask the most experienced dancer in the room (in fact, it's a good idea for beginners to have at least a few dances with more experienced people).

It is completely normal for everyone to dance with lots of other people.

Sometimes, someone may politely say 'no', or more commonly ask to rest for this one song and dance the next, either because they are tired or because the current song is too fast/ slow for them. If you have refused someone's request, it is VERY rude to accept the request of another person for that song - even if you think you have good reasons for doing so.

In swing dances, it was always common for women to dance with women and men with men (think of the Nicholas Brothers - use YouTube if you have not seen them). Having said that, only a few male dancers can follow at all well, and it tends to be only the more experienced men who dance with each other, and even then it is typically in an energetic, comedic style that is rather different from the way they dance with women.