This section contains general etiquette as well as etiquette specific to social partner (“ballroom” and other styles of) dance.

  • You must adhere to Ohayocon’s code of conduct at all times.
  • Please follow the dress code. Those who do not follow the dress code risk missing out on the event. If you have questions about your outfit, please contact staff or Trickssi is also reachable on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Please make sure to drink water. There will be water fountains and water stations, and feel free to bring your own water bottle. Also, take breaks if you need them. Walking around a convention all day plus two hours of nonstop dancing will probably make you sore, so be sure to take care of yourself!
  • Adhere to hygiene and sleep guidelines from the convention. Shower, deodorant, and overall cleanliness are important when asking people to dance!
  • The dance floor is for dancers only. Anyone standing and conversing will be asked to move to the side areas of the room.
  • If you’d like to be asked to dance, try standing toward the front or on the direct sidelines of the floor. Sitting down or standing in the very back of the room makes you look unavailable to potential dance partners.
  • Along the lines of the above rule, you are never required to bring your own partner. Your dance partner does not necessarily have to be a romantic partner, and you shouldn’t expect to meet your Prince/Princess/Royal Charming at an event like this one. We’re here to have fun and dance as a community! Please respect everyone’s reasons for dancing.
  • Anyone may ask anyone to dance, but please also ask whether the person would like to dance lead/follow, or tell them your preference of dancing lead/follow if you can only do one of those. An easy way to bring this up is to not only ask, “Would you like to dance?” but also, “How would you like to dance?” Gender/gender-role policing based on appearance will not be tolerated.
  • If someone asks you to dance and you choose to decline for whatever reason, you may do so. However, you should sit out the entire dance (for example, if say “no” to someone who asked first and “yes” to the person standing next to them, it wouldn’t make them feel good). However, if someone asks you and you decline, but that person won’t respect your wishes and you feel that you are being harassed, you may reach out to a staff member or contact security designated to handle harassment response.
  • In case the convention’s code of conduct does not include this information:
    • Harassment is defined by the target/victim.
    • Harassment can include, but is not limited to:
      • Intentionally making another uncomfortable
      • Physical or verbal assault
        • This could include offensive “jokes” or comments that you may believe to be ultimately harmless
      • Bullying or discrimination of any kind
      • Intimidation, stalking, and/or unwelcome physical attention
      • Non-consensual flirtation or sexual advances
      • Non-consensual photography or recording
      • Bathroom policing (the act of harassing someone for using the bathroom of the gender they identify with)
    • Specific to dance, harassment and other offenses may include:
      • Asking or forcing someone to dance every single dance in a row without allowing them to dance with other partners
      • Non-consensual and inappropriate frame holding (i.e., with a hand too low on the back, hip, or buttocks, or on the chest; or holding a partner too closely and invading the space of their neck, face, or other parts of the head). Depending on the severity and visibility, this may also be offensive to other guests and should not be exhibited in public.
      • Non-consensual dipping or lifting. Lifts of any kind are prohibited regardless.
      • Intentionally cutting others off or bumping into others
      • Intentionally intimidating others on the dance floor by “showing off” and creating a gathering of spectators on the dance floor
      • Becoming sexually excited (regardless of gender identification) and not removing yourself from the partnership
      • This may include forcing your partner to remain in frame without allowing them to leave
        • Note: There is NO reason a dance frame should be regarded as an organic, isolated cause for someone to become sexually excited. It is NOT an excuse to touch or remain in physical contact with someone. If you are unable to dance without becoming sexually excited, you must refrain from asking others to dance.
      • No lifts, large group circles, or moves that endanger others (such as breakdancing or flailing arms without looking).
  • Dips are highly discouraged and only permitted if you can provide proof of dance experience. I’ve seen too many “confident” people drop their partners or fall to the floor and it can lead to serious injury.
  • Breakdancing is highly discouraged. It is a solo activity and not appropriate for a formal setting. This includes doing the worm. The only exception to this is if you safely incorporate it into one of our specified line dances.
  • It doesn’t matter whether you are trained to perform lifts. Someone watching might end up getting too close without your knowledge, or they may want to try it for themselves and injure themselves or others. Likewise, we want an even playing field. We’re here to dance socially with others and that includes not intimidating others into being discouraged from trying to learn dance because they aren’t as trained as you.
  • Please follow the Dance Floor Etiquette image below. Line of dance means the leader is facing and traveling counter-clockwise on the floor. Some songs might have two or more dances that can be done simultaneously, so pay attention to where spot dances vs. traveling dances are. The screen will provide guidance as to what dance(s) you might want to dance to each song.
  • New dancers should stick toward the inside, as more experienced dancers are more likely to use the outside of the floor.
  • Image is © Fanimecon Black & White Ball 2018 and is used with permission. Do not repost or share without permission.

