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Invitational etiquette (was Pre-Booking)

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    Don MacQueen Oct. 10, 2001, 8:47 a.m. (Message 27831)

    I would like to add a corollary to Richard's very sensible sounding approach.
    
    A personal policy of mine, and one that I believe is generally 
    advised in our area,
    is this: if one declines an invitation to dance the next dance (for 
    any reason) it is
    then extremely rude to either accept a subsequent invitation to the 
    same dance, or
    issue an invitation to someone else to the same dance.
    
    [If the reason for the original refusal is because of a
    pre-booking, that would be the only exception I can think of, and the refusal
    would of course be accompanied by an apology. One of the reasons
    why I don't like pre-booking.]
    
    -Don
    
    At 5:12 PM -0400 10/9/01, xxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx wrote:
    >      A couple of years ago I was the one male who accompanied 3 or 4 local
    >dance lady friends to a far out of town tea dance, so it was somewhat
    >expected that I would at least dance with each of them in the afternoon,
    >and during intermission we arranged for that.  Alas, that ended up booking
    >the last 4 dances of the day.  Imagine my emrbarrassment when a lovely
    >young lady with the hosting group asked me to dance toward the end of the
    >program, and I had to decline for all the remaining dances of the day.  She
    >was rightfully miffed.
    >
    >      So now I have a new policy which I share with anyone I book a dance
    >with (other than the first and last for my favorite lady of course):  Yes
    >let's book a dance, and yes let's look for each other during the prior
    >dance, and yes let's try to get over to one another for the dance, BUT.. if
    >anyone stops us in between and asks for a dance before we can hook up, then
    >we accept, and thus avoid appearing rude or hurting someone's feelings.
    >Everyone I've used this caveat with has accepted it and thought it made
    >sense.  My significant other and I also use this approach for mid program
    >dances we have hoped to do together; we feel this especially important as
    >there are usually more women than men present, and she does not want to say
    >no to and potentially alienate a male requester who probably has many more
    >opportunities available to dance with the opposite sex than she.
    >
    >      And yes I admit to having been seen at times scurrying across the
    >dance floor determinedly with my head down and eyes averted.
    >
    >Richard Brown
    >Conklin, NY
    
    
    -- 
    -------------------------
    Don MacQueen
    xxxx@xxxx.xxx
    California, USA
    -------------------------
  • ...

    Mike Mudrey Oct. 10, 2001, 1:07 p.m. (Message 27835, in reply to message 27831)

    Don,
    I concur, proper ediquette requires that once one has turned dance an dance 
    with any individual, one has then turned down all subsequent request.
    
    And yes, I do occasionally pre-book...The first dance, the last dance,and 
    all waltzes were done with my  wife .
    
    Slightly different than you...my exception is when a set requires an 
    additional couple.
    
    Mike
  • ...

    Adam Hughes Oct. 10, 2001, 1:59 p.m. (Message 27837, in reply to message 27831)

    Don MacQueen wrote:
    
     > I would like to add a corollary to Richard's very sensible sounding
     > approach.
     >
     > A personal policy of mine, and one that I believe is generally advised
     > in our area,
     > is this: if one declines an invitation to dance the next dance (for any
     > reason) it is
     > then extremely rude to either accept a subsequent invitation to the same
     > dance, or
     > issue an invitation to someone else to the same dance.
     >
     > [If the reason for the original refusal is because of a
     > pre-booking, that would be the only exception I can think of, and the
     > refusal
     > would of course be accompanied by an apology. One of the reasons
     > why I don't like pre-booking.]
     >
     > -Don
    
    The other good reason for turning down an invitation to dance, is if you 
      have in the last few moments found a partner, but have been separated 
    from that person by a sudden urge to remove your jacket, or the 
    realisation that your lipgloss is in need of attention or, if the next 
    dance is announced very quickly after the last, that you can't continue 
    without a quick sip of water.
    
    And sometimes, someone will ask you to dance without realising that the 
    person standing next to you is intending to be your partner.  At many 
    balls I've been to it has been considered bad manners to line up on the 
    dance floor before the dance has been announced, but not bad manners to 
    find a partner and lurk "inconspicuously" at the edge of the floor. 
    Which leads to a 30 second period where everyone is bunched around the 
    edge of the floor asking everyone within arms reach to dance...
    
    Every refusal must have an apology, and I try and make an offer to look 
    for the person at some later stage.
    
    While I do agree that usually one should accept the invitation of the 
    first person to ask, I think there are exceptions, for example:
    
    1) I have been refused a dance by a friend, who wanted to rest for a 
    dance but was then asked onto the dance floor by the MC to complete that 
    last 5 couple set (or whatever).  While the MC could be criticised, I 
    don't hold it against the dancer.
    
    2) I turned down a dance with a friend at a beginners dance that we were 
    hosting, because I thought the two of us should go and find new people 
    to dance with.
    
    Adam
    Cambridge, UK.
  • ...

    seonaid.gent Oct. 10, 2001, 10:37 p.m. (Message 27845, in reply to message 27831)

    I used to attend a children's class which held a Ball every year.  On
    the night before the ball our teacher would go through a list of
    'rules'.  Her advice on accepting invitations was that the answer was
    yes, unless you had just been asked to dance or you had two broken
    legs, nothing else was acceptable.
    
    Seonaid

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