General Dance Discussion > Dancing together

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by foursquare, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. foursquare

    foursquare New Member

    I have a question...

    My girlfriend and I go out twice a week to swing dance. She's been doing it for over 6 years, I've just started taking lessons in September at her request.

    The thing is, we only dance we each other. Though we live together, most of the dates we go out on is to go swing dancing. We're kind of country mice, and those $100.00 dinners out can get expensive. Going dancing, with it's (usually) small cover, less drinking and smaller food bills (who can eat a lot and then go dance?) is our affordable time out together.

    How do you politely say "no" to a dance, that we're out on a date? We've come to know some of the regular crowd there, and we socialize a bit at our table, but we're really there to spend time with each other.

    We don't sit anywhere near the dance floor, and sit out the steal dances, etc.

    Are there any other couples out there that do this, or are we breaking every etiquette rule in the book? We're not rude or standoffish, but our dance cards are full when we get there.

    All opinions welcome!

    foursquare
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi foursquare. :D Welcome to the forums. :D

    It's so sweet to see and hear of couples who only have eyes for each other. :D And dancing together is great, especially since you have such an experienced partner. :D Etiquette. Hmm. I'm going to let others answer that for you. I can't bring myself to rain on the true romance parade. :D But, from experience, I have to say that dancing with a variety of people can make you a much better dancer, and a better leader. If you only dance together, the two of you may get used to each other's idiosyncracies, combinations of patterns, etc, and that can get in the way of actually learning to lead and follow. On the other hand, if it's love, romance and togetherness you're after, who am I to complain? *shrug* 8) :D
     
  3. foursquare

    foursquare New Member

    Thanks, Pygmalion, for the insight.

    We realize that this is a social dance we're talking about, and we don't want to step on any toes, but there are no swing clubs in our area where we could go and remain an anonymous couple... everything we go to is a club sponsored evening of one sort or the other, and we frequently see the same faces at each event.

    When we dance, we dance 3, 4, 5 songs in a row, and then huddle in a corner for the ones we sit out, hopefully giving the indication that we're done dancing for awhile. My girlfriend was asked to dance several times by the same guy the other evening (she's known to be an excellent follow,) and after a few polite refusals (tired, just danced, etc.) she had to give him the dreaded "we'll see."

    This guy is an excellent dancer and a really nice guy who we've chatted with in the past. It just doesn't seem to be an accepted excuse that we're dancing only with each other, and that really, it's not you, it's us. There's nothing meant by it.

    Still, it's a twice a week run through a minefield of requests.

    Thanks again for your reply. And don't worry, when I don't lead something right, she compensates by pointing it out in no uncertain terms ("what the hell was THAT supposed to be?")

    foursquare
     
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    The way you describe it in your second post it would be clear to me that you haven't come to dance with anyone but yourselves. I also often wait to see if a leader will dance with other follows, or see if the follow asks someone, as an indication that the couple is willing to split and dance with different people that night.

    In your first description you say:

    In a way I think that this is sending out mixed signals. If you are having a hard time, how about getting a table for only the two of you. Then it would be really clear that you two are there to enjoy each other's company. If I socialized a bit with other people at a table I might ask another lady to dance...
     
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    By the way, welcome to the DF forums foursquare!!
     
  6. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    Welcome to the forums!

    My boyfriend and I also go out dancing almost everywhere together. While we do dance a majority of dances together, we also dance with other people. This is for a few reasons.

    1. As said before, dancing with a variety of people will help you improve as a leader/follower
    2. It is considered a bit uncouth to go to a social dance and refuse dancing with other people
    3. Making connections with other dancers will in the long run be more beneficial than just dancing with your girlfriend. YOu will make new friends and find out that you might enjoy dancing with lots of other people.
    4. Both you and your girlfriend will learn new moves from other dancers that you wouldn't have learned if you only danced with each other.

    But don't take this to mean that you shouldn't put a lot of time into dancing with one another. The more you dance together, the better you will be as a couple.
     
  7. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    Welcome foursquare!

    Have you tried going and dancing with other dancers... then you two can compare notes! -- You'd still be there together and everything but have you given it a try?

    --also--

    For an evening exclusively together have you tried having your very own dance? -- candlelit kitchens could be a wonderful thing, make your own music mix and enjoy your evening alone together if you're really not looking to socialize-- and no cover at all! ;)

    on the other hand if you're regulars then perhaps you should let people know that that is your special time together-- people will get used to it and stop asking for the most part-- most folk don't look to be turned down for a dance.

    Have fun!!
     
  8. bouncybouncyweee

    bouncybouncyweee New Member

    Why not just go out and say exactly what you want? "Hey, that's really nice of you, but I'm out on a date tonite (most nights really)..." or something sweet?
     
  9. foursquare

    foursquare New Member

    Thank you, first of all, for the kind welcomes! I’ve been reading the posts in dance-forums for awhile now and all in all, this is a pretty neat group of people writing some pretty interesting and informative posts. The quoted text that follows is no exception.

    >>>Sagitta wrote:
    In your first description you say:

    Quote:
    We've come to know some of the regular crowd there, and we socialize a bit at our table, but we're really there to spend time with each other.

    In a way I think that this is sending out mixed signals. If you are having a hard time, how about getting a table for only the two of you. Then it would be really clear that you two are there to enjoy each other's company. If I socialized a bit with other people at a table I might ask another lady to dance...
    >>>

    Perhaps I was being a bit obtuse. By “socializing at our table” I meant that when someone walks up to say “hi” or join us for a smoke (and we smokers have to stick together nowadays, don’t we?), or God forbid pulls up a chair without so much as a how-do-you-do, we are polite as our Mother’s taught us to be and we spend a little time chatting. We don’t go hang out with the group, but we certainly wouldn’t be so callous as to tell someone to buzz off when they walk over to join us for whatever reason.

