My remarks are directed primarily at the women and men of the Independent State of Caledon. (I make no judgment as to whether ladies and gentlemen need this reminder.)
At Victorian dances, as in the least sphere of Victorian life, both public and private, there were a host of rules for the regulation of social intercourse. While we in Caledon draw our inspiration from those beloved times, I will not detail the multitudinous ways in which the rules of Victorian conduct are ill-suited for direct application to our Second Lives. (Some Victorian practices, indeed, would be against the Terms of Service.) Let it suffice to say that I don’t find “they did it that way” to be sufficient justification, in and of itself, for prescribing (or proscribing) our behavior today.
And as to our behavior in these neo-Victorian and Steampunk days.
I do not believe it is ever polite for anyone, of either sex, to make comments about who is or isn’t dancing at any Caledon social venue, whether it be a formal ball or a rave, nor to comment upon anyone’s choice of dance partner. If you wish to dance, and have not been asked, then I suggest you invite someone to dance. If you do not know anyone currently unengaged, simply introduce yourself and ask if you may make their acquaintance by sharing a dance. By doing so, you may help a newcomer feel more welcome in Caledon, or begin to draw a shy or retiring Caledonian into a new social milieu that is frequently both lag-ridden and overstimulating.
3 Replies to “Dance etiquette, then and now”
Well said sir. I have met and made many new friends–such as you, for instance–from just asking someone new to dance with me at a dance card ball. And yes, commentary about one’s choice (or lack of) dance partner is quite impolite…
Hear, hear. Well spoken, sir!
I always ask people for a dance, preferably in IMs so that they can gracefully accept or decline w’out the pressure of saying so in public. One’s first concern would be to never bring someone in an awkward position, especially at a Caledon ball!
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