All You Ever Need To Know About Relationships Can Be Learned in a Dance Class

This list comes from a group that’s far removed from the country dance world—”bop” is an inclusive term for related couple dances including swing, lindy, jitterbug, and shag—but it’s fascinating how so many of the guidelines offered here apply to contras, squares, or English country dance.

Published by American Bop Association in November, 2003 Newsletter

  1. Lead her GENTLY and she’ll follow you anywhere. (For every ACTION there is an equal and opposite REACTION.)

  2. Never CRITICIZE YOUR DANCE PARTNER. The only person you can even consider fixing is YOU. (The person who is responsible for making the adjustment is the one who knows an adjustment is needed.)

  3. A lead is an INDICATION of some desired direction. (It’s a SUGGESTION, not DEMAND.)


  4. A dance PARTNERSHIP is 50/50. BOTH partners are equally responsible for the outcome of the partnership. (Know your part.)

  5. If either of us insists on knowing who is right and who is wrong about our dancing, “WE BOTH LOSE”.

  6. The FIRST rule in learning dancing or something new is “DON’T HURT ANYBODY” that you might be dancing with.

  7. BE SENSITIVE to your partner and never blame or ridicule. YOU can make it right. (Don’t adjust your partner, adjust YOURSELF.)

  8. While you are dancing, always try to concentrate on WHAT is right rather than WHO is right.

  9. TEAMWORK gets the most points. YOU are judged by how good you can make your PARTNER look.

  10. A good PARTNERSHIP requires patience, understanding and an awareness of the partner.

  11. Stay FOCUSED

  12. The way to help a partner improve is to do YOUR part so well that you know that you are not part of the PROBLEM.

  13. Listen to the MUSIC around you. Life is a JOY when we are both in step to the same MUSIC.

  14. PRAISE works wonders. Always applaud The LITTLE THINGS and the bigger things will follow.

  15. Every dance is a FIVE-MINUTE RELATIONSHIP. If someone can’t complete one whole dance without criticizing, it’s highly probable that when the music stops, the criticism won’t.

  16. We frequently judge others, not by who they are, but by who WE are when we are with them. Make your partner FEEL WONDERFUL.