Social Graces - A Ballroom Etiquette Column

(1 Vote)

Chewing Gum + Dancing = An Accident in the Making.

“There is a time and place for everything” and that saying should apply to chewing gum.

My mother, grandmother and great aunt would probably not have agreed with the statement as they all had been school teachers. They were certainly thinking about proper etiquette in the classroom and hoping “no gum chewing” manners would continue outside of the classroom as well.

Of course chomping away like a baseball player chewing tobacco or gum, then spitting in front of an audience is usually not the manners-dilemma in a ballroom setting. Most social and ballroom settings tend to be less abrasive than the baseball scene regarding "chewing." However, I must note that there are some  mannerly chewers that have quite  mastered a very  discreet form of having gum in their mouth so that nobody would ever realize they even had gum. This also is not the manners issue in question. My thinking today is that  it must be a considered a safety issue while dancing either with or without a partner.

I was recently scheduled with a young couple for training that I had not previously taught. They requested some new movements that did involve some lift work and a bit of challenging choreography. After our discussion for the lesson plan and listening to their music, I realized one thing had to happen before exhibition movements and choreography could flow. That would be a request to get rid of their gum.
They did not take my request seriously. Being the indiscreet gum chewers that they were, chomping away, the incident happened quickly. Within just one or two big moves the girl's gum flew onto the floor. Oops... I suppose that really was better than her choking on the gum and having to dial 911 emergency. It also demonstrated that they did not believe my safety warning. Perhaps it only proved that they couldn't chew gum and dance at the same time.

Hopefully they won't attempt to chew on their rehearsals and their next coaching session.

Moral of the story: Chewing gum and vigorous dance moves should not be done at the same time.

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
Mae West           


  • Report by:: Cher Rutherford

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