General Dance Discussion > Declining Dance Invitations

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

  1. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    I agree. I mainly included his post as context for the one that followed. The context is also slightly different, as the forum is made up of mainly lindy/blues dancers, and our dances consist of primarily one dance, so that sort of excuse wouldn't really be encountered.
  2. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    I always thought that the better dancer I become, the less of a chance I’ll get declined when asking a woman to dance. But that’s not necessarily true. My instructor says he gets turned down a lot because some women who are just learning are afraid to dance with someone real good. A lot of women would reply to him saying, “Oh no! I can’t dance with you! You’re too good for me. I’m only a beginner!”
  3. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    @Indiana_Jay - I'm pretty sure we all write mental signs, and I generally feel the same way you do.

    What was interesting to me in the exchange I posted, was that the guy who obviously had the strongest opinion on the matter, was also the one who fully concurred with me about 'strategically burning bridges.'
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    TC asked earlier in the thread what the analagous rules are for men when they turn down a woman.
    Not surprisingly this situation is not addressed because back in the day women pretty much didn't ask men to dance. period.
    For me though, it's pretty much a case of what's good for the goose being good for the gander.
    I have passed up dances if I have turned someone down or even left the dance floor with them.

    (Lengthy explanation here....
    At country western places people do pattern partner dances (round dances, really I've come to understand). There are times when the entire room is off of the music because someone started the dance at the wrong time. There is also the question of what dance you do to which song. I ALWAYS explain myself very thoroughly if this happens and make it a point to dance with that person later. The women who know me are OK with this because they know how important the music is to me.)

    If a second person then asks me, I will tell them that I am sitting out because I just turned someone down, etc., but will dance the next one with them.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've had further thoughts about some of the situations a few of you have brought up.

    I have one friend that is a super nice guy, and mostly certainly a pretty good dancer.
    Thing is, I doubt that anyone have ever described him as handsome. (I'm being very diplomatic here.)
    He is often turned down by attractive young women. If he is turned down, and they then dance with someone else during the same dance... Well, they don't have to worry about me asking them. (Perhaps not their loss, I'm willing to admit.)

    There's another guy that pretty much fits the older, creepy guy description. He practically stalks any young woman who is foolish enough to accept an invitation to dance. And his style of dancing is... pretty weird. I don't think he's ever actually abused anyone. He just monopolizes, totally.

    What would I say to these women if they would ask me what to do (which is probably never going to happen!)?
    After you've had enough you are going to have to tell him that you appreciated the dances, but you would also like to dance with other people. And if I'm dancing with you, they can't ask me. So "No thanks." Polite, but firm.

    I feel badly for these women, and would guess that lots of them don't come back because of his behavior.
  6. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I normally don't do the asking, especially guys I don't know well, but a few times I did and got this response - that I am too good for a beginner to dance with. Well, whatever.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Then it´s up to you: comfort her, match her dancing skills, and let her have a lasting dance experience. By the way, being a beginner did not stop me, anyway. For 4 years (tango takes longer than salsa) I asked women for a dance with: ".. but I am still a beginner...". :p
  8. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    But not all men do that and that's why some women can be afraid sometimes. When I danced with this one girl at a social, she first danced with this guy who is a MUCH better dancer than me. In fact, I can tell he's been going there for years. Then afterwards, I asked her to dance and she accepted. It was a much simpler dance since I'm only a beginner myself. When the dance was over, she told me afterwards that she liked dancing with me better because the other guy was giving some sort of attitude like he didn't like dancing with her because she wasn't good enough.
  9. Dots

    Dots Active Member

    I make it a point never to invite a higher leveled student more than once per evening unless she clearly demonstrated that she enjoyed dancing with me. This is partly because I respect her desire to dance at her level and I don’t want to hog all of her free time. If she politely refuses then I’ll take that as a “please ask me again when you’re more experienced” (which means I’ll wait 1 or 2 months before daring again).

    So far, I have gotten very, very few refusals that way.