    >>>SwinginBoo wrote:
    2. It is considered a bit uncouth to go to a social dance and refuse dancing with other people
    >>>

    I’ve never been accused of being overly couth. <smile> This raises another interesting point, though. There is, at least in our area, no place to go to swing dance that isn’t sponsored by one local club or the other. We’re between a rock and a hard place in that to get the music and the space to dance, the whole social aspect comes with it. We’re left with the choice of either not dancing or butting heads with the prevailing opinion that everyone is there to dance with everyone else.

    >>>SwinginBoo wrote:
    But don't take this to mean that you shouldn't put a lot of time into dancing with one another. The more you dance together, the better you will be as a couple.
    >>>

    Again, another interesting point is raised. You said in a section that I didn’t quote that you and your boyfriend dance the majority of dances together. My question is, where do you draw the line once you have opened that door to dancing with other people? It’s one thing for people to see us continually dancing with each other, and quite another to say “yes” to one person, and “no” to the next nine that ask because we’re out on a date. Those other nine just saw you dancing with someone else. My personal opinion is that approach would be more wrong and lead to more misunderstandings than just politely and smilingly refusing all requests.

    >>>Swing Kitten wrote:
    Have you tried going and dancing with other dancers... then you two can compare notes! -- You'd still be there together and everything but have you given it a try?
    >>>

    My girlfriend has danced with many other people over the years and used to give lessons before Big Tubba Mista gigs (remember them?), but she always wanted one partner. She grew to really dislike the asking and being asked (and the crapshoot that can sometimes be.) I personally, in my very short time doing this, have only danced with her. Right or wrong, my thinking is: I have a perfectly good girlfriend here to dance with… why am I over here dancing with someone else?

    >>>Swing Kitten wrote:
    For an evening exclusively together have you tried having your very own dance? -- candlelit kitchens could be a wonderful thing, make your own music mix and enjoy your evening alone together if you're really not looking to socialize-- and no cover at all!
    >>>

    We do that frequently sans candles. If we move the coffee table over by the door, we can just eek out a 5 x 7 space in our tiny living room. Just enough to do a swing out it you don’t mind bumping into the chair/entertainment center/coffee table/plants every so often. Our place is small enough that the idea of dancing with open flames around is downright scary!

    Plus, we’re theater people. We have a need to be seen though not necessarily participate. I live to be on stage and love every second I’m out there. After shows, I hide in my dressing room so I don’t have to see the public up close.

    Not to be off-topic, but if you go to www.theaterharrisburg.com and click on the “gallery” link, you’ll see me in Rocky Horror Show, Into the Woods and Jekyll and Hyde. The Rocky pictures are the best.

    >>>bouncybouncyweee wrote:

    Why not just go out and say exactly what you want? "Hey, that's really nice of you, but I'm out on a date tonite (most nights really)..." or something sweet?
    >>>

    And that is exactly what we did this past Tuesday and it worked wonders. We even went as far as to explain that the newness of our relationship is the overwhelming factor in not dancing with other people. Give us a year and we’ll rethink it.

    Thanks again for all the great posts!

    foursquare
     
  10. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    Foursquare,

    You wanted to know where I draw the line...well the answer is that I don't. Basically my boyfriend and I are often standing near one another so if a song comes on and he asks me to dance, or I as him, then we dance together. This happens frequently since we are in close proximity to one another. However, if someone else asks me or if I ask someone else then I dance with someone else and so does my boyfriend. Usually once this happens we end up splitting up for many dances since we get to move around the room and talk to people we know and stuff. So I'd say it's like maybe 65% I dance with my boyfriend. Though it's always different. Besides there are times when you need a break from one another. :wink: Well at least that's how we are. It's healthy to dance with other people. Just my humble opinion and my small 2 cents. :D
     
  11. foursquare

    foursquare New Member

    SwinginBoo, I highly value your humble opinion as well as your $.02!

    I think our different takes on the situation stem from our different approaches to dancing.

    Although we live together, my girlfriend and I have plenty of obligations placed on our time. Both of us have lots of family in the area, we do a ton of theater (that kind of time commitment alone can be crushing), and I have an eight year old daughter that I happily dote on, and I see her several hours a day even though she lives with her mother. We find ourselves, even when doing something together, in small or large groups of people being social and not spending much time with just ourselves.

    Dancing is our break from all that. What you see as social dance, we view as more of a prom; A few niceties to the people we know, and then off to our table or out on the dance floor to be by ourselves.

    We go to dinner, see movies, etc. when the budget permits, but in general, dancing is a nice cheap way to get out of the house.

    In the future, with fewer demands and more months together under our collective belt, I will probably take your advice and give the social aspect a whirl. For now, I only have eyes for one girl. You gots to dance with the one what brung you.

    I think the original intent of my post was two-fold: to raise the subject that if, say, you, run into people dancing like, say, us, we're not blowing you off because of you, we're blowing you off because of us and our jealously guarded time out together. The other reason for my post was to garner opinions from dancers of the most gentle and non-hurtful way to execute those blow-offs.

    Thanks again for your reply; I will give it serious consideration.

    foursquare
     
  12. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    That's really sweet foursquare. I can understand that. I hope you do find more time together and that you keep dancing together...it is one of the most romantic ways to build a relationship. :D
     
  13. dancergal

    dancergal New Member

    Hi Foursquare. I am totally with you on what you are saying. We basically did the same when I first started dancing with my boyfriend, but like Boo, we still danced with others at a social dance, just not real often. People didn't ask too often since we were on the dance floor together all the time and off sitting alone when taking a break. People will eventually get the hint that you are together or you can tell them, no thanks, we're not sharing tonight! :D
     

Share This Page