How to Dance at a Middle School Dance: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (2024)

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1Trying out Slow Dancing

2Showing off Your Moves

3Having Fun at the School Dance

4Dressing up for Your Dance

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Co-authored byYolanda Thomas

Last Updated: July 28, 2023Approved

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Years of movies and television have shown dances as a time where everyone is at their best, so it’s natural to think you might have to go above and beyond for your middle school dance. The good news is that your friends and classmates are thinking the same thing. You can be one step ahead of the curve by recognizing dancing and the dance itself for what it really is - a fun event to spend time with your friends and make new ones!

Part 1

Part 1 of 4:

Trying out Slow Dancing

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  1. 1

    Approach who you want to dance with and just ask if they can dance with you. Many slow dance songs will require a dance partner, which may be a little nerve-wracking the first time through. All you have to do is ask “Want to dance with me?” Anything more is often unnecessary.[1]

    • If the other person accepts your offer to dance, choose whatever open spot on the floor is available.
    • If someone declines your offer to dance, don’t push as to why. Simply say “Okay” or “No problem” and move on. There may be multiple reasons why that person does not want to dance, and plenty of other people are available.
    • If you’re a girl, it’s accepted practice for girls to ask guys to dance with them. In fact, you may be surprised how many guys prefer it![2]
  2. 2

    Place your hands on your slow dancing partner. While there are some slow dances that have you simply holding hands, these songs are usually seen as “old-fashioned.” Nowadays, where you put your hands depends on your dance partner’s gender.

    • Girls often place their arms around their dance partner’s shoulders or hang their arms around the partner’s neck.
    • Boys should place hands on their dance partner’s waist or around their back.
    • If you are dancing with someone who is the same gender or nonbinary, it will depend on who places their hands first. The second dancer will follow the first’s lead.


  3. 3

    Mind the distance between you and your partner when dancing. If you are not sure how far or close you should be with your dance partner, the best thing to do is ask them early on. A simple “Is this okay?” will be fine and can help save you some embarrassment.

    • Take a moment to look down at where your partner’s feet are. You won’t have to move much when slow dancing, so not stepping on anyone’s toes will be simple.
    • Different schools have different ideas about what is “ok” in terms of distance between dance partners. If you’re not sure about your school, look at how other dancers are spacing themselves apart.
  4. 4

    Thank your dance partner after the song finishes. It is common practice to thank your dance partner for the chance to spend time with them. Again, don’t think too much about what to say, a simple “That was fun” or “Thanks for dancing with me” will suffice.

    • While it’s not taboo to ask the same person to dance to another song, it’s best not to do so right away. Until then, try dancing with other people.
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Part 2

Part 2 of 4:

Showing off Your Moves

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  1. 1

    Keep things simple during your first dance. If this is your first time dancing, don’t try out complicated moves you might have seen in a music video. No one is expecting you to do so, and many of your classmates are probably thinking too much about how they look themselves.[3]

    • Try to blend in by mimicking your classmates’ movements. Most DJs at your middle school dance will probably play simple, high energy songs with an identifiable rhythm.
    • If a song comes up that has a certain dance associated with it, don’t panic! Take a step back and watch the specific motions your classmates perform. If it seems like too much at once, there’s nothing wrong with sitting it out.
  2. 2

    Warm up to dancing with the two-step. The two-step is one of the most basic moves in dancing. You will probably see your classmates do the two-step without even knowing what it is. For most people, the two-step is enough dancing to get by.[4]

    • Move your right leg to the right, and then have your left leg move until it meets the right leg. Then, repeat the motion in reverse with the left leg. Move your legs to the rhythm of the music.
    • To switch things up, you can try the triangle two-step, where your foot moves back to form a triangle, then moves forward to its original position. Repeat with the other leg, again to the rhythm of the song.
  3. 3

    Plant your feet and focus on rhythm with the bounce. If the dance floor is a little crowded - or you just don’t want to step on anyone’s toes - you can keep dancing with the bounce. The bounce is easier than the two-step, all you have to do is bob your body to the beat.

    • Once you get used to the bounce, you can mix it up by changing how intense the bounce is, how much you sway your arms, and bobbing your head a bit more.
  4. 4

    Move your arms back and forth to the beat. Many new dancers are not sure what to do with their arms even if they have the rhythm down. One easy rule to follow is always keeping one arm raised up, with the other raised down.

