The dance proceeds counter-clockwise around the dance floor, referred to as the ronda, line-of-dance, or sometimes abbreviated LOD. Typically there is an outside lane and if the floor is crowded second and third inside lanes may form.
Navigating in a cooperative way helps everyone feel safe and able to focus on their partners and the dance. Bad navigation causes other dancers to spend their time protecting their partners from potential harm. Here are some tips for good navigation:
- Leaders entering the floor when people are dancing should make eye contact with the leader that they want to enter in front of. Do not enter until you make eye contact with a leader already dancing and he signals it is okay to enter the floor in front of him. Followers, leaders are responsible for your safety. Allow your leader to take you on to the dance floor when he decides it is safe.
- Share the dance floor responsibly. Leaders stay aware of the couples around you. Dance forward at the speed of the couple in front of you. Do not tailgate the couple in front of you, if possible, keep a two step gap between you and the couple in front of you. Move into any gap in front of you, so that those behind you have room to move forward.
- Adjust the amount of space you use to how crowded the floor is. When the floor is very crowded, keep your steps small, keep your feet on the floor (e.g. no high boleos), and don’t leave large gaps between you and other couples. If the floor is less crowded, increase the distance between couples and you may choose to take steps that use more room.
- Stopping for long periods of time to do numerous dance patterns is rude since it stops the line of dance and will frustrate leaders behind you.
- Only pass a couple under extreme circumstances. If a couple in front of you stops, be patient and dance in place until they move. If they are there for a very long time, you can choose to dance around them if you have space.
- Avoid changing lanes. Do not weave in and out of lanes. Never cut across the floor.
- Never back up against the line of dance.