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Standards & Dress Code

Standards & Dress Code

Our Philosophy

Because our first alliegence is to Jesus Christ, we want everything we do to be pleasing in His sight.
 
With this in mind, we train and encourage ALL participants to behave as ladies and gentlemen at all times.
 
A few guidelines
 
* Be encouraging to other guests both in word and actions.
 
* Be prepared to dance, not sit. We do not offer sitting classes, only dance classes. ;)
 
* Wear clothes that will stay comfortably in place even when you are movin' on the dance floor.
 
* Remember that to participate in one of our Spring Balls, you MUST attend a minimum of 3 dance classes in the Spring Program that begins in January each year.

Dress Code

Guys-
 
You have the easy part-
 
Class attire- Just come neatly attired and keep your pants from dragging below your boxer waistband please. Jeans are permitted.
 
Ball attire- Anything from Sunday Best to a Tuxedo is appropriate for High School level.
 
Junior Assembly Program- Class- same as HighSchool, spring Fling-Sunday Best , Coat & Tie requested but not manditory.
 
Gals-
 
A little more detailed
 
Class Attire- Modest tops w/no visable cleavage, walking shorts or longer length are permitted, no tank tops please, Shirt should be long enough to cover top of pants even when arms are raised over your head.
 
Ball Attire-
 
No tummys, backs, bare waists, or cleavage showing in classes or Ballrooms. This includes when you are dancing, so be sure to
raise your arms above your head in front of a mirror and double check your shirt length before coming to class. NO TANK TOPS. Todays styles can be challenging, but we want to be encouraging 
(not distracting) to the guys.
 
Ball attire-  High School level: Anything from Sunday Best to a Ballgown is appropraite.
 
Dress hems (or slits in dresses ) cannot  be higher than the top of the knee. Strapless and halter style gowns are permitted provided the back is not lower than the bottom of the shoulderblade and the front does not reveal cleavage. No keyholes, cutouts, open side, or see- through fabric on the body of the gown. Dresses or gowns whose style emulates lingerie- i.e. corsetted tops, etc. are not permitted.
 
Jr. Assembly level- Anything from Sunday Best to a Semi-Formal Dress is appropriate. Tea length to Ballet length recommended.
 
 
Anyone with dress code issues will be provided a loose t-shirt to wear for the evening.
 
Everyone-
It is always a good idea to wear leather or slick soled shoes for dancing or simply dance in your sock feet. Sneakers tend to stick rather than slide when you are trying to move on the dance floor. 

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Tips for choosing your formal attire
 
Guys-
 
You may wear a tuxedo or coat & tie.
In Fashion Men's Warehouse offers a discount to our students on the purchase of a tuxedo or a suit. They have classic as well as a little more funky styles. They are located on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna.
 
Several formalwear rental shops have once per year warehouse sales. Call a store to find out when their next warehouse sale begins.
 
Ladies-
 
The mall is always fun- but don't forget to check out the resale and consignment shops. Even thrift shops often have beautiful gowns that have been worn only once!
 
Remember to look at the discount retail outlets- Ross, TJ Max, Marshalls, etc.
 
Consider adding straps (many styles available at Sewing shops) to a strapless gown. While strapless is allowed within the dress code, it is often cumbersome to manage and keep in place as you spin and move on the dance floor.
 
If you sew or know a seamstress, this may be a wonderful way to have gown created just for you.
 
We have a limited number of ballgowns available for loan. If you have a dress you would like to offer as a "loaner", please bring it to class for girls to see. If you borrow a gown, we ask that it be returned within one week of the formal after being professionally cleaned. Don't forget to attach a thank you note! :)
 
 

WHAT IS THE GOAL?
 
One of the main goals of social dancing it having the opportunity to meet others and enjoy good company. With this in mind, your goal throughout the evening should be to look outward at who you can meet, encourage, and get to know.
 
Your choice of partners in both dance and coversation should be guided by sensitivity to making others feel special, valued, and important. An individual whose motivation is making the evening memorable for others, rather than self seeking pursuits, will always experience the more enjoyable and personally rewarding event.

Frequently Asked Questions
email your questions to  thedancingrits@yahoo.com

Why are there age restrictions?
 
Because home schooled students have the ability to adjust grade levels based on their abilities, there are often many ages in a single grade. To insure students are of appropriate ages for our programs, we follow the public school age requirements for our programs.
 
High School Students must be 14 before Sept 1 in order to participate.
 
Jr. Assembly Students  must be 11 by September 1 in order to participate.
 
 
Can I bring a date to the Ball?
 
High School Juniors and Seniors may invite a guest to attend as their date. The guest does not have to be a home school student but does have to attend the minimum 3 required dance classes. It should be noted, that unlike traditonal Proms, the vast majority of our attendees DO NOT bring a date.
 
Can public school students come to the Formal?
 
Only as the guest of a home schooled Junior or Senior and after attending the 3 class minimum between January and April of that Formal year.
 
How do we get a program started for our group, school, or club?
 
We offer our dance program throughout the Cherokee and Cobb County areas. You provide the location, and we provide all the instructors and instruction as well as assistance in coordinating your "end of Season Ball". Contact us at thedancingrits@yahoo.com for more information.
 
 


Manners Moments-
a guide to "doing it right"
 

Asking for a Dance

When asking for a dance, it is easiest to stay with traditional phrases:
  • ``May I have this dance?''
  • ``May I have this Waltz/Rumba/Foxtrot/etc.''
  • ``Would you like to dance?''
  • ``Care to dance?''
  • ``Shall we dance?''
In the past it has been the tradition that men asked women to dance. This custom has gradually changed. Today, women can feel equally comfortable asking a partner for a dance, even in a formal setting.