    If I danced with a higher leveled student at one point and on a seperate occasion, she asks me to dance with a bright smile, I take it as a “hey, I have fun dancing with you and I’ll be happy to dance again whenever you want.” Now that is really cool when that happens :D
  10. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Unless there is an excess of leaders so that ladies never have to sit out, if she is still sitting several bars into a song, you should feel free to ask her even if you have already danced with her (assuming you want to dance with her again). Most of us would rather dance, at any level, than sit.
  11. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I don't think that's analogous. I think the analogue to your case is the lady doesn't dance that dance with someone else, either. :)
    Thanks for sharing, Steve. Can you dig up any rules applicable to men only, e.g., whom the men ask?
  12. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I like what DL said. :)
  13. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    From over 2 years ago... aw, shucks!

    ETA: That's still how I approach the really great followers at social dances...
  14. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    the observation of etiquette presumes a desire to minimize the risk of giving offense. once that presumption no longer applies, any subsequent behavior can no longer be classified as observing etiquette. it would fall into the category of bad manners; etiquette tells us how we should behave. manners tell us what to do when others don't!
  15. Ecclesiastes3_4

    Ecclesiastes3_4 New Member

    and started asking them to dance (the really great followers, not the chairs).

  16. I have a lot of good friends at my dance circle I never or very rarely dance with. Mostly because most of my dance friends have some sort of partner they dance with most of the night. They never ask me I never ask them. We sit down together for coffee and cake after social and generally socialise a lot with them but we just dont dance together. No biggie I think.

    We do occasionally 'lend' each other DP if the other's DP is sick or on vacation etc.

    Once I was in the middle of a dance with DP and I felt very sick so I asked DP that I want to sit down. DP went away to get some juice for me. Some leads ask me to dance and I said no I am not feeling well. When DP came back with the juice I had a sip and felt better and want to go back to dancing. I probably came across as being rude but when I was asked I genuinely felt sick.
  17. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    That's understandable!

    Personally, I think it's ok to decline a dance invitation if....

    1) You don't know the dance. For example, if you're a Rumba dancer and someone asks you to Salsa dance with him, you obviously won't be able to dance with him if you never had a lesson on Salsa.

    2) The guy is a complete jerk. If the guy is obnoxious and disrespectful to women, then you should not feel obligated to put up with him. You go to a social to have fun, not deal with jerks.

    3) You're not feeling well or you're tired. If you're sick, don't force yourself to dance. If you're too exhausted, then don't force yourself to dance. And my favorite.....if you're feet hurt, don't force yourself to dance. :D

    A man needs to learn to be understanding (This is something I should've learned to be when I first started ;)). A women can not always accept every and any dance that a man offers. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you'll need to decline a dance offer. That's perfectly fine.

    HOWEVER....this doesn't mean that a woman should reject a dance offer because the guy is not good looking, he's not your type, he's not cool enough, or for other personal reasons. If you know the dance, if you're feeling well, and the man is trying hard to be friendly and pleasant, it's proper etiquette to accept the dance invitation.
  18. I think the rudest I have ever been was when I was in pain/terribly upset and was in tears and someone ask me to dance and I just answered 'No thanks !'.

    Hint boys and girls: If someone is holding her head/belly/feet and cringing in pain probably not the wisest idea to ask him/her for a dance.

    Oh another unintentionally rude occasion I think is when I genuinely promised someone for a particular dance and someone else ask me for the same dance.

    I said no I have promised someone for a dance. However when I look around and could not found the person I promised the dance to. This first someone has decided to go to the bathroom and forgotten that he actually promised me this dance.

    Hence I end up sitting out the dance.

    Now the second person who asked probably thinking that I was making up excuses not to dance with him which is obviously not the case.

    So yeah ... sometimes even if it appears that someone is rude maybe they dont mean so ?
  19. Dupont

    Dupont Member

    In this situation, there is an easy solution with which you miss part of the dance only. I use it often.

    When the Second Person invites me while I have promised the First Person the dance, meanwhile the First Person is not available, I reply to the Second Person:

    "Please wait for a moment, I have promised this Foxtrot to the First Person, but if he is not here, we can dance this Foxtrot."

    That "moment" is about 30 seconds long, or about 1/3rd of the dance. After that, the deal with the First Person is gone, and I approach the Second Person. If the Second Person is not available, I often approach a Third Person.

    You know, often the song is so bad, so long, or you are so tired, or the dance would be so difficult or so bad otherwise that skipping its beginning is only beneficial.
    opendoor likes this.
  20. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    there is what i consider a weasel-worded response which might be effective:

    "i don't think i'm good enough to dance well with you."

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