Dresses and Skirts

  • Dresses and skirts must be no shorter than mid thigh or a few inches above the knee.
  • Slits must not show anything inappropriate and should not be higher than mid thigh or a few inches above the knee.
  • No bare midriffs, holes, mesh or sheer materials in inappropriate areas.
  • No low cut or plunging necklines. When in doubt, test to make sure your neckline is well-fitting at all times as you move without a possibility of slippage. Think: a neckline that would not require the use of double-sided tape.
  • Strapless dresses are permitted as long as they are well fitting and will not slip down.
  • Undergarments should not be visible at all. This includes cover-up shorts under shorter skirts.
  • Avoid trains on dresses as they can be stepped on.

Dress Shirts and Pants

  • No jeans or cargo pants. Dress pants only.
  • Collared dress shirts are permitted, and must be buttoned at all times. T-shirts and tank tops are not permitted.
  • Formal neckwear is encouraged but not required. Examples of formal neckwear include cravats, ties, and bow ties.
  • Suits are encouraged but not required.
  • Undergarments should not be visible at all. This includes cover-up shorts under shorter skirts.


  • The flooring for this event will be carpeting, so please plan accordingly.
  • The following are considered appropriate formal footwear: dress sandals, pumps, flats, some boots, high heels, and dress shoes. Please make sure the footwear does not come off when dancing, or wear shoes with a strap or ties.
    Sneakers, tennis shoes, outdoor sandals, combat boots, and flip flops are not allowed.
    Stiletto or platform heels are STRONGLY discouraged.
    If you have medical restrictions on footwear, please contact as soon as you can to discuss options or obtain permission.
  • For further explanation as to why these decisions were made, please read my guide on shoes for formal dances.


  • Cosplay must follow the dress code as listed above. If a fictional or nonfictional character wears an outfit that “almost but not quite” follows the guidelines (a character that wears a tuxedo with tennis shoes), the cosplay must be modified until it meets the dress code.
  • No props that will get in the way. This includes swords, wings, staffs, tails, horns, hats, or guns.
  • Wearing face masks will not be permitted on the dance floor for the safety of all dancers. This includes whole-head latex masks. You may be admitted to the event, but unless you remove those elements, you will be asked to leave the dance floor.
  • Eye patches over one eye are permitted as long as the other eye is unobscured and has peripheral view.
  • Body paint and face paint must be sealed.
  • If wearing a wig, please be sure to keep it secure with hair pins, bobby pins, or a velvet band.
  • Japanese clothing, Lolita, and other Asian formal wear is also welcome as long as it meets the guidelines above.
  • Dress Military Uniforms are welcome as long as they are formal Military Uniforms. Battle Armor and Fantasy Armor are not Dress Military Uniforms and are not allowed.


  • Fursuits will be permitted if attire is dressed over the fur suit and follows all of the above rules. (For example, a fox fursuiter has a gown or tux over the fursuit that matches the formal guidelines.)
  • The only rule that will be waived is the no shoe rule.
  • It is highly recommended that if you wish to dance, you should dance with or very nearby a handler if your headwear restricts your vision in any way.

Casual Hour

  • The dress code will be relaxed for the final hour of the Formal Ball, aka Casual Hour.
  • Tennis shoes, sneakers, and trainers will be permitted.
  • Dressy jeans and khakis will be permitted in addition to dress pants.
  • Polo shirts will be permitted.
  • More casual military uniforms will be permitted.
  • Other portions of the dress code will be unchanged and remain in effect for Casual Hour.


  • Shirts must be worn at all times and not removed.
  • Underwear must be worn at all times and not removed. This includes tights or any cover-up shorts under skirts, etc.
  • Changing your attire after you enter with approved attire is not permitted.