If your desired partner is with a group, be unambiguous and make eye contact when asking for a dance. If you vaguely approach a group, two individuals may think you are asking for a dance. You can imagine that the one not getting the dance is going to be disappointed. Avoid such awkward moments by a decisive approach and solid eye contact.

What if you want to ask someone to dance, who is enganged at the moment in a conversation? Is it acceptable to interrupt a conversation to ask someone to dance? Some would say that one's presence in a dancing establishment indicates a desire for dancing and everyone is fair game. Others say that interrupting a conversation is rude.

In my opinion, ask someone to dance if you think he/she is ready to dance and will enjoy dancing with you at that moment. This requires you to be a good judge of the moment. Also, if you know someone well enough to know they don't mind being interrupted, then go ahead and ask them.

Perhaps one way to handle this is to walk gently to the edge of your intended partner's "personal space", which is about 3-4 feet. It will give you an opportunity to ask them to dance. If your presence is not acknowledged, then it may be a good idea to find someone else for that dance.

Exercising courtesy, common sense, sensitivity, and social skills is always a good idea. N

Sometimes two individuals simultaneously ask someone for a dance. In that situation, dance etiquette recommends that the object of attention should accept one of the dances, while offering a later dance to the other one.

Whom to Ask

If each person were to dance with only one or two others, the social dynamics of dancing would  be completely compromised. For that reason, dance etiquette strongly encourages everyone to dance with many different partners. This is to ensure a diversity of partnerships on the floor, and to give everyone a chance to dance. Specifically, dance etiquette rules against asking the same partner for more than two consecutive dances.

One violation of this rule occurs when someone dances most of the night with their escort. The ruling of etiquette in this case is much the same as for the traditional (formal) dinner parties: one never sits down to dinner next to one's spouse. It is assumed that if spouses were interested primarily in talking with one another, they could have stayed home together.

By the same token, going to a social dance demonstrates a desire to dance socially. This means dancing with a host of partners, and not just with one or a select few. I have heard a version of this rule that reserves the first and last dance of the evening to be done with one's escort, and other dances with others.

You should avoid dancing with only those at your level of dance experience. Rather, you should try to dance socially with partners of all levels. Dance etiquette frowns disapprovingly on those who only dance with the best dancers on the floor. This considerd rude and bad form. Better dancers are especially advised to ask beginners to dance. Not only does this help the social dynamics of a dance, it also helps the more skilled dancer as they reach out to and encourage others.

Unfortunately, there are some social dancers who consider themselves too good to dance with beginners, who cannot ``keep up'' with their level of dancing.  Truly good dancers often seek the challenge of dancing with those at lower levels, and enjoy it. Gracious dancers make their partners look good, and enjoy the benefit of making many new friendships. 

Declining a Dance

Being declined is at times unavoidable. For beginners and shy individuals, the thought may discourage them from social dancing. However, Dance etiquette requires that one avoid declining a dance whenever possible. It is never acceptable to refuse an invitation on the basis of preferring to dance with someone else. The only graceful way of declining a dance is either (a) you do not know the dance, (b) you need to take a rest, or (c) you have promised the dance to someone else. 

When you must decline an invitation to  dance, you should always offer another dance instead: ``No, thank you, I'm taking a break. Would you like to do another dance later?'' Additionally, declining a dance means sitting out the whole song.

It is not permitted to dance a song with another individual after you have declined the dance with someone else. If you are asked to dance a song before you can ask (or get asked by) your desired partner, the choices are to dance it with whomever asked first, or to sit out the dance.

Does dance etiquette allow declining a dance outside of the cases mentioned above? The answer is yes, if someone is trying to monopolize you on the dance floor, make inappropriate advances, is unsafe (e.g. collides with others on the floor), or is in other ways unsavory, you are within the bounds of etiquette to politely but firmly decline any more dances. Perhaps the simplest, best way is to say ``No, thank you,'' without further explanation or argument. If a situation proves problematic, always inform the host or a chaperone for assistance in handling a difficult situation with sensitivity.

Being Declined

The first thing to do when one is turned down for a dance is to take the excuse at face value. Most social dances can be as long as three to four hours, and there are few dancers who have the stamina of dancing non-stop. Everyone has to take a break once in a while, and that means possibly turning down one or two people each time you takes a break. The advice to shy dancers and especially beginners is not to get discouraged if they are turned down once or twice.  
 

Accepting an invitation to dance:

This is the easy part. Simply smile and say : "Yes, thank you!" "I would love to." "I would be happy to." or something similar. If you were standing with another individual or group, be sure to excuse yourself before entering the dance floor.

At the end of the dance:

In the vast majority of cases, you will accept the offer to dance (or your request to dance will be accepted!) After the dance is finished and before parting, ALWAYS thank your partner. The proper response to your partner's "thank you" is not "your'e welcome", but rather:  ``Thank you!'' The point is that the thanks is not due to a favor, but to politeness and mutual appreciation.

If you enjoyed the dance, let your partner know. Compliment your partner on her/his dancing. Be generous, even if he/she is not the greatest of dancers. Be specific about it if you can: ``I really enjoyed that double reverse spin. You led/followed that beautifully!'' If you enjoyed it so much that you would like to have another dance with him/her again, this is a good time to mention it: ``This Waltz went really great! I'd like to try a Cha-Cha with you later.'' Remember however, that dancing many dances with the same partner or reserving many dances ahead are both poor dance form.

We hope to see you soon!

Glorifying Christ through the practice of
etiquette, manners, and the gift of dance.
PRAISE HIM WITH THE DANCE!