General Dance Discussion > Dancing with tall girls

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by motardmom, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. motardmom

    motardmom New Member

    What do you think about this? I'm the tall girl here and it has limited potential partners. I'm wondering how guys feel dancing with a girl who is taller. What can she do to ease the height difference? And girls, how do you feel dancing with shorter guys? Are you uncomfortable? What do you do to ease the difference?

    Last Tues I had the unusual experience of having a shorter guy ask me to dance. I've seen this guy dance before and he's good. But I'd never given much thought to dancing with him, I just never saw it happening. I was sitting down when he asked me to dance so I didn't notice just how different our heights were. I was probably 4-5 inches taller. :eek: But we had a good time! It took a little while for me to get used to it and I'm sure he had to be more careful about what he led, but it was fun and perhaps this has opened up a few more options for me. 8) And I'm wondering if there are any tips out there to help minimize the difference.
  2. rails

    rails New Member

    I read your post in another thread about dancing with shorter men:

    It actually surprised me since a few of the followers I regularly dance with are taller than me (especially in their heels). It never seemed to be a problem and all of them have asked me for repeat dances. It never occurred to me that they would be bothered by the height difference. Then I read your post and started doubting whether or not I should be asking tall girls to dance at all. Of course, I quickly dismissed the idea, went out for a great night of Lindy Hop and Balboa during which probably 5 of the 20 (or so) girls I danced with were taller than me. All 5 of the dances were good or great. They seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as I was (or they faked it really well).

    Now, I will admit that all other things being equal, it is easiest for me to dance with girls who are probably 2-4 inches shorter than I am, but how often are all other things equal? On the social floor, anyway, I find it to be a minor issue and not one I consider when thinking about who I'm going to ask next.

    I remember one time watching a woman who was probably 6' plus 2" of heel dancing with a guy who was probably about 5'4". A bunch of people were watching them, not because of the height difference I think, but because they were both so good. The smiles they were giving each other, the energy, the musicality, the skills. It was an inspiring thing to see.

    One more story: Early on in my hobby I was at a dance supply store looking at shoes. There was a 5'10" or so woman in there trying on salsa shoes and telling the saleswoman that she didn't get asked to dance often enough and she thought it was because guys were intimidated by her height. I remember thinking that that was an odd idea especially since she was good-looking. I went over there and talked to her a while about salsa and promised we'd have a dance as soon as I saw her out at a club. I never did see her again though. Oh well. Even in lead-heavy San Francisco, there are plenty of follows in the sea.
  3. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Well, given that I am rather short (very short would be closer to reality! :oops: ) I have never personally experienced this. But I do have tall students... :). Of course it all depends on the difference! I think a 30 cm difference might be hard to overcome for many leads!
    But generally there shouldn't be any problem! I mean, I do invite girls who are taller that I am... and even if leading certain patterns is more difficult, I can still have fun! :)
    Oh, and I think I should mention I am a follow! :)
  4. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    This may depend on which dance. I have danced salsa with guys shorter than me, and it's not any more uncomfortable than dancing with guys who are much taller than me. I imagine it might be a bit harder to dance argentine tango with a guy who is a good bit shorter than me.

    When dancing salsa I tend to flex my knees somewhat anyway, and if the guy is VERY short, I may stand a little bit lower than normal. It's true that some moves are probably harder to pull off when there is a big height difference, but that goes either way -- some things are also difficult to do when the guy is VERY tall and you are not. Another factor is the build of the guy; short but stockily built men are easier to dance with than short and very lightweight guys. Having said that, the problem is not insurmountable. It's just a matter of the guy having the sense to stay away from moves that are difficult to do with taller women. I should mention that, since I'm not tall, guys shorter than me are usually shorter than most other women in the scene and are used to dancing with someone taller. This is probably not the case with guys in your scene...

    Low heels?
    Dance open -- I wouldn't like the idea of being in a "the guy's head against my chest" hold!
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You see motardmom I thought I lost all my chances of dancing with you when you posted what rails quoted a few days ago. :( I'm about 5 2 or 5 3. However, I don't have problems damncing with those taller than me, just as I danec with those big women. One shoudl adjust to the person whom one is dancing with. And MacMoto I'm a lightweight person. I weigh 115 pounds!!
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I believe that as your dance experience grows, so does your ability to adjust to such things.