    • At every beat, your arms should switch position. If your left arm is up and your right is down, move your right arm up at the next beat while dropping your left.
    • Make sure your arms are separated from your body! You don’t want to keep them too close to your chest, otherwise you’ll look stiff.
  5. 5

    Avoid showing off if you already know how to dance. While it may feel great to pull off a flip in front of everyone, many of your classmates can feel intimidated when you steal the spotlight.

    • As an experienced dancer, you have the opportunity to encourage others to dance with you. It may be tempting to correct your classmates on-the-spot, but doing so is more likely to discourage them. Compliments towards others' dancing can make for a more fun night for everyone.
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Part 3

Part 3 of 4:

Having Fun at the School Dance

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  1. 1

    Dance with your friend group. A lot of people at the middle school dance will want to try dancing with someone they like, but don’t count your friend group out! Sometimes, getting on the floor with your friends is enough for a fun night.

    • Be aware of your surroundings, and be courteous to other people. Don't spread out so much that others don't have room to dance.
  2. 2

    Take breaks from dancing when you feel tired. Your school dance will probably last several hours, and you don’t want to exhaust yourself early on. Make sure to give yourself some rest between dances so you can keep up the energy.

    • Hydration is most important when it comes to taking care of yourself. Your school should have tables nearby where you can get glasses of water for free.[5]
    • If you need a break from being around people, ask a chaperone where you can go outside and breathe some fresh air. Sometimes a little alone time is all you need to get back into the groove!
  3. 3

    Don’t worry about feeling judged when you are dancing. It warrants repeating that almost everyone in the room is going to be just as nervous as you are during the school dance. If other people see you dance, they are often more inclined to join in when they see how much fun it is![6]

    • On the rare chance that someone is causing trouble during the school dance, inform a chaperone immediately. It is likely they are bothering other people as well.
    • Be confident in yourself and don't let others get you down. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.[7]
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Part 4

Part 4 of 4:

Dressing up for Your Dance

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  1. 1

    Choose a dress or uniform that is comfortable for you. Even if the middle school dance is themed as formal or semi-formal, you want to make sure you pick an outfit that you are comfortable moving in. The fanciest dress or tuxedo won’t mean much when it feels too stiff or heavy.

    • Girls who are preparing for a formal event can choose form fitting dresses, sundresses, maxi-skirts, and skirts with matching shoes. Take care that the uniform is not too revealing, as the middle school dance chaperone may stop you from entering.
    • Boys who want to look formal can wear slacks, dress pants and dress shoes. Make sure the outfit isn’t too tight and that the shoes are not constricting, otherwise your feet will get sore quickly.
    • If the dress code is casual, both boys and girls can get by with a simple shirt and jean combo with comfortable footwear like loafers, sneakers, or boat shoes.
    • Don’t feel as if you are trapped with your gender when it comes to clothing. If the school allows it, girls can wear tuxedos and boys can wear skirts if doing so feels better.
  2. 2

    Avoid graphic tees, open-toed shoes, and clothes that show too much skin. There are certain outfits or clothes that are simply not allowed or advisable regardless of the dance rules. For example, if you wear open-toed shoes, someone may accidentally step on your toes, which will hurt!

    • If you really want to wear a graphic tee, make sure it's not offensive. If you won't wear it to school, then don't wear it to the dance.
    • Many dances have a dress code. Double-check with your school to find out what it is.
  3. 3

    Style your hair to complete your look. Looking nice isn’t just about wearing the right clothes - your hair plays a large role as well. Taking the time to wash, condition, and style your hair can help boost your confidence at the dance.

    • If you have short hair, style it with some pomade while it is still damp, just after you finish your shower.
    • If you have longer hair, choose a style that can tuck your hair into a bun so you have more freedom moving around.
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Community Q&A


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  • Question

    I don't want people at my school to think me and my friend (who's a boy) are going out. We just want to dance like normal friends because we are too young for dating. Should I dance with him or just dance with my girlfriends?

