General Dance Discussion > Pet Peeves at Dances

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Phil Owl, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Here is something that I've noticed at the last three events that I've attended . . .
    A few of us were kinda of hanging around one specific area of the swing floor. And we had been there for at least four hours. Now, we are all very good dancers in WCS, ECS, NC2S, and Hustle, which is the kind of music they were playing that night. We were having a ball, and at one point, I had had two followers on the floor at the same time in a WCS. No problem!

    A hand full of Pro dancers that had competed earlier in the day, arrived at the floor. Some were friendly, some were not . . . some were sober, some were drunker than a sot! I was dancing when 4 of them got on the floor in the middle of a WCS, and began dancing opposite to the slot that everyone else was dancing. After one actual collision and two additional close calls, they had the gall to yell obscentities at us and tell us to "get off the floor." Not wanting to knock the s**t out of him, and recalling that he has been one of my judges in the past, I took my partner and walked off.

    Most Pros DO NOT DO THIS! I have just seen more and more of it lately, and not only to me! Too much alcohol? Did they do some "bad" dancing that day and did not win? I do not know.

    What causes this???
  2. d nice

    d nice New Member

    It's ego, pure and simple. Something that should be left at the door.

    Not hard for me, mine is so big no venue could fit it, so I have no choice but to leave it out doors. :lol:
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    d nice,
    I knew the answer going into asking it. Was curious as to what responses would come back.

    I was very pleased by your answer, and I could tell by your words in other posts that you were not one of those! We all have egos, and checking them at the door is "so much the correct thing to do!"

    Thanks . . .
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Vince, I'm curious, do you know what "level" these pros were?

    I've begun to notice a pattern whereby the newest of the new know that they don't know anything yet, then they learn a little and think they know everything (as per the old adage of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing), those who actually learn more seem to calm down least until they hit the 2nd tier down from the top. Most top pros actually seem pretty cool from what I can tell and know (especially those at the pinnacle)—they know where they're at, what it takes, have "made it", etc.,...its those trying to break into this strata who seem to have all the swagger and ego in the universe. I don’t know if they feel like they have to act this way to be “seen” as “champions,” or if its an ego defense mechanism whereby their insecurities in their own abilities are overcompensated for, but it’s a fairly consistent structural pattern I’m noticing within the ballroom genre (with exceptions, of course!).
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    No, I'm not sure what level the pros were. However, they were not new pros, as I've seen them around since I began competing in 1994, nor were they young . . . I would say at least 40 years-old, and very near the top!

    I too have noticed that some of the newer pros act like they know it all, and most of them do, but are better in one or two or three dances only.

    Most pros that I've met are cool, calm, and very decent people. The deserve the swagger and ego . . . they've worked hard to get there. Hell, I hang out with four pros. Thay have attitudes - deservedly, but they ar enot a**holes. SORRY!

    I don't know what the underlying reason is for this, but it is being more frequently noticed by me and others. I'm certainly not their competition by any means, even though I could hold my own against them in specific dances.

    Although I've let those issues go, I will not attend any of their dances at studios, nor take one of their classes, muchless take a private . . . so maybe I haven't entirely let go???
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Hmmm, maybe from the set who's near the top, but can't quite make it over that hump, so walk around as if they're G-d's gift to dancing?

    Me too.

    I've got to say that I disagree with you on this one...I don't think anyone ever has call for such bravado. Is there a certain poise, confidence, and carriage which can, at first blush, be mistaken as ego? Yes, this I can understand--they are experts at a skill--yet this is no call for "swagger." As one interviewee of mine pointed out, it is, after all, only dancing! This is not, of course, to diminish what it means to dance, but the point being made to me was that its not as if these people are performing life saving opperations, ending ethnic conflicts, etc.

    Now obviously the top pros want to be able to live their own lives as well, so give off a certain "ego" at times just so that they are not continuously this year's Italian Open, for instance, fans were coming up to Bryan and Carmen (the reigning World and Blackpool Latin champions) for autographs as they were standing ready to take the floor. But this type of ego is a situational one that has no place on a social dance floor, no matter the level of the dancer.

    Maybe...or maybe you just realize that its hard to learn from someone you can't respect? Sure, maybe their dancing is respectable--but if they're not? Just a thought....
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    You know, If they were walking down a narrow hallway, I might have moved to the side for them out of respect. But they were social dancing, and were dancing opposite of the slot that we were in, etc.
    Drat! I need to let this go!
    I hear you. I guess that swagger is uncalled for. I have seen and met many at the very top, and none portrayed it. I guess swagger is like some of the pros/jugdes in the movie, "Strictly Ballroom?" That's as close as I can get to something that is uncalled for!
    Yes, but anyone that does anything at the pinnacle of whatever they do is in the limelight - all the time - especially at a dance! It comes with the territory, and they know this. And . . . I bet when they first became champions . . they ate it up. Yes?
    Yes, I can do do something about it . . . I can change my attitiude!
  8. msc

    msc New Member

    Must depend on the dancer. I've met and danced with Heidi Groskreutz, and she was cool. Not much "attitude" at all, and she's a 5 time WCS champ, I think.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your assessments of ego and the like, although I think that problem is much more evident among the men than the women.
  9. d nice

    d nice New Member

    It may be more evident among the men, but it happens just as often, though in a different form, among women. I've been present for some "diva-like" behavior. Scary stuff.
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, as I've said it doesn't actually seem to be those at the top (or who've been there) who are the problems. In particular it seems to be those who think they should be in this strata and aren't.

    Also, and an important caveat here, is that I am using "the top" as a relative term. If someone's frame of reference is only a small, isolated studio, then this dynamic would still be in play relative to the various stratifications within that singular venue.

    To my mind these patterns seem to be a structurally systematic so "translate" across both scales and venues.
  11. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member


    When you go to the "top," you really hit the very top - with Heidi, and of course, Benji Schwimmer. I met them for the first time at World's this past January. I've seen them before . . . competiting . . . but watched them at 5 AM one morning practicing their routine. I tried and tried to also practice with my Pro, but couldn't do it. I 'had' to watch. Needless to say, my chin was on the floor. Such dedication, such hard work. Now THEY are champions . . . at the top . . . and both are very "cool."
  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    This isn't only "at dances" but I *HATE* it when people just stand around on the dance floor…especially when its crowded to start with!!! Hello? Its called a dance floor, not a “stand in the dancers' way floor.” Duh.
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    My number one pet peeve: people who don't know how to have fun at a dance. I understand that dancing is serious stuff, and I try to take mine as seriously as I need to -- self discipline, etc. But, from time to time, I think folks just need to lighten up and have fun. If it's not fun, why do it?

    Second pet peeve: women who don't take the initiative. I know several women of this sort -- they'll go to a dance and just sit there, waiting for a gentleman to ask them to dance. No way. I go to dances, to dance. If he doesn't ask me, I'm going to ask him. And, if there's NO guy to dance with, I'll lead another woman, or practice my solo steps. I'm just not going to sit down.

    Corollary to pet peeve #2 has been mentioned before, but what the heck: women, or men, for that matter, who refuse to dance with inexperienced dancers. At some point, perhaps in the distant past, we've all been there. So share the wealth. Let the newbies see what it feels like to dance with an experienced person. It costs you nothing, except a few minutes of your time, and may encourage them to hang in there. Just remember to tone it down so that you don't blow them away.
  14. Phil Owl

    Phil Owl Well-Known Member

    One of the most obvious and one I forgot to list myself, D'oh!!!

    I can't tell you how many times I've had that happen and it just aggrivates me and whoever I happen to be dancing with! But more so is when these people who are in everone's way shoot these disdainful glares in your direction. Errrrgh!

    There should be signs put up, NO PARKING ON THE DANCE FLOOR! :roll:
  15. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    lol. At the country bar that we take our students to has all kinds of drunk cowboys "parked" on the dance floor. The worst part about it is that they actually get MAD if someone bumps them and they spill their drink... :roll:
  16. Phil Owl

    Phil Owl Well-Known Member

    Also have to add a variation of the "DIVA" mentality.

    Not long ago, I asked this one woman to dance at an outdoor swing event , she accepted, although I definitely detected this kind of faintly hidden "I'm doing you a favor by dancing with you" attitude. Hate to say it but I was right, the whole time, she seemed really self-absorbed and doings this "HEY, CHECK ME OUT!" sort of stuff, making it difficult to lead at best. Not earth shattering, but still very annoying all the same. Dancing is TEAMWORK, not ego-gratification!
  17. Phil Owl

    Phil Owl Well-Known Member

    Also have to add (this may have been mentioned on another thread), obnoxious DJ's who:

    1) Play the same type of dance forever and ever with little variation :headwall:

    2) Have this morbid need to yap constantly, just to hear themselves talk. One such incident took place with this one guy who announced EVERY dance (as if the room was full of idiots, which it wasn't), and as if that wasn't enough, he announces the type of dance at least 3 TIMES during the course of a song!!!! :roll:
  18. jon

    jon Member

    3) Fade between songs instead of letting them end and giving a few seconds to find new partners before the next one starts (unfortunately becoming more common among WCS DJs, perhaps as a consequence of all the hip-hoppy music, which is a different gripe in and of itself).

    4) Singing or playing along with the music. It's not karaoke and it's not an open jam session!
  19. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Grrrrr . . . jon, your #4 is the one that gets me the most . . . singing, or, they think they are G-d's gift to comedians!!!

    It seems these DJs never shut up or play the "good" music until about an hour before the dance floor closes!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. jon

    jon Member

    "I love Frank Sinatra's voice. Frank Sinatra's music is a passion of mine. And you, name of DJ, are no Frank Sinatra!" -- inspired by a certain presidential debate

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