FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dance Floor Etiquette
Talking is great - just not on the dance floor. Please talk with your body, not your voice. Take any urgent conversation outside.
Wear comfortable, layered clothing that allows you to move freely.
We request that you leave all devices off the dance floor. Please do not text or Shazam music during sessions. You can always approach the teacher after the session for information on a specific track of music.
Joyful enthusiasm and exertion are always welcome and encouraged. For the safety of everyone in the room, please no lifting people off their feet or swinging others around on our crowded dance floors.
Not everyone wants to dance with others. Someone who you've danced with before may not want to partner later, even on the same day.
Be sensitive to the cues of others. Touching without permission if often unwelcome. Here are some ways to check non-verbally if partnering is wanted:
Make eye contact.
Notice if they are moving towards or away from you
Raise a thumb up and down if you're not sure
Take responsibility for communicating your own boundaries. Here are some additional steps if you don't want to dance with someone.
Give a clear message with your body. (turn your back, close your eyes, or move away)
If non-verbal cues aren't working, say a simple “no thank you.”
Consider approaching the person after dance. Let them know how the interaction felt to you. We want to educate each other and not everyone is equally skilled at reading people’s boundaries.
Ask for support from the person at the front desk or any crew whose photo is displayed at the door. We take these matters seriously. Please know we will do our best.
Finally, if it still continues, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Explain what steps have been taken and we will assist you in reaching an appropriate resolution.
Please arrive on time. We close the doors a half an hour after the start of all events. For workshops, arrive 15 minutes before the start of each day.
Injuries, Sensitivities and Emergencies
Chairs are available on the dance floor to use as support. Our rooms welcome dancers of all abilities and encourage you to care of yourself.
All our events are scent-free.
Our teachers use a decibel reader to be sure the sound level is safe. We provide earplugs in the first-aid bag at all of our sites.
If you are expecting an urgent call, you may leave your phone with our front desk. We will come find you on the dance floor in case it rings.
What to expect on the Open Floor
Our dance floor is a place for learning. All music has something to offer us. Noticing your preferences is a potent awareness practice.
All Open Floor events begin with a warm-up. This is a time for you to transition from traveling to being present in the room. The teacher will play music and you can stretch, walk, dance in whatever way brings warmth and movement to your body. The choreography comes from inside of you and out through your unique creative expression.
At workshops and classes, the teacher will offer clear and simple instructions to guide you throughout the session.
At Community Dances, the teacher will play arrival music, followed by a short introduction/induction, and some awareness principles to bring to your practice. This is followed by a long set of uninterrupted music. There are no instructed steps to follow.
If you are not sure what do, here are some things to try:
Stay present With any meditation practice, interference happens – expect it. Gently bring your attention back to movement.
Pace yourself Listen to yourself and don't be concerned with what others are doing. If you relax and follow the music, just like a swimmer treading water, you’ll recharge.
Challenge yourself If you usually dance alone, try inviting someone else to dance. If you prefer dancing with a partner, try going solo. Change your tempo. Break a habit. Imitate someone. Create your own remix of other moves by fellow dancers.
It’s not about the music The songs simply are there to inspire your movements. Love it or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Use everything as nourishment for your dance.
Don’t give up There are times when we all tire out, get uncomfortable, bored, or self-conscious. Use that as a time to focus on moving just one body part until a change occurs. Most often, it will.
Enjoy yourself Excessive seriousness will slow you down.
Leave valuables in your car. Bring water and layers. For obvious reasons, we don’t allow glass bottles on the dance floor.
Workshops: Advanced registration is required.You can pay online or by phone for all workshops (415.887.9399).
Classes: Class payment must be made in advance.
Community Dances: Available by Subscription only.
What is Open Floor Movement Practice?
Open Floor is a dance practice, a high-spirited moving meditation done in the company of others. Our offerings are geared for anyone: newcomers and those well-versed in embodiment.
Open Floor classes and workshops teach us to mine the body’s innate intelligence and resilience. We dance alone, with others, as a group. We make time to enjoy moving to great music from all over the world. With the teacher’s guidance, we experiment with themes that can feel challenging, playful, fascinating, thought provoking, and ultimately, enlivening and fun. Often at the end of a session we will rest and reflect.
Everything we teach on the Open Floor is meant to build healthy relationships and embodied resources both on and off the dance floor.
What could be more valuable than seeing ourselves and others through a more compassionate lens? Despite our apparent differences, dance is one thing that every culture shares. Every human body is wired to respond to music, from toe tapping, to rocking in prayer, to wild abandon. It’s in our very nature, and a potent way for people of any background, gender, nationality, age or ability to communicate.
Life is better when we dance.
Current research shows that headphones do not protect babies' hearing as excessive sound waves are conducted through the skull. For this reason, we do not allow children under 10 to attend our events. Please note it is important that the parent is with the child at all times and engaging in the movement practice. Hide and go seek, chase, and games are distracting to other dancers.
If a child is between 10-13 years old and accompanied by an adult, they are welcome to dance for $5. Teens age 13 - 18 can attend on their own for $5.