    How to Dance at a Middle School Dance: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (22)

    Community Answer

    If you want to dance with him, you should do it. People may think you're dating, but people may already think that just because you're friends. Just tell them, "We're just friends and we wanted to dance together. Mind your own business, please." If you really don't want to deal with the comments, just dance with your girlfriends.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
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    Not Helpful 28Helpful 119

  • Question

    How can I make sure that everyone stares at me when I enter the dance?

    Community Answer

    I suggest walking with a group of people. It may help to be near a lot of people when you're making your entrance. (Talk to them as well.) Also, make sure you have a nice walk; don’t look sloppy or sad. Look confident and fierce!

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


    Not Helpful 18Helpful 100

  • Question

    Are people allowed to slow dance at an 8th grade dance?

    How to Dance at a Middle School Dance: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (24)

    Community Answer

    Yes, usually you'll be allowed to slow dance, as long as you don't dance too close and you keep your hands away from anywhere that could be deemed inappropriate.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


    Not Helpful 16Helpful 95

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      • If you believe you are feeling more nervous or anxious than normal about dancing, or feel frozen about the idea of dancing, it’s possible you may have chorophobia. This condition - which is a psychological fear of dancing - is very rare, but does exist. Consult with your family doctor if you believe this applies to you. [8]


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      • Don’t forget to maintain eye contact and smile when dancing with a partner. In this case, the adage “fake it till you make it” holds true.


        Helpful7Not Helpful1

      • If at any time you feel too awkward or nervous to dance, it can help to remember that almost everyone else feels the same way. Once you realize most people don’t care how you look when dancing, it can feel easier to jump in.


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      Show More Tips

      Tips from our Readers How to Dance at a Middle School Dance: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (25)

      The advice in this section is based on the lived experiences of wikiHow readers like you. If you have a helpful tip you’d like to share on wikiHow, please submit it in the field below.

      • If you just started dating someone, slow dancing might seem a bit awkward, but this is your opportunity to break the ice! Just make sure to dance to the same beat, and talk to your date to get to know them better.
      • Middle school dances are once in a lifetime chances, so don't be afraid to ask your crush to dance or bust a move. If you feel a little awkward, grab a group of your best friends and hit the dance floor!
      • Wear something casual so you feel comfortable while dancing, or ask your friends what they're wearing if there's no dress code.
      • Nervous while dancing with your crush? Talk about the song that's playing or ask them if they're enjoying the dance so far!

      Submit a Tip

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      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!



      • While it can be exciting to dance with your crush, don’t immediately take it as a sign that they want to be in a relationship. It will take more than a dance to get there.


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      • Avoid dancing tricks like jumping, flipping, and kicking. These actions are only for the best of dancers, and even they need plenty of room to perform such moves.


        Helpful40Not Helpful9

      • If your parents offer to take you to the dance, it is better to reject them. While you may feel rude at first, this is a night for you and your classmates.


        Helpful38Not Helpful34

      • You can also try having social anxiety and skip the dance with a fake illness. This is a trusted form of managing social interactions.


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      About This Article

      How to Dance at a Middle School Dance: 15 Steps (with Pictures) (37)

      Co-authored by:

      Yolanda Thomas

      Dance Instructor

      This article was co-authored by Yolanda Thomas. Yolanda Thomas is a Hip Hop Dance Instructor based in Los Angeles, California and Sydney, Australia. Yolanda has taught hip hop at the Sydney Dance Company and is a two-time winner of the LA Music Award for singing and songwriting. She has won Choreographer of the Year by GROOVE, an Australian hip hop dance competition and was hired by Google to choreograph their Sydney Mardi Gras float. This article has been viewed 392,283 times.

      45 votes - 80%

      Co-authors: 115

      Updated: July 28, 2023


      Categories: School Dances

      Article SummaryX

      To dance at your middle school dance without feeling awkward, stick to the easy dance moves. For example, try the two-step by stepping with your right foot, following with your left foot, then switch feet and repeat to your left, in time to the music. Even easier, try the bounce, where all you do is bob your body to and fro on-the-spot, swaying your arms to the beat. Because arm moves can be tricky, try to switch arm positions at every beat. For example, if your left arm is up in the air on beat one, change to your right arm on beat two. For more tips, including how to dress comfortably while still looking good, scroll down!

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