General Dance Discussion > Declining Dance Invitations

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by MadamSamba, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Sometimes you're just here at the wrong time.

    A Djinn had been locked in a bottle. He thought "The one who will open the bottle and eliberate me, I'll give him 1000 gold coins."
    Nothing happened for one hundred years. The Djinn thought "The one who will open the bottle and eliberate me, I'll make him the richest man in the world."
    Nothing happened for one hundred years. Then the Djinn thought "The one who will open the bottle and eliberate me, I'll kill him!" . A poor fisherman found the bottle on the seashore, opened it, and was very surprised by the Djinn's ungrateful behaviour.

    Yesterday in a milonga I invited a woman because I felt she would not get too many invitations (beginner and unattractive and timid). We danced for a while. I was not even back to my table that a girl came to me and explained:" Can I invite you? I'm a beginner and nobody invites me. I saw you're not too good either." Then a third one, a fourth one.
    "Hey, am I supposed to dance with all the beginners here?", I thought, and decided to leave. While I was talking to the cloak-room lady to get back my jacket, I heard a voice coming from behind me: "So, you came here tonight too! Will you offer me the next dance?". "No way!", I replied harshly, before turning my head to her and recognizing an advanced, lovely damsel whom I'd usually beg to dance with me.
  2. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Usually I decline all west coast swing invitations, and ditto for v. waltz invitations. That is, unless the lead give me no choice whatsoever.

    Getting back to Saturday, I also decline a west coast swing invitation from another student in the group. I just said I didn't really know the dance, and he was ok with that. I danced an east coast swing with him another time.

    With the teacher, I just panicked and said no. There's nothing like feeling you're going to make an idiot of yourself in front of other people. It's bad enough on a lesson.
  3. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    did any of this instructor's students (or anyone else, for that matter) who danced with this instructor over the course over the evening look bad/inept? if so, then maybe you should find a different instructor. however, if not, then i submit that you should consider the possibility that a primary issue is your own level of confidence.

    no one likes to feel like they look silly, but i've never found anyone whose dance has improved when they never dance it outside of a lesson. also, a dance is very different than a lesson. any leader worth their salt will not choose figures that are beyond the ability of their partner. if anything, any instructor should have a vested interest in making his/her students look good.

    now speaking from an instructor's point of view, you are probably paying your instructor goodly sums for your instruction. if he has any sort of integrity at all, he wants to earn what he's charging by seeing you realize the potential you have; i consider this to be the likely source of any irritation / impatience your instructor may have had at the moment - if you are not willing to dance a certain dance, you are wasting your time & resources as well as his time & instruction (especially if you are taking privates).

    i hope that this helps.
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Oops :oops:
  5. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    One important rule of dance etiquette that I read is.....if a woman turns down a man for a dance for whatever reason, she should sit out for the entire song.
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I disagree. If a person does not want to dance with me I don't want to dance with her. It is that simple. Why should she not enjoy herself with another person, if that person asks after I do? Now, if the lady says that she is going to sit one out to rest and dances with someone else she may be deceitful, but that reflects on her and not on me. And she may have other equally valid reasons for dancing with that guy. It is not for me to question the motives of another, but to look at myself and make sure that my thoughts and actions are a reflection of what I want for myself.
  7. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    Yes - if you ever want to dance with the man in the future. The exception is when the person turned down is one whom you would prefer never ask you again anyways. If I turn down a jerk, creep, or otherwise unsavory person, I absolutely do NOT owe it to him to sit out the rest of the song if one of my friends asks me to dance. Burning bridges isn't always a bad thing.
  8. katherinejh

    katherinejh Member

    Yeah it is so rare that I turn someone down, if I'm turning a guy down it is because he's a creep and I honestly don't worry too much about offending him.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Social Dance 1961 Yerrington and Outlander Los Angeles State College page 9

    D. A lady does not:
    2. Accept the same dance with one gentleman that she has refused another.

    Social Dance 1985 Schild Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville page 13

    If rejected, consent should not be immediately given to another.
  10. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Steve, what are the analogous rules that apply to guys? :)
  11. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Sure, but I hope those same women don't end up complaining one day about why guys aren't asking them to dance.
  12. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    It's still against the rules of etiquette.

    Basically, it falls under the category of being purposefully rude. Sometimes being rude is the only way to achieve one's objectives - but that doesn't change the fact that it's rude.
  13. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    If a lady accepts a dance with you, don't then dance the same dance with a different lady.
  14. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Exactly! Well said, my friend! :)
  15. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    Interestingly, I was involved in a discussion about this issue about a week ago on another forum. Interesting exchange that I'll post excerpts from below (censoring for some very strong language, names changed to protect privacy):

    Paul:If your gonna turn someone down, NEVER offer a reason or an excuse. 99% of the time it sounds insincere and is exactly that...a lame excuse.

