The Dos And Don'ts Of Dancefloor Etiquette

A handy guide of how to behave next time you're on the floor.

Ah, the joy of the nightclub dancefloor

Scenes of unbridled self expression, passion and hedonism. Magical spaces of joy, acceptance and transcendence, where you can express the true inner beauty of your soul by shaking what your maker gave you. The dancefloor is a special place, where the normal rules of society don’t apply.

However, just because the boundaries around what is considered normal or appropriate behaviour definitely start to shift once the sun goes down, entering a nightclub shouldn’t mean that we instantly drop all claims to being civilised. There are still a few rules, an unspoken code of basic etiquette. Let's start with the simple stuff:

The Dancefloor Is Not A Corridor

People need to walk round the edge of the dancefloor and stop messing up everyone's groove with their stumbling ineptitude. "Oh sorry bro" they mumble as they pile straight into you, spilling their warm lager on your sleeve before slime-ing you with sweat.  It’s simple, go round the edge.

Perhaps you live in a really weird house with huge wide corridors decked out with a Funkion 1 sound system, smoke machines, strobe lighting and an over-priced cloak room, and that's why you think the dancefloor is a corridor. Or maybe the dancefloor isn't a corridor and your house is pretty messed up.

How hard can this be to figure out? Well judging by the amount of people who spend their nights at clubs simply bumbling through the packed dancefloor like a wounded calf stumbling through a field, very. Remember people, stick to the edges, be a groove facilitator, not a wounded calf.

Be Careful Of The Line

This one applies to everyone in the club, the DJ, the punters on the dancefloor, door staff, cloakroom goblins, everyone. There is a very fine line between embracing the true hedonism, abandon and transcendence that a great club night can bring - and going too far, losing it and attracting the attention of the local constabulary, ambulance service or organised crime gang.

It's such a fine line that it's sometimes very hard to discern in a dark, strobe-ridden club, which is probably why so many people regularly step over it.

Put Your Phone Away

Phones really aren't needed on the dancefloor. In fact, the only place for a phone in a nightclub should be in the queue outside when you’re chasing up your mates who have had a pre-drink over-indulgence. That’s it.

The constant documenting of nights out in clubs, the selfies, the self-congratulatory status updates and all the self-absorption that it involves is killing the atmosphere dead. Every person in the club contributes to the atmosphere so if a sizeable proportion are lost in their phones, it can genuinely suck the energy out of the room.

Stop arranging your face into its very best I'm-having-a-brilliant-super-sexy-time expression in order to document it and actually go and have the brilliant super sexy time instead.

Painful Dancing

We're a welcoming bunch, us underground clubbers. All types, all shapes and sizes are welcome at the party, just as long as you bring a decent attitude. See, we're all packed in together on this dancefloor, just casually going about our business of dancing away the stresses and strains of our 9 - 5 working week, so if you keep smacking people and knocking drinks out of their hands in the course of your grooving, maybe take a five minute break.

Head out to the smoking terrace, with a bit of luck you'll get into a long rambling conversation with a steaming stranger and leave the dancefloor a violence free area. Remember, dancing that causes injury or distress to others isn't cool.

Creeping Is Never A Good Look

We all know you're super sexy, especially when you get your groove on, but not everyone is in the club is there to pick up, so maybe don't try and hump everything you see.

Hang Up The Special Request Line

Make sure you keep the DJ up to date with your requests by typing them into your phone and holding up the screen to their face whilst they’re mixing - pretty much all DJs love that. Or maybe just leave them alone and let them do their job. Yeah?

Be A Mate

We all have that one friend who ends up crossing the line at some point in the evening - when it is eventually “Line-time”, do us all a favour and take them home.

And finally, a true hardcore nightclubber knows: you don't wait for the bass to drop - you make the bass come to you…

Read or Dos And Don'ts Of DJ Booth Etiquette here

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Written by Harold Heath

23 Feb 2016