    For instance, my wife is 5'8" . . . I dance with her very well, and feel comfortable dancing with her height.

    The last Pro that I competed with was 5'5" . . . it took a while for me to adjust to her.

    Then as I learned to adjust ot her, I had to learn to re-adjust back to my wife, as many moves were then practically removing her head!

    My dance experience finally taught me how to adjust. Keep dancing with as many partners as you can. This certainly will help in this area.

    One last thought . . . my new Pro for 2005, is 5'1" . . . hope my experiences come through. I have done great WCS and Hustle with her, yet feel that she will be sitting on my knee in a Waltz :wink:
  7. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    You are about the same height as me and heavier than me, so we shouldn't have any problem dancing together :wink: And of course you are one of those leads who are used to dancing with taller/larger follwers so should be well adjusted anyway.

    Where Motardmom may have a problem is if she's the ONLY tall woman in the local scene and guys are simply not used to dancing with someone very tall -- I think Cocodrilo is familiar with this problem?
  8. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Okay a couple dips coming up. :wink: :)
  9. tj

    tj New Member

    Ha! I'm 1"-2" taller than Sagitta and MacMoto... woo! :banana: :banana: :banana:

    I've danced with a lot of taller women than me in the past. One last night was probably 5'10". I don't make an issue of it, and I don't expect her to, either. But then again, I'm talking about just social dancing.

    In fact, one of my favorite partners in Seattle is probably over 6'. Very enjoyable dancing with her.

    As far as what I'll do or not - being shorter than her means that I can tunnel whip myself around her. I'll avoid doing certain moves, too - like a full fledged dip. But hey, it's no different than adjusting your dancing depending on the level of your partner (or the level of connection), too.
  10. RugKutta

    RugKutta New Member

    I can't explain it, but for some reason I kinda like tall women. I usually don't go for women taller than myself, but I don't exclude them on the dance floor. Actually, when I see a woman that's as tall/taller than me, I see it as a challenge and I ask her to dance just in spite of. I guess it makes me feel like I'm getting good if I can handle dancing w/ someone taller. Ironically, I have a harder time dancing with women significantly shorter than me. I like to turn myself sometimes while dancing salsa, and w/ a short follow sometimes it takes a big effort to duck under her arm during a turn. On a side note, as far as relationships are concerned, I wouldn't mind a woman who was an inch or so taller, as long as she has no skills on the basketball court. If you dunk on me, it's OVER!!! :D

    Luv, Peace, and SALSA

  11. tingles

    tingles New Member

    Actually, I find that guys who are shorter than me are more able to adjust (I'm 5' 7"). I think they are used to stretching their arms way up to avoid hitting the follower on the head. The taller guys tend to be less sensitive to that. I have actually danced with guys who thought if they loop my arm over my head with a greater force, somehow my arm would not encounter my forehead. The result was I ended up with a forehead that has several imprints of my wrist watch. :-( Another reminder that keeping the fingers and hands free of decorations is a good thing. . . .
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi tingles!! Yes. I can remember one guy in particular -- a mountain of a man, in height and girth, who bopped me in the head every single turn. :headwall: I know guys literally a foot shorter than he, who never smack me while dancing. I wonder what that's about. :? :lol:
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, and I'm five-four. Exactly average height for an American woman.
  14. motardmom

    motardmom New Member

    Sagitta, I'm looking forward to the dance. :D
  15. DancingMandi

    DancingMandi New Member

    I'm 5'10, I always have trouble with dances because the heels make me 6' or over. That's just me thinking I'm too monstrously tall in heels though, not a problem with the dance itself, the only problem dancing with a guy much shorter than me is that my chest is at his eye-level and that makes me a little uncomfortable.
  16. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I got stuck in what is my lenght in inches - what is my weight in pound... But I found a website that solved these problem

    How to convert lenght

    How to convert weight

    All texts are in Swedish, but you just have to specify your own measures in the proper box and make a "tab" with the keyboard. Then you get your value.


