Recommended Guidelines

Dance events are most successful when everyone follows guidelines and etiquette to keep others safe and comfortable. These are the guidelines I strongly suggest for every convention formal I host, whether they are posted by the con itself or not. Please be aware that the convention's code of conduct always applies in addition to my suggestions. If you have any questions, email ballroom@trickssi.com.

  1. Please make sure to drink water. Find out before the event if water stations will be inside the room; if not, plan to bring a water bottle. You will need it.
  2. Take breaks when you need them! Spending hours dancing plus walking around a convention all day is going to be draining for anyone, so please take care of yourself.
  3. Before coming to the convention, check to see if the event has a dress code. If it does, make sure you have something to wear that is in compliance with it. Many venues have strict guidelines for footwear to protect their floor. I encourage you to practice moving around in your outfit before coming to the dance, to find out if it restricts your movement, may trip you up, or if there's a risk for a wardrobe malfunction.
  4. Adhere to hygiene and sleep guidelines. Make sure you're well-rested; showering, deodorant, and overall cleanliness are important when asking people to dance!
  5. The dance floor is for dancers only. Anyone standing and conversing will be asked to move to the side areas of the room. Beyond not interrupting the flow of dance, this is for your own safety as well!
  6. If you'd like to be asked to dance, try standing towards the front or on the direct sidelines of the floor, to indicate you're interested. If you're sitting down or standing in the very back of the room, it looks as if you're unavailable.
  7. Along the lines of rule #6, never feel as if you're required to bring your own partner, or you can't attend unless you have a designated partner. Your dance partner does not necessarily have to be a romantic partner, and you shouldn't expect to meet your Prince/Princess/Royal Charming at an event like this one. We're here to have fun and dance as a community! Please respect everyone's reasons for dancing! This is something I discuss in my panels, and I've gone into more detail here.
  8. Anyone may ask anyone to dance, and anyone may dance lead/follow! Please ask your partner what their preference is, or tell them of yours if you can only do one or the other. An easy way to bring this up is to not only ask, "Would you like to dance?" but also, "How would you like to dance? Gender/gender-role policing based on appearance will not be tolerated.
  9. If someone asks you to dance, you may choose to decline for any reason. However, it's polite to sit out the entire dance in that case. (For example, if you say "no" to someone who asked first and then "yes" to the person standing next to them, it wouldn't make them feel very good.) If someone asks you to dance and you decline, but that person won't respect your wishes and you feel that you are being harassed, please reach out to a staff member or contact security.
  10. No lifts. No large group circles. No moves that endanger others. This is very important. These kind of moves are best suited to showcase performances. Even if you are well-trained, you are sharing a floor with dancers of varying degrees of skill and experience. I want everyone to enjoy themselves at these events, and being accidentally knocked down or hit in the face is definitely not fun. If you're doing something that could be dangerous but is not listed above—such as waving your arms around without looking first—I will ask you to stop. Please understand that this is a safety issue, and not a reflection on you as a dancer.
  11. Please follow the Dance Floor Etiquette image below. Line of dance means the leader is facing and traveling counter-clockwise on the floor. Some songs might have two or more dances that can be done simultaneously, so pay attention to where spot dances vs. traveling dances are. I will have a presentation playing along with the music, which will provide guidance as to what dance(s) you might want to dance to each song. Also please note that new dancers should stick toward the inside, as more experienced dancers are more likely to use the outside of the floor. Thank you to the FanimeCon Black & White Ball staff for allowing our use of this graphic! Do not repost or share without permission.

© Fanime Black & White Ball.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you play this song for me? I really like dancing to it.

You are welcome to submit song requests before an event if there's something you'd like to hear. Please note that these playlists are often finalized at least a month in advance! Also, please keep in mind that not all songs are suitable for social ballroom dancing; they're subject to relative ranges of BPM (beats per minute). If you suggest a well-researched style of dance for the song you submit, it's more likely to be chosen, whereas if you request something that doesn't match any ballroom/Latin/club partner dance style, it probably won't make it on the list.

I liked that one song! What was the name of it?

After any event I host, the playlist you heard will be published on this site (in the past playlists section), and I'll cross-post it on social media as well.

I don't like the songs that are being played. What do I do?

I account for ten or more styles of ballroom dance as well as contemporary line dances at any event I host, to provide a mix of music styles. Additionally, most of the songs are derived from Japanese anime, gaming, or pop culture. If you come to one of my events expecting to hear forty "Once Upon a Decembers," you're going to be disappointed. (And I recommend visiting a Viennese Waltz ball!) Trust my degree in music and extensive experience in ballroom dance—I'm giving you the best musical experience for the most people at a time that I can! If the event is not for you, you are welcome to leave with no hard feelings.

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