Happy Friday everyone, and thank you for your readership.
As we all know, tomorrow is the day of our first dance of the year, the Halloween Bash. Some of you may be dance veterans, but for others this may the first of many dances to come. Whether you are experienced with dances or just starting out, there are a few things we can all stand to remember. I present to you, the Do’s and Don’ts of a Dance.
Do brush your teeth and shower before the dance. You may think you smell fine as you’re getting ready, but remember that you are going to be in a room full of people dancing. It will get hot quickly, and so will you, so sweat and the potential for stinkiness will be on the rise. Brushing your teeth is of course a good practice because even if you do not dance with anyone, you may find yourself needing to lean closer to someone in order to talk over the music.
Don’t break dresscode. Everyone wants to have fun at a dance, including professors and prefects. When you break dresscode, you interrupt a Professor or Prefect’s night when they have to go ask you to change, and you interrupt your own night as well, as obviously you will be asked to leave the dance to change. To save yourself and others the inconvenience, double-check your outfit before the dance and make certain you are within the boundaries of the rules. See the upcoming article ‘Last Minute Costume Ideas’ if you need help.
Do meet your date prior to entering the Great Hall. Resist the temptation to rush in without them. Going ahead of your date may leave them standing outside the hall wondering where you could be, or entering the Great Hall looking for you instead of taking in the grandeur of the room, and all the hard work that went into decorating the hall. By entering together, you each have the opportunity to take it all in without worrying about where your date is – if they went in ahead of you, or if you left them behind.
Don’t be late to the dance without letting your date know. If you must be late, and these things do happen, send a message to your date that you will be late arriving and about how long it will be until they can expect you. If you are going to be more than fifteen minutes later than the time you agreed to meet your date, do not expect them to wait outside the hall for you. Let them know that it is alright for them to go on ahead, and that you will meet them when you arrive.
FOOD AND DRINK:
Do start your evening with a drink and a little food. You will want to remain energetic and well-hydrated as you dance, so this is a good practice, and also serves to move you through the hall rather than linger in front of the door. It also gives you an initial goal to accomplish, which can help ease the nervousness that can often accompany a dance. There are two good methods for retrieving your refreshments. One method is to find a table with open seats, and offer to gather refreshments for your date while they save your seats. This serves to reserve seats for yourself and your date, and also allows you to perform an ‘Act of Service’ for them, which is one of the five Love Languages. Another method is to gather your refreshments together before finding your seats with a simple, “Shall we get a drink?” or the even simpler, “Let’s grab some food,” thus allowing you to spend more time together, and more importantly, pick out the food that you want to eat rather than leaving it up to your date to potentially bring you something you don’t like.
Don’t expect your date to do everything for you. Even if you don’t want to gather refreshments for your date, unless your date suggests that you save seats, you should go with them to the refreshments table. Making an effort to ease your date’s burden shows that you are caring and unselfish, while plopping your rear down into a seat and waiting expectantly to be served demonstrates the opposite.
Don’t eat or drink too much. Remember you’re going to be moving around alot, and eating and drinking as much as you would at a normal meal is a recipe for sluggishness, stomach aches, and even vomiting.
Do dance with your date first. You went with your date for a reason, and even if they are taking their time to talk or eat before dancing, wait for them. You may be excited to get out onto the dance floor, but leaving your date behind to start dancing with others as soon as possible can make them feel abandoned. Remember they may be feeling nervous, so have patience and encourage them. The more relaxed they are, the sooner you can get out onto the floor.
Don’t keep your date waiting all night. You may be nervous, but remember they may be excited and ready to go. Steel your nerves or put aside any worry or grudge or other negative feeling you may be having and dance with them. Maybe they annoyed you earlier in the day or as you arrived, but the dance is only for one night, so forgive them and enjoy your time together.
Do talk to your friends, and even dance with them. It may be easy to become absorbed in your date’s eyes, but don’t spend the whole night staring into them. All relationships need a little attention, and that includes your friendships. Check in with your friends to see how their night is going. They will likely appreciate having someone to talk to for a few minutes, and it shows that you care.
Don’t ignore your date either. Your friend may be having an interesting night or telling hilarious jokes, but you made a commitment to spend time with your date when you asked or agreed to go with them. At the very least make an effort to involve your date in your conversations with your friends if they last more than the duration of a dance. Leaving your date hanging for twenty minutes while you chit chat and take turns dancing with friends is rude and can make your date feel neglected. Try to space out your dances with friends, remembering to return to your date every other dance.
Don’t get angry with your date for talking to or dancing with their friends. For some reason this is a common problem which has always confused Mr. Amortentia. Remember that your date does not need to be attached to your hip, and that their having a conversation with someone else is not akin to abandonment or cheating. If your date goes to speak with their friends, take the opportunity to speak with yours as well, or talk to them with your date.
Don’t snog on the dance floor. A kiss here and there is fine, but remember that there are people around you, and plenty that don’t want to see that. Snogging on the dance floor can also be a safety hazard, as you need to remain alert so as not to run into anybody as you dance. The dance floor is not a mosh pit.
Don’t kiss someone else’s date. Regardless of your reasons, if someone came with someone else, it’s poor form to kiss them. Even if you think they like you better than their date, or you think their date is a terrible person, that is still the person that they accepted going with, and they deserve their night. If you think someone fancies you better than their date, then you can speak to them the next day.
Don’t provoke a fight. This is a night for fun, and provoking a fight, no matter the reason, will disrupt not only your own night and the night of the person you’re fighting, but also the night of their friends, your friends, and the Prefects and Professors that have to deal with your nonsense. This is another good reason not to kiss someone else’s date, because doing so greatly increases the likelihood that you will be hexed.
Don’t rise to provokation. Regardless of how much the person provoking you deserves a right keelhauling, try to remove yourself from the situation as much as possible. Put distance between yourself and the other person if possible, and if you are pursued, moved toward a professor or prefect who should aid in diffusing the situation. You can worry about exacting revenge some other time.
DO have fun! Eat good food, dance, laugh, and have a great time.