Dance Etiquette

The Sacramento Country Dance Society wants you to feel safe, respected, and included at our contra and English country dances.  We hope that you’ll enjoy yourself and return to dance with us again and again.


For newer dancers:

Relax and have fun. Mistakes are an expected part of learning, and experienced dancers will be happy to help if you get confused.

Consent is important to us. If you would rather not dance with someone, or if a partner invites you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, it’s OK to say no.

Most of us choose a different partner for each new dance. Both men and women can invite others to dance, including people they haven’t met yet.

If you want to sit down during a dance because you’re tired or confused, please try to wait until you reach the end of the line to avoid disrupting the dance. However, feel free to leave a dance at any time if you feel unsafe or have a medical problem.


For experienced dancers:

When dancing with someone you don’t know, be careful not to exceed their comfort level. If you’re not sure a twirl or fast spin will be welcome, ask first.

Be OK with mistakes. Show newcomers where to go by pointing or other gestures, not by touching them or speaking over the caller.

We encourage you to choose a new partner for each dance and to avoid booking ahead for the next dance.

Hold your partner’s hand with a loose grip, and never force anyone into a move. People may have injuries or physical limitations that you don’t know about.

Avoid lifting anyone, including children, off the ground without permission.

If a partner asks you not to do something, accept the refusal gracefully and move on.


For all dancers:

If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at our dance, please speak to anyone with a ribbon on their name badge as soon as possible, so we can address the situation. Or if you prefer, you can send an email to