When the alternative is a concussion and 12 stitches.
In social dancing, it's easy to want to apologize a lot. I'm as guilty of this as anyone - whenever I miss a lead, take a wrong step, fumble through a turn, or skip a break I apologize. "Sorry!" slips out of my mouth easier than "I'll take them all!" at a shoe sale.
But in spite of that, I always try to make my partners feel comfortable, and I try to remind them that the vast majority of the time, there's no reason to apologize. As I told my friend Eric once, "You don't need to apologize unless you cause me physical pain or feel me up."
That, however, was a number of years ago, and since then, I've realized that the feeling up doesn't require an apology either... in some situations. Check this out, for example:
That hand on her ass? That's what's keeping her from falling on her head, so if you ask me, there's no apology required. And that's in an actual performance aerial - so what about during practice?
When you first learn aerials, you practice them with spotters. The purpose of a spotter is to make sure the aerial works and that no one gets hurt. Sometimes a spotter actually helps make the aerial happen - helping with rotation in a flip, for example - and other times the spotter is just there to catch if someone falls. At rehearsal a few days ago, I spotted Kimmie in a flip, and she over-rotated slightly. I managed to safely hold her up, but I did accidentally catch her boob with my open palm at one point. But the fact is that when someone I'm spotting is headed for a fall, I'll catch him/her however I can to prevent an injury.
Similarly, my partner once caught me full on the butt instead of on my lower back to throw me, but I knew he was doing it because our prep was off and it was the best way to ensure my safety. He said sorry, but I said thank you. "Whatever keeps my skull from hitting the floor," I told him, "is just fine by me."
Seriously, folks: If you were doing something like this...
... wouldn't you endure a little grope-age to ensure your ongoing health and well-being?