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J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Line of Dance

The Line of Dance is a tradition for "rules of the road" on the dance floor that serves the same purpose as common rules for our roadways. Disregard of the Line of Dance results in the same kind of chaos that we have when drivers disregard rules of the road. If your dance venue is chaotic, a major contributor is likely disregard of the traditional Line of Dance.

For experienced dancers, such neglect is as offensive as persons who disregard general traffic guidelines when driving. Though likely as much a product of ignorance as deliberate disregard, the consequences are the same: collisions, unpredictable traffic, and occasional injury.

Direction. Dance flow should be counterclockwise. Never progress counter to the this direction unless there is clearly sufficient space to avoid interfering with other dancers.

Fast Lane. The outermost periphery of the dance floor is for fast progressive dancers. Whatever your pace on the dance floor, if you find yourself in fast traffic, move nearer the center of the floor.

Slow Lane. If the dance floor is large enough to accommodate two outside lanes, slower progressive dancing should be confined to this area. Most of the better dance venues have ample room for two outside lanes.

Center Floor. Conversations and non-progressive dances should only be done near the center. Even if a dance style is dominated by non-progressive dancers, where possible, leave an outside lane open for those who might prefer a progressive style. This is particularly important with music that easily accommodates both foxtrot and swing, for example.

Persons who gather at the periphery to "avoid interfering with dancers" simply demonstrate their naiveté or their disregard of protocol. They should either move off the dance floor or move to the center of the floor.

Line of Dance Flyers as PDF Files

The following links provide PDF documents for a two-sided flyer
that is free to any non-profit dance organization.
For-profit entities should contact
J M Nelson at for permission.

Generic Version
Line of Dance Front - Line of Dance Back

Texas Version
Line of Dance for Texans Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.