Ceilidh-goers are being encouraged to dance on both sides as part of a new inclusive etiquette guide by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS).
The group said it wanted to create a space where people can “feel comfortable and safe at our events”.
“We encourage all dancers to explore dancing on both sides of the dance,” its guide reads.
“While you may develop a preference for one side, being able to dance on either side is a useful skill.
“Be aware that you may want to clarify with someone which side they would prefer to dance on when you ask them to dance, just to avoid confusion.”
The RSCDS asks dancers to ask their partners for prior agreement when adding extra birls, twirls and spins.
It also asks those at events to respect other people’s boundaries.
“If you don’t want to dance with someone, you can say ‘no, thank you’ and you don’t need to explain,” the RSCDS says.
“You may then ask or say yes to someone else if you want to. You can stop dancing with anyone at any time.
“If you ask someone to dance and they say no, respect the decision and ask someone else.
“No one is obliged to dance with you.”
It adds: “Remember, no means no.”
And unless someone specifically asks for feedback country dancers are urged not to correct people’s dancing on the social dance floor.
Leave that for the teacher, the RSCDS says.
The full guide can be found here.
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