Salsa > How do I get asked to dance

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by curious1, May 24, 2009.

  1. curious1

    curious1 New Member

    Hello all. I've been dancing salsa for about 2 yrs now and one particular thing always bothers me when I go out. As a black female, I notice that I don't get asked to dance nearly as often as other females present. Believe me, I do NOT want to play the race card here. I have thought of everything from changing my body language (making sure my arms aren't crossed, smiling, making conversation, etc), to going out every week, to sitting in highly visible areas by myself and nothing seems to work. At first I thought that maybe it was because I was new to the scene. But after going out every week for months on end, nothing has changed and I notice that women of other races who are new have no problem being asked. The places I attend are as multicultural as you're going to get for the South.
    I consider myself an intermediate dancer who is pretty attractive, although this does not appear to make a difference for other women being asked. And yes, I know I can go up and ask a guy to dance, but I'm curious as to why I don't get asked like everyone else. This phenomenon occurs with the other black females present as well. Once again, I'm only asking because I constantly find myself getting discouraged in social situations and I can't improve my following skills if I don't dance. I don't want to give up salsa, I'm just tired of being frustrated. Your honest answers appreciated
     
  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Welcome to DF, Curious1. I've only been out salsa dancing a couple times, so I can't help on that question, but I'm sure someone else will be along to help you.
     
  3. curious,

    maybe you are too pretty, maybe you are too good

    if no one ask you well ask them

    i have the same problem with beginners not wanting to ask me and only advanced dancers (not a lot in my area) ask me

    however, beginners are very happy if I ask them to dance

    so no biggie ....
     
  4. egypt1279

    egypt1279 New Member

    Same here! I'm a black female, and (as you mentioned) I have to go up to people and ask them to dance. Now that I've been to the same place every week, some people that I've asked numerous times ask me to dance now, but I still have to grab people. I don't know if it's intimidation or what. But, I considerable myself approachable because I'm always moving to the music obviously wanting to dance and dance with people at all levels. Good luck finding the answer!
     
  5. I find without being racist black people are usually very good dancer.

    Some people are just intimidated by this fact.

    Men are generally more comfortable asking follower that is less skilled than himself.
     
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Welcome to DF, egypt1279. Thanks for the contribution too!
     
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    could be lots of things having nothing to do with race... or could be race. there's no fathoming what people are thinking or how they are responding to you. i will say that where i have danced salsa, i have seen some of the most popular female dancers be dark-skinned.

    my suggestion... smile, stand by the dance floor, cultivate friendly connections with those who do ask you to dance (or whom you ask). it can take some time to penetrate a new dance circle, but once you are a familiar and welcoming face, the dance requests do come in more fluidly, IME.

    most of all... enjoy. that has it's own attractive appeal. :)
     
  8. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, curious1! Kudos to you for having the initiative to ask guys to dance. I'm awfully sorry you haven't been having a good experience. :( I think you might consider reading parts of this thread: Why do people give up salsa? (you'll have to dig past the 1st or 2nd page).

    It seems like a Catch-22. To get asked more, you need to improve. To improve, you need to get asked more. Perhaps you could focus on private lessons for the moment?

    Also, if you don't mind revealing your location, maybe you can meet up with some forum members who could help introduce you to leaders.

    Please don't give up salsa! :friend:
     
  9. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, egypt1279! :)
     
  10. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    +1 for cultivating personal (dance) relationships
     
  11. BD-DV07

    BD-DV07 New Member

    Sweet!! something I actually can help with on here (for those who have been schooling me on the ballroom page) hehe.. anyways..

    I have only been far north as DC, and far south as Atlanta to dance, and in Texas. But I've never really seen to much of a white-black issue. I'm unsure of where you go to dance, and where you go to learn, but these two IMO need to work together.. So, depending on where you take your classes, or who they are with, will determine if you will be seen at the club. If your instructor, or anyone else in your class isn't a regular at which ever club your going too, It will hard to break into the dance circle.

    If you do not know anyone at the club, I recommend this. Establish who the regulars, or groups of dancers are the strongest on the floor.. Then you need to pick out a few leads who you feel dance at about your same level or a little better, then ask them to dance. Then after a few dances, it might be a good time to ask where they take classes, or who all the came with.. this is how you get in on the know, and meet the other good dancers in the group. I know, in the south, we have I guess you could call it crews, from each city, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Augusta..etc. and oddly enough, it becomes a very tight network with each crew. (and a good bit of traveling.)

    I don’t think it’s a white, Latino, black thing here. I think you just haven't danced with the right person yet to be noticed. If you’re not up to the level of the better leads yet, they may not ask you to dance, mainly becomes, ask a strong lead, you can only give out so many dance floor lesions before you loose your voice. I never turn down anyone who asks me to dance (unless it’s a guy), but I will scan a room to find who are the best females before I start asking. Call me stuck up, but I think there is a point where you don’t ask every girl sitting in the bar. A bad partner can make for a long 3min song.. HAHA.. Anyways, Intermediate, or beginner, just try to find a group of dancers who seem to know each other, and try to meet up with them at the club more, or travel to other clubs. etc. don’t be afraid to invite yourself. Once you become a familiar face on the dance floor, you'll have a hard time getting a break.. The better you get, the more you will not get to sit down, and color will no longer be a worry.. Good luck! and don’t give up on salsa just yet!
     
