Ballroom Dance > [social dancing] Increase your chances of getting asked

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Dr Dance, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    if a lead has already asked me to dance with him, and he liked it, if he will simply say "I enjoyed that, I hope you won't hesitate to come looking for me if you have a free dance"....I will be sure to ask him...
    Lyra and leee like this.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Etiquette, body language, psychology...
    chomsky likes this.
  3. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    Yes , the pre dance lesson is a good idea. First when you change partners you introduce yourself. Next you see how well the other person can dance or how much they are willing to learn. The best thing about the lesson is that it eliminates the issues of asking and accepting invitations to dance. I can remember taking note of who I would like dance with afterwards.
  4. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Keep your eyes on the dance floor instead of sticking your nose in front of your smart phone. I will not ask a girl to dance if she has her nose stuck close to a phone.
  5. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    Is that because those kinds of women are just phoning it in?
  6. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I suspected this is what you meant. FWIW, social dance also requires a different (but not inferior) skill-set from competitive dance... it takes a lot of practice to learn to follow (or lead) many different partners at different levels to get good at it. If the only dancing a person has done is competitive training with their pro, they are not going to tear up the dance floor the first time (or second, or third, etc etc) they step on the floor at a social with other partners.
    opendoor likes this.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    that depends upon the level of the competitive dancer, the highest levels a competitive dancer will handle socials the way many pros do....and adjust very well.....this would not be true of intermediate levels where they only expect to do so but really don't....what I would say is that they will have to get good at navigating less than ideal leads and that is often not just a matter of good following/leading but of good guessing and being able to see what bag of tricks the local pros teach their social dancers....
  8. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    Agree, it depends (as usual)... DH and I have danced socially for years and he does not compete. He has noted that it is often easier to lead beginner/intermediate social dancers than the advanced competitive dancers, even for advanced figures - the former tend to be more receptive to the lead and more accustomed to adjusting to different leads and doing figures they don't know on the fly (i.e. non-choreographed sequences), even if they don't do them well. He has occasionally commented that over-attempts at styling (instead of paying attention to the lead) result in some resistance. Again, ymmv. My point is... I think we would all agree that being a great social dancer does not automatically translate into being a great competitive dancer - it takes a different type of practice/training... I would argue that the converse is also true.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure...I think my point is that a truly advanced dancer would be making connection their priority....not syling....I have met men who were leary about dancing with me because they had danced with other of my pro's students who were not good follows....and my experience tells me that if a good competitor is good but has an underdeveloped emphasis on receptivity, they may well be less than ideal follows ...particularly if they have been trained to focus more on the outward look of the dancing...but there will come a point in every dancer's progress (if they truly want to be good and have invested enough time and effort)...whether it be sooner or later depending upon the priority of their instructor, they will eventually have to make connection their first priority...and if it is, they will be good at social dancing...not flawless, but good
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 New Member

    This all seem pretty good except one thing. I really don't think I want to dance with someone at a social who selected me based on the length of my hair. That seems like it would be more important if I was looking for a guy to take me home for the night.
    SwayWithMe and dbk like this.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, some people are visual...they don't even realize it, but have a visual reaction/preference regardless of ultimate are not really subtle creatures...if they are there for reasons other than dance it won't take a bright woman longer than 15 minutes to figure that out
  12. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    This makes me lament that some people watching more experienced dancing think that anybody who can stick their arms out airplane-style when dancing a figure is "an advanced" or even "A real pro!" dancer, and can't separate quality sparkle from poster glitter. They get that aw, shucks grin and act like saying yes is the equivalent of a root canal. Okay, then. I'll just wobble around the floor and let you drag me so you can enjoy complaining about what a terrible follow I am, so your ego is stroked. God, I really have turned into a snob. I don't look the part, but it's in my little brain already.
  13. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I agree - I have short hair. This is one of the reasons I am acutely aware of this (+ the other things I mentioned). I have a couple friends in the group I go out social dancing with, and they routinely get asked more than I do, even though I am more advanced than they are and generally a more capable follow (for the "how do you know that" skeptics - sorry, you're just going to have to take my word for it). Both have long hair, tend to be wearing a skirt, and just generally have that nice, friendly, smiling, pretty, non-threatening appearance. And they get asked by leaders we don't know way more often than I do. I don't get upset about it, but I do recognize that's how it is, so I know I'm going to have to work extra hard to put on my non-intimidating look and ask the leads to dance when they are available.

    This, exactly.
    Caroline Skipper likes this.
  14. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm. I sometimes wonder about follows who watch themselves in the wall mirror(s) for most of certain dances. I can appreciate them wanting to check their form, but I also wonder if they can't do that without a partner / lead.
  15. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I didn't really think about this for some time, until this thread came up and the last few posts brought it to the front of my mind again.

    I was bigger (not by much though), clumsier, and a much worse follow a few years ago when I first started, but I wore my hair long, over-compensated with pretty skirts and sparkly shoes, and did all the things to cover up the parts of myself and dancing I didn't like with MISDIRECTION! tricks. I couldn't sit down at parties. I was always up being dragged through somethingorother I didn't know. I even sat as far away from my partner as I could, because I knew that people didn't often ask "already partnered" dancers to dance often. Why is that? Because something inappropriate might happen despite your best efforts?

