Ballroom Dance > holding onto woman's breast - during dance

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by aaah, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. aaah

    aaah Member

    There is a dancer, she new at ballroom and at the dance I noticed one of her "dance friends" was trying to get her to do a new step from behind her - he also had a hand grabbing full on her breast and it stayed there while they moved around. I was surprised as I have never seen this except in brief instances by mistake but this was ongoing as they moved around the floor.

    He is quite a bit taller - so maybe this accounted for it? He does give her a lot of attention so appears to like her for more than just friends as she is attractive and petite. Later out of the blue, she complained that he had made her uncomfortable by moving her too strongly and getting too close but she was confused, upset with other things on her mind, and did not want to be impolite to a dance friend.

    Does this "gentleman" need to be consulted with by friends or dance mgt or possibly apprehended during his "misdeed or accident?"

    What to advise?
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think that it is best to let the lady in question determine whether or not it was an accident...but if she was voicing a concern to you then you should encourage her to report it...absent that, also encourage her to decline further invitations from that man
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I would let her know that under no circumstances does anyone she's dancing with EVER need to have his hands on her breasts, and that if she feels uncomfortable, she should report him to studio management and avoid him in the future. He may have actually convinced her this is normal stuff. She needs to know it's not, and it's OK to stand up for herself.
    GGinrhinestones likes this.
  4. aaah

    aaah Member

    I did not mention what i saw (breast holding) as i did not want to embarrass her if she was aware of it and ashamed to admit what happened. I did encourage not to accept further dances or end the dance if uncomfortable - she is very shy about causing any trouble.
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    If you've already advised her, maybe you should leave it at that but keep an eye on her...see if he harasses her, if she needs help, etc. It probably wouldn't hurt to alert management, but they may not do anything about it if the person affected doesn't report it herself. Even so, they can be on the watch for it.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    she should be made aware that her shyness may end up being some other woman's misfortune..beyond that, I would leave it alone, or politely let the gentleman know what you saw, and that whether he intended it or not, recommend that he take greater care in the future
  7. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with everyone here on this one - it is NEVER appropriate for a dancer to put his hand on a woman's breast while dancing. It happens accidentally all the time, but good guys notice immediately and (usually) blush and apologize. They don't hang on. Good on you for not making your friend uncomfortable, but do please let her know as others have stated here that what her "dance friend" did is not appropriate and at a minimum, she has every right to refuse future dances with him and/or let him know his behavior was out of line.

    I also agree with Fasc that her shyness will do nothing to prevent her "friend" from doing this again to someone else, who may react very differently. If he is truly her friend, she is looking out for him if she corrects his behavior before he gets himself into trouble with someone else. If he isn't truly her friend, she is looking out for the woman who will follow. Either way, a man "grabbing full on her breast and staying there" isn't an accident - it's assault.
    JoeB likes this.
  8. caw

    caw Active Member

    The thing is, you don't know if it was intentional or not, so you can't scold him. Nevertheless, you don't want it to happen again, so make sure you let him know, because he might not have intended or even noticed.

    Let him know what he did (incase he doesn't), and tell him you understand it was an accident (even if it you're not sure, give him the benefit of the doubt), but that it can't happen again so he has to be more careful.

    There is no sense building up a big hype around this if he doesn't even know he did it. Let him know.
  9. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Not a bad approach, but I don't believe for a second that he didn't know what he was doing.
  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    It is possible that he doesn't know where to put the hand. I was in a group class once and one guy I was paired up with sincerely thought that he has to put his hand pretty much on the lady's side under the armpit (like a couple of inches below it), and not on the back. Because I am generously sized in this department, he was getting a handful. Now, because this was a group class, I asked the teacher to show him where his hand should be and it fixed the problem, but I don't know what I would have done if we were at a party. Since it's just one dance, and he's not hurting me, I might have let it slide (with a mental note to avoid the guy on the future).
  11. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    Wrong... as a guy, you know.
  12. Silmarwen

    Silmarwen Member

    We've done this in the past with several urm... overly friendly (?) guys who would squish the girl and make them feel uncomfortable. After we had a guy talk with him with almost exactly the same format caw suggested, he quit squishing his partners. We don't really know if he honestly didn't know or if he was just scared off by someone confronting him about it, but we're fine now that the problem is gone.
  13. caw

    caw Active Member

    That's exactly the point. There's no need to try to reprimand - the point is to cause the behaviour to stop, and why be mean if you don't have to.

    Look at it this way Clumsy Fellow and Twnkltoz, if the guy really did know what he was doing, he's probably not quite socially adapted. It's better to help him learn the rules that he should have learnt growing up than to punish him and turn him away from dance.
  14. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    No. I cannot imagine any form of instruction in which it would be useful to do that. If he was wanting to make a point about posture, he might at most have one hand just under the sternum and the other hand at the collarbone.
  15. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    Are you sure they were dancing?

    ".... (he) was trying to get her to do a new step from behind her - he also had a hand grabbing full on her breast and it stayed there while they moved around."

    We will disagree... He's a pig...
  16. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    When a guy puts his hand on me (or a student) in the wrong place, I move it for him. Sometimes I'll laugh and make a joke about it. Luckily I'm not so well endowed that putting it under my armpit (why do they think that is correct??) will get them in real trouble, so I can make light of it while correcting them and no harm is done.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    unless she was flat as a board or in a very bulky sweater, I cannot imagine that any man would miss having his hand "full-on" a woman's beast for the "entire time"......
    Warren J. Dew likes this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    having said that, there is no need to speculate....fact is that his hand was there and it is fair to tell him that he needs to take greater care or you will be forced to assume that he means it which would mean having to report it
    danceronice and caw like this.
  19. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Ironically, I have my hand under my partner's armpit in my avatar photo, and my arm across her breasts to boot, as can be seen from the other side:


    What's appropriate for a particular figure in the context of a particular competition partnership is completely different from what's appropriate between strangers in a social dance, of course.
  20. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    In the context of folk dances, I've done this type of hold with people I've never met before (e.g., in mixers) ... it's usually slightly more turned towards the partner, but not much. Another option is for both partners to hold the shoulderblade/ribcage rather than over the shoulder as the lady is doing here. But the point of contact is clearly (intended to be) the back, and I've NEVER had a partner slip the hand inappropriately.

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