    Simply make eye contact, give a big smile , and say "no thank you."

    Oh...and for gods sake don't occupy their time further by trying to TALK/elaborate on an excuse to them. They wanna find a dance partner for THIS song not talk to you.

    Plus, refraining from an excuse gives you the moral high ground when you accept ANOTHER lead/follows offer 10 seconds later.
    Bill: I have to STRONGLY disagree with Paul's last comment: Accepting another dance 10 seconds after saying no to someone else sacrifices any possible moral high ground, period. It doesn't matter what you say, or don't say, the moral high ground is gone: It's a **not nice** move no matter how you slice it.

    You >might< be able to get away with it if the other person is your significant other, but even then it's cutting it really close.

    Seriously, anyone that turns me down and takes another offer immediately after is going to get a huge mental sign across her forehead reading, "****ing ****!". Yes, I dropped the C word, it's that big a deal. A guy doing the same to a women should expect a similarly colorful label. It's the kind of **not nice** move that'll cause me to go out of my way to blackball you. For a long time, quite possibly forever. It's just a great way to make a fantastically bad impression in an amazingly short amount of time. Why in the world would you choose to go there? Ever?

    There is just no excuse for those kind of shenanigans. There just isn't.
    Sheila:I'm going to interject a comment here because I've been the "no thank you" girl. I never thought I would do this because I hate turning someone down. (A) The man asked me to dance as soon as I arrived before I had even changed shoes and stood awkwardly closed while I did so, (B) the man didn't know how to dance. (C): He followed me all night, creepily watched me while I danced with others and stood about 5 feet away, obviously waiting for the end of the song. (D) He's old enough to be my father and treated me like a sex object. Two things that do not mesh well in my book. After avoiding him for half the night, a "No thank you" was all I was going to give.
    Me:‎@Sheila - And that's all he deserves! I encounter many of the men you describe in your post in my dance community. And honestly, I have no problem turning a guy down for a dance. If I do that, though, I've resigned myself from dancing that song. The only exception is when I know the person I just rejected is one that I would prefer never ask me again anyways. In that case, I don't think I owe it to any perv/creep to sit out a song just because he asked me to dance.
    Bill:@Sheila - What Megan[me] said. There are plenty of times in life that strategically burning bridges is perfectly acceptable. Creepy men who show clear lack of consideration for their own part are assuredly fair game and none should hold snubbing them against you.
  16. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    Never said it wasn't rude. That said, criticizing a partner on the dance floor is also rude. As is being a perv/creep/jerk. I have no issue being rude to rude people.
  17. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Criticizing a social partner on the dance floor is certainly also rude, and is also against the rules of etiquette.

    Creepiness is inevitably in the eyes of the beholder, and it's hard to tell on whose part the rudeness lies.
  18. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I can relate to the mental forehead sign.

    There are followers at one of my favorite venues have have mental signs on their foreheads. They don't read THAT, because I would never write that (not even mentally). The mental signs do say "Doesn't want to dance with me, don't ask her again."

    One example is a follower who I knew to be more experienced than me who claimed not to know the cha-cha as a reason to turn me down. I pretended I believed her and suggested I'd ask her for some other dance later. She ran to the restroom whenever that dance came up. I don't care why but it's clear this follower is not interested in dancing with me. She'll never get another invitation from me unless she happens to change her mind and asks me to dance. She has a mental sign on her forehead (it's practically a tattoo).

    There are plenty of followers at this venue. Some seem genuinely pleased to dance with me. Others have accepted, but acted like they'd rather not be there. They have mental signs on their foreheads. I'll dance with any of them in a heartbeat if they ask, but I don't need them. There are plenty of other followers.

    Generally speaking, any follower who turns me down (which fortunately happens rarely) has a mental sign on her forehead until and unless she later asks me. Exceptions are those followers who I know well enough to know they really want to dance with me but were just unavailable at the moment and those followers who a new enough that they really don't know how yet (although I usually ask the really new followers for a simple hustle, which just about anyone can follow).

    The only time I've turned down a dance recently was when one of my very favorite followers invited me for my least favorite dance. I begged off and promised to dance another dance with her because I knew she'd understand. Had she been a newcomer, I'd have danced with her, even on my least favorite dance.
  19. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    That's a fairly short sighted view. False excuses may be a bad idea, but true reasons may be worthwhile. "I don't know samba, but if you ask me later for another dance, I'll gladly accept" will substantially increase the chances of being asked again.
  20. katherinejh

    katherinejh Member

    I really can't feel that bad about it. I turn down people so rarely, and the ones I do are so creepy (we're talking "using dancing as an opportunity to try to feel me up" types, not newcomers or men older than me or anything like that). If it makes me a bad person to turn down people like that, then I'm a bad person.

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