    Back to the real subject.....

    Yes I find it hard to dance with short guys. I believe the problem is that I bend my knees a bit in spins, loose balance and falls away from the leader. Very often his hands touches my head and the pins in my hair causing pain for both of us. And finally - short guys have short arms. I step on their feet all the time because I get too close (and I have big feet :lol: )

    I also believe that when I dance with a long guy they spins me more "centralised". Short guys have problem to find the right position for the supporting arm also causing me to fall out and loose my balance.

    My own medicin is to keep on practising spins so that I don't need that much support. I was also told not to bend my knees - beacuse they are causing problems with the balance. I seems to work.

  17. amrimi

    amrimi New Member

    Hi DancingMandi, I'm also 5'10''. Since geman men normally don't dance, in my local scene most of the men are latinos so they quite a bit shorter than I'm. There are only about a handful of guys who are taller than me. There are some africans about my height, which means with heals i'm still taller but I can't dance with shoes without heals. When I first started going out to clubs for dancing it felt really strange for me because before I wasn't able to dance with shorter man, but now I got used to it and it isn't a problem anymore. One day I got a chance to dance with somebody who was about 6'6'' and I couldn't dance comfortably with him anymore.

    In my local scene there is this one guy who only comes up to my shoulder and he asks me everytime I see him to dance with him. He is always asking the tallest women he can find to dance. And surprisingly it is a lot of fun to dance with him as long as it is a fast song. He is always doing a lot of turns and everything and I never feel like I'm going to have my arms broken any second like I sometimes do with some leads. Only slow songs have to be avoided with this guy because I don't like to have his face between my boobs.
  18. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Lucretia... that is interesting! I have been taught that my knees have to be sort of bent always and especially during spins this is supposed to help your balance a lot! Edie the Salsa Freak herself teaches this on her Spins instructional video! :) I guess different teachers have different methods!
    I find that my balance started improving a lot immediately after I learned how to always keep my knees a little bent... and that this was followed by the dissapearance of "bouncing" which had been one of my major problems (I seemed to jump around all the time and it looked so bad!).
    And of course my bending my knees kind of annoys very tall leaders... :)I am short!
  19. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Hi Luc,
    I'm also used to metric, and I've found Google to be useful. It has a calculator function (not many people know that :wink:) -- all you do is type in something like "115 pounds in kg", "5 foot 10 in in cm" ("5'10" in cm" doesn't work though :?) and hit the search button. It tells you straight away that there are 52.1631226 kilograms in 115 pounds and 5 foot 10 in equals to 177.8 centimeters :wink:.

    Hmm, all my teachers tell me I should bend my knees when spinning? :?
  20. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Squirrel and McMoto....

    I guess this advice has to be put in proper context. My "bending-knee story" has probably to do with my "ballet carier" as a kid. I guess I have overstretched the knees and sometimes even pivoted like a ballerina in my spins. And that doesn't work dancing salsa. You have to lower yourself...keep in touch with the ground. But when dancing with tall guys it works fine to keep on the ballet style. And when I danced with a short guy I developed a hybride of salsa and ballet spins. I bend knees and pivot at the same time as I desperately tries to go under that arm. And that make you out of balance.

    The advice of not bending knees (that much) comes from a non-teacher. (Actually one of the best dancer we have in town after I had him for myself several dance-hours at a Salsaweekend. the Salsaweekend at Uddevalla I've told you before about).

    Together we figured out that I lost my balance when I bend my knees in spins. But it might also be that I bend more than my knees - the whole upper part of my body. Anyhow he told me to stretch up towards his hand - and of course I keep my knee slightly bend. But not as much as before. And he told me never to compensate my lenght by bending down and bending knees. Leave that problem to the guy he convinced me.

    Last week my ordinary teacher found out the pivot-problem. So now the spins works quite fine. And I also spin well with the shortest guy in class. But our feet still mess with each other :lol:

    So don't take this advice for a general advice. It worked for me ...but perhaps not for anyone else.

    (By the way - I'm 5,7 feet. Hardly no high-heals at all. Never more than 3,5 centimeter. But I really don't like to know my weight in pounds.)


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