    Now, I'm where I want to be with my dancing and it makes me happy, but some things have changed. I often have my hair up and out of the way (guys complain when they put their hand on my back and hair's in the way), I wear black pants and a black thing over my top (people want to be able to see lines clearly when they watch me demonstrate something, and layers inside a cold studio just seem wise). My dance shoes are now comfortable, flesh-toned low-heel teaching sandals instead of wobbly pretty ones (so I'm not caught sitting down changing shoes, and minimise a wobble or one of those hop-pauses mid-stride). I can follow, I can improvise, I can wait, I can adapt (because guys get tired of having to stop and start over every time). I smile and laugh and have great conversations with all these guys (because if I don't, is something wrong? I seem so intense or maybe irritated...). And unless I ask someone to dance (which they can decline for any reason), I sit out much of the evening because my partner's working all of the unpartnered followers like a good dance host should (and I can't dance that often with him, because then we're bad hosts and I'm hogging That Guy who can Dance).

    So based on what's being mentioned, do men seem to look for a 'harmless target' when asking follows to dance? Something easy and fun that doesn't require a lot of effort, and anyone who appears that they might make them have to stop and recount isn't as interesting as three minutes of bland smiling and a couple words of conversation before a twirl-out/thanks. I'm not little, inoffensive, or appealing. Worse, I now get paid to tell others what they're doing wrong (to oversimplify) because I can render a fair approximation of what I'm teaching the 'right' way. This all sounds like it's more their problem with coming to terms with their insecurities than it is ours for our confidence- when we're allowed to have it.

    I sometimes want to say 'MAKE UP YOUR MIND': Do you want that perfect follower who does everything you tell her to do for a flawless dance, or do you want someone who's pretty, giggly, innocent, and not quite up to your standards of dance quality? OR, do you just want to keep doing what you're doing so you can complain about how terrible we all are on internet forums?

    As a follower, I'm amenable to dancing with someone who:

    asks me to dance. There. Really difficult list.

    But I also realize that because these are chat forums, that what we're doing is perfectly okay. Hashing it all out and finding new angles on the same old debates can be interesting, entertaining, and at least it's never dull. If we spent a LOT of time on this offline, I'd say we really overthink it and take it too seriously- but here, it's nice to see the inner workings of some people's brains (maybe not mine- that's kind of scary, but hey, at least it doesn't take long!).
    OreganO, wooh, Dean and 3 others like this.
  16. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm definitely into complaining on the Net.
    Geez, that's expecting an awful lot.
    SwayWithMe, wooh and Larinda McRaven like this.
  17. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Much crazy, I know.
  18. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    I can totally identify with this post, even though my journey was not exactly the same. In the beginning, I thought, all I have to do is get good at dancing, and I will get asked a lot... nope, did not happen. I actually had a meltdown (waterworks) about it at a party once and my instructor at the time had to explain to me that sometimes people were afraid to ask ladies who seemed really good. WTF?!?! I thought.

    "I'm not little, inoffensive, or appealing." - ditto. I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination (though I'm not technically "fat" either), I am fairly brash and sarcastic among friends (but without your colorful metaphors - so jealous), my fashion sense leans more edgy than pretty, and if I had a dime for every time someone told me I am "intimidating" (seriously, I'm short - how is that intimidating)... but I am good enough that I'm probably going to follow you better than (and certainly as graciously as) many of my thinner, more feminine, giggly counterparts (nothing against them - I've spent more time and money on dance and I have a little bit of crazy that they don't), and you know it if you've spend any time crowd watching - which you have, which is why I am "intimidating".

    /Rant off
  19. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Oho yes on the people-watching. If I didn't people watch, I'd be a REALLY terrible follow. When I first started dancing with other people, I couldn't follow anything. It was so frustrating, because I could dance with my partner or my teacher, and to some extent other people within the same class, or who'd had a similar teaching/learning style. At another studio, the same figures with complete strangers? I missed them every single time. I started watching their dancing like some creeper, and tried to figure out "Okay, that's a such and such, but when he led it, he didn't pre-lead with any rotation." I'd remember that if I danced with him. I picked up little things by watching how other people led, and how other follows responded, and tried my hardest to transfer that into usable knowledge.

    I'm a big person, and I have been diagnosed by my partner with (he doesn't know the term, but he's identified it often enough) "Resting smile." Inside, I'm going "Yay! Pink shoes! Double cheeseburgers!" but on the outside, it looks like I've found out that they're going the "Sell out to the babies audience!" route with Caskett. Ugh, god, on that note, I'm scared to catch up on episodes. I better read ahead first.
  20. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    I don't smile much when sitting on the sidelines at a social but am attracted by a woman who makes eye contact and if we "lock eyes" I feel compelled to offer a dance. I would rather dance with a small group of people (from my own party or the same studio) not because of exclusivity but because I prefer to dance with people I know. A nice smile and friendly gaze breaks the ice and would encourage me to broaden my list of possible dance partners and get over a certain social phobia. Once on the dance floor I look for partners who don't criticize (a pet peeve of mine) and who know more than the basic steps of the major competitive dances. Long hair is irrelevant.

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