Swing Discussion Boards > Leads Won't Ask You To Dance

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Vince A, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    vince: is your wife speaking for herself? IIRC you both compete with other partners - the fact she competes may intimidate one portion of the crowd, and while you both may be very open about dancing socially some others may be influenced by your presence and/or existence. when it comes to wcs (whose dancers for better or worse have a reputation in many people's eyes for eating their own young), i'm personally very hesitant to ask someone else's wife or apparent date if i don't know the guy at all, compared to dancing in other venues.
  2. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    Some reasons I don't ask follows to dance:
    1. I'm taking a break
    2. They have a creepy reputation.
    3. They enjoy dancing with themself, so I don't get anything out of the dance.
    4. They dance poorly

    Before anyone starts thinking I'm a dance snob, I'm not. I will ask many follows to dance. Typically, rule #1, not the others, comes into play. I enjoy dancing. I don't mind being asked by the woman, but sometimes I do. I suppose if we leads are used to the follows asking us to dance, we might get lazy and forget that we, as the lead, ought to ask the follow. At least, this is how it worked according to ballroom etiquette.
  3. huey

    huey New Member

    Where I dance, it is the tradition for the man (lead) to ask the woman (follow). So if a follow is not getting asked, it is probably for a reason.

    In my experience, one of the following two reasons are quite likely:

    1. Men find a woman intimidating (i.e. she is a teacher or very good dancer)

    2. They don't enjoy dancing with her (difficult to lead, no frame/tension, poor sense of rhythm/musicality), so they'd rather dance with someone else.
  4. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    When I was a beginner, I would always do the asking. Now that I´m a more proficent dancer, I get asked frequently.

    I admit, sometimes I get lazy and just wait for follows to come my way. 8)

    I also sometimes like observing the couples on the dance floor or talking to friends so I´m not constantly dancing. Because of this I get asked more.
  5. tj

    tj New Member

    Lol! What happens when you grab the guy’s hand by mistake? :wink:

    Asking a woman coming off the dancefloor is a good idea, btw.

    It’s a good valid point, DW. And you’ve proven that not all of the younger set will be shallow. In my experience, the shallow sort end up burning themselves out after a few months as they eventually find themselves lacking enough good partners.

    Lol! Now you know the appeal…
  6. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I am still shy when it comes to asking follows to dance. In a social situation I would not ask someone who was attached to dance unless I was comfortable and knew both of the partners in advance. As well in the salsa scene it can be hard sometimes to tell who is there to dance and who is there to hook up. If I get the feeling someone is there to hook up I will usually not ask them to dance. I definitely prefer to dance with people inside my own little group.
  7. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Regarding the whole story starting with...

    Difficult for you or your spouse? ;)


    I grant I'm the advisor for a college group. I think I dance pretty well socially (specializing in lead-follow in dances as I can). I try to be sure my own kids do a lot of dancing, and so whenever any of the women in my group aren't dancing, I'll dance with them.

    Now, last weekend at a social dance (where there were mostly beginners actually), a WCS came on, and none of the girls in our group knew WCS. One of the guys there did take lessons but couldn't dance with anyone. So I hopped in and had him dance with me (me as follower). It's good practice for me anyway, and it certainly amused a number of dancers who were there.

    That being said, it's still a bit intimidating for me to dance with someone at least 10 years younger than me. As I keep going on as advisor, that age gap is only going to widen.

    At the introductory (free) lessons I help out with, I danced with this one girl (I presume she's a freshman because I hadn't seen her before this year... plus I think she told me as much after the fact) with swing and a couple of other dances. She did bring her boyfriend to learn with her, but when the student instructor I was overseeing would say to "change partners" she would leer over to me (I'm in charge of music and supervise the lesson) and just start walking towards me with "that look" that she wanted to dance with me. (No, it didn't look like :shock: .) That would carry over to social dances we would hold on campus there, and even if I were running the music half the room away in a major crowd, that look over to me was all that was needed.
  8. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think she'd welcome it if I were to run off with somebody, because then she'd finally be rid of me. The marriage is disintegrating and I've effectively been living alone for nearly two years, even though she lives in the same house (always choosing to not be in the same room with me) and sleeping in the same bed. No need to apologize; you doubtlessly did not know.

    However, despite being Mexican by marriage, I'm almost entirely Celtic by ancestry (mixed very slightly with German). I had grown up in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood and spent 28 years as a part of my wife's family (plus a couple weeks travelling in Mexico with them last summer), but I never before felt so self-conscious about being so huero (fair-skinned) as the first few times in that Salsa class. I've pretty much gotten over it, though the other night in the rotation a gringa partnered with me and commented, "At last, somebody who's lighter than me."

    Well, in my case try more than 30 years difference. Our son is older than most of these girls, so I'm more than old enough to be their father.

    At one venue our teacher had going, he would always give a beginner's class right before the dance and various special-interest classes before that. A lot of students would come from the university nearby (that I had graduated from 28 years before) for the beginner's lesson and dance. Once at the start of the lesson, we started partnering up ("grab anybody's daughter", if you know the song), so I approached the nearest one who happened to be a young college student. She had this look on her face that I don't think she realized was showing, like "omigod, the old guy's coming towards me! How do I get out of this?". So I just smiled and said friendily, "Don't worry, you won't be stuck with me; we rotate partners." That seemed to reassure her.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about the relationship stuff, DWise1. I can relate to the long-term disintegration. It's really sad, because you can see it coming for so long, but it seems there's nothing you can do. :(

    And back onto the dance part of your post, it never ceases to amaze me how shallow some people are, particularly in dance class. I've seen a lot of girls in these classes who don't want to dance with "the old guy." Heck, my two best social dances ever have been with men over eighty. Yes, over eighty. (Of course, I haven't danced with any DF guys... yet. LOL) It's a shame people don't let go of their silly prejudices. If they did, they could have much more fun.
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Tis' a pity. You are missing out on a lot!

  11. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Well, I'll say sorry anyway. :(

    I know based on my interactions with (non-dancing) Latinas, there is this weird social tension about what the proper gender behavior is. Guys tend towards being very macho, and some women after a while get very testy because of it. I'm sure it also works the other way though I'm not as knowledgeable.

    As mentioned on this board before, I apparently dance salsa and merengue pretty well for an Asian guy. But yeah, there are times when I know I get a little weirded out dancing at the club here. I shouldn't except for the fact that I do ballroom salsa, and so I'm very confident in my basics. Then I see everyone else and I go... gee. Of course, not only that, but everyone else knows I do ballroom salsa rather than club salsa, and as such, I don't get to dance as much (maybe because I am so entrained in proper lead-follow that other follows somehow don't get it? I cannot figure it out). And I don't fit the demographic. So yes, I can definitely relate.

    Well, I'm sure I'll get there soon enough. ;)

    I think there's a point though where once you go beyond that 30-year gap that dancing with an older guy would actually be okay. (Check out locked topic on being aroused while dancing.) ;)
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Okay. As a person who dances with both salsa ballroom and club dancers I can comment. The connection that one gets with the two types is different. Both can be good connections with great lead/follow skills, but they are different. Whether or not you get dances is a factor on how comfortable people feel with it. It takes some getting used to. Believe me!
  13. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Definitely agree... the connection is definitely a distinguishing difference. The connection is very light but your frame still has to be "there." I'm having similar issues with the type of body connection with Argentine tango, so it will probably take me a while to get it down. Of course, now I'm used to WCS and the technical connection it requires (which has made it EASIER for me to dance ballroom actually)...

    Good excuse to take salsa classes... when they finally post a schedule for intermediate On1 classes...
  14. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    There are some leads and good friends who will not ask me to dance. They are happy to dance with me if I ask, but they won't ask me. Funnily enough they are also married and their wives dance with them as well. Maybe they don't want to me seen asking another woman?? :? Their wives are hardly the jealous types so I really don't understand it, I just ask them! :wink:
  15. setsuna713

    setsuna713 New Member

    I wouldn't have worried about this I guess. Our Lindy scene is not sooo age diverse (18-30 is the biggest group). As the "baby" of the group, I've gotten so used to dancing with people older than me. One of my favorite leads has a daughter my age.

    Age doesn't make one creepy, manners do! There are people very close to my age that I'll refuse to dance with and/or hide from becuase they creep me out (being propositioned on the Lindy floor just should not happen).

    Sometimes I feel that leads don't ask me to dance (especially when I travel and don't know anyone). In those cases, if I start asking, I start getting asked (if they see you out on the floor, the think to come ask you I guess). I hope this helps!
  16. Neil

    Neil Member

    I ask one local swing dancer to dance. My wife, Mariana, doesn't ask for dances, and she doesn't like me to leave her sitting by herself. So, I ask the one girl who brings a man who is a good leader and asks my wife to dance. Once in a while, a girl will be so friendly with Mariana that she'll suggest I offer the girl a dance even though she didn't bring a good leader. That's rare.
  17. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I missed this one before.

    A few years ago at an open New Year's party, there was one very old gentleman who had to at least be in his 80's if not older (I'm "only" 52). At the time I couldn't recognize what type of ballroom dance he was doing with a young (¿in her 20's?) very attractive woman. All I could think watching them was "Wow! Can he move!" He had such a quiet smooth graceful mastery of the dance that even this newbie would have been knocked off his feet if he weren't sitting down.

    If that older guy asking for a dance has put the years in (unlike me), then a young lady would be a fool to decline that dance.

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