In this post I am going to explain my position and also how I manage a crowd to maintain it as it relates to age 14, slow songs and couples too close.
My usual help for a dance was not available, so I grabbed my 10 year old daughter to help me setup and tear down. This also gave us some daddy-daughter time.
While at the dance, a thoughtful young man asked her to dance. I would say, if I were in his shoes I would have done the same. But the standard I have is under 14 cannot dance to slow songs so I kindly declined him and took his spot. While we were dancing, I took the time to teach her the proper hand positioning – ballroom style.
The explanation to this is simple. I want to delay the exposure as long as possible and I want that exposure to be fitting for my princess when it happens. For this reason, when I do dances or parties for youth under 14, I do not play slow songs. The standard is “When dancing, avoid full body contact or intimate positions with your partner.” It is hard to enforce this standard. You also place yourself in a difficult position when you play slow songs for youth under 14 as they may not be ready for this type of exposure.
At another event, there were several couples “hug” dancing. I would suppose it was because they were not used to the standards so I made an announcement, “when slow dancing, please use the ballroom style position.” I noticed one couple – I could only guess were madly in love – embraced and rocking back and forth to every slow song. I kindly approached them and asked that they adhere to the standards of the event. They did not, so I sent a chaperon to help the couple understand the correct dance position.
Hug dancing is too intimate of a position for anyone to use in public. It removes the social aspect of a dance as those who engage too closely are exclusive and those who dance that way by default with everyone turn off those who know proper positioning.
The best way to manage these is pre-dance education and a meeting with your chaperons to teach proper dance technique. It is nice when chaperons are in couples so they can take the couple out of line and teach.
Do you know a better group management technique? Share it in the comments.