Dance Floor Theory Glossary

Have you ever been reading through some Swift Kick posts and been confused about a term that was used? No worries! We have a list of terms and definitions to help you out.

Blender Events – Simple, low cost activities that create pattern interrupts and/or build relationships to increase a sense of community within a culture. (example: Free Intelligent Conversation)

Dance Floor Theory – A leadership training for campus leaders that uses dance floors as a metaphor for the college campus.

Engagement Pyramid – A graphic used to represent the levels of engagement (neutral through 5) within a school’s community. The bottom (neutral) is the least engaged student (which makes up about 60-84% of the student population), and the top (5) represents the most engaged students.

Neutral is when someone doesn’t show interest in what is going on. These are the “Meh” students who want yesterday to look just like today and tomorrow.
Level 2 is when they start becoming interested (“What’s going on?”). Something got them to stop saying “Meh” and start saying “Hmm.”
Level 3 is asking questions like “what’s in it for me?” These are your free pizza people.
Level 4 is asking “what’s next for me?” or “how can I continue on?” This group is expanding their leadership involvement and skill.
Level 5 is when the person begins asking what more they’re capable of, or how else they can help.

Feed Your Butterflies – Explore your un-comfort zone for growth and creativity.

First Year Experience – Highlighting the importance of the first year of college. Keeping first year students engaged keeps retention rates high.

Free Hugs Day – A national Blender Event hosted by Swift Kick where people pledge to give out free hugs. Hugs are counted and sent in for a grand total of how many hugs were given.

Meh-to-Hmm – When a student goes from a neutral to a 1. They become more interested in what’s going on.

Negative Nellys – Someone who actively pulls someone off the dance floor

Open Doors, Open Hearts – Share your work and emotions and know that through openness comes trust, respect, and growth

Pattern Interrupt – Interrupting someone’s usual day with something new. Holding a free hugs sign and making someone stop on their way to work out of curiosity can create a pattern interrupt.

Play to Win – Maximize resources to finish what you start and exceed expectations.

Raise the Tide – We’re in this together so contribute to the greater good of our whole community.

Random Acts of Kindness Day – A national Blender Event hosted by Swift Kick where people pledge to do as many RAK’s as possible within their community. A day filled with love and kindness!

#SAChat – An online discussion between Student Affairs Professionals hosted by the Student Affairs Collective.

See it Through Their Eyes – Through compassionately understanding someone else’s perspective comes clarity.

Scary Sixes – Someone who is so excited that they scare other people off the dance floor.

Spatula – A term used when leaders go to the edge of their Dance Floor and scoop Neutrals off the edge and bring them closer to the center by introducing them to 1s and 2s. Often heard as, “Be the Spatula.”

X+1 – A rule within Dance Floor Theory that states that engagement is a process and once you define a person’s current level of engagement (X) you should strive to increase their engagement by one level (+1).

X+5 – When a leader tries to increase a person’s engagement too rapidly when the person isn’t ready.


Dance Floor Theory in 7 Minutes

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