  12. bas

    bas New Member

    This is my experience as well and I have to admit, I let this intimidate me as well.

    I'm not sure whether it is because I'm afraid my partner might be bored or whether it is a fear of rejection but I'm still (I've been dancing for about a year now) hesitant when it comes to asking more advanced follows to dance.

    I would definitely not take it personally. And like already suggested, ask men to dance. Trust me, we love it. It's good for our ego ;-)
     
  13. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Not for nothing, but I'm white, and I don't get asked to dance salsa much, either. You've gotten some great advice here, especially about the in-crowd nature of a lot of salsa clubs; hope it helps! I certainly intend to use it.

    And I don't know how this "welcome to DF" thing works, since I'm kind of new here myself, but in case it's OK for a newbie to welcome a fellow newbie, welcome!
     
  14. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Anyone can welcome anyone J, and you may consider yourself a newbie, but you've certainly established yourself as part of DF already.

    As j_alexandra said, Welcome Bas!
     
  15. Kromat

    Kromat New Member

    WELCOME bas & curious1

    In Salsa or Bachata, I prefer someone to be equal or better level,
    just makes it easier to follow and make transitions on each move.

    It's a guys role to approach a girl regardless, and sometimes it's not in your favor, but don't give up.

    I tend to ask a girl that is comfortable dancing the style after seeing her on the dance floor, unless you know
    them or have seen how they danced, you never know if you'll be teaching them on the floor, rather then just dancing.

    P.S. Salsa & Bachata are not my strongest dances as I have done many years of International Latin & Standard,
    but I try my best with what I know and have fun with it, and after wards try to improve on my mistakes.

    If you notice that your not being asked, then ask a guy yourself, he'll be glad too, and
    someone will notice your dancing and maybe it'll persuade them to ask you the next time.

    *** I went to a social last week, and got approached after a woman saw me dance a Cha Cha with the
    teacher that was giving a lesson before the social, and that is nice to see that someone appreciates
    how you dance, and so will others, if you convince yourself that they should dance with you. ***
     
  16. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Yes it's not necessarily a race thing. There are many other possible explanations, e.g.:

    - Social priority - guys ask their friends and classmates first

    - Unfamiliarity - guys who don't know you don't know if you can dance so would rather go to girls who they know can dance

    - Intimidation - you look too good and guys don't want to ask you in fear that you may be one of those diva types who give guys from lower castes a hard time.

    - Demography - there just aren't enough men to go around giving every girl a dance

    - Cliquey scene - where advanced guys only dance with girls from the same school, team, etc.

    - Lust - some guys prefer dancing with young, pretty things (doesn't matter if they can't dance - there's always that "I'll teach you" trick :roll:)

    I don't get asked that often (not often enough anyway :lol:), and I know it's not a race thing.

    Having said that, I remember the thread Terpsichorean Clod mentioned, and I do believe race can be an issue in some scenes. Don't know it that's the case in your particular area.

    I don't think it has to be the case. My own solution to the problem of not getting asked by men was to go asking guys myself instead. I know I want to dance, I know I can get a dance that way, I just go ahead and do it. It's not a big deal. I've also noticed that girls I thought were popular and getting asked by men all the time were also doing a fair amount of asking too. Proactivity works.
     
  17. curious1

    curious1 New Member

    Thanks to everyone who responded. TC, your link was very helpful and I did find more info on this subject. It was a relief to know that I'm not the only who has noticed this phenomena. And while I do agree with other posters that many leads may not want to "teach" on the dance floor or that dancers are more comfortable dancing within their own "group", I will reiterate that this does not appear to be the case with other beginner or intermediate females (without a group) of other races. At least not in my area. I haven't given up yet, we'll see what happens. Thanks.
     
  18. BD-DV07

    BD-DV07 New Member

    you never mentioned what area you are in.. Like someone else said, that might be a big part of the issue. being black shouldn't be to big of an issue if you have a good deal of latin folks. My Father-inlaw is Dominican, an his whole side of the family looks black, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless you heard him speak or knew he was Dominican. heck some of my cosines are really dark. They have alot of Mayan in them. (I'm from Honduras) either way..I'm Sorry you experiance this.. :(
     
  19. curious1

    curious1 New Member

    BD-DV07, you could be completely right. I live in NC, so someone else's experience in a different location like NY or DC may be totally different. Thanks for the input.
     
  20. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    Honest answers - you got it.
    All based on my personal experiences and observations.

    There are some people who might be intimidated by the fact that you're Black.
    I have no idea why, but they do seem to exist.

    I personally don't see any one ethnicity being naturally 'better' dancers than any other, but there's many people who believe that old yarn.

    If the Salsa clubs you go to attract a significant percentage of 'Latino' customers, from what I've seen, Latino guys tend to gravitate towards Latino or White girls, not Black.

    Most of my attempts at asking Black ladies to dance have been met with that suspicious half-smile and 'no', so perhaps those guys who are not asking you to dance don't because they've all been burned a few dozen times too many.

    One Black lady actually came up to me a couple of Saturdays ago, but I declined.
    Not because she was Black, but because she was way 'too much woman' for me.........
     

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