Salsa > The Art of Giving Out Your Number

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by blossomingsalsadancer, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. When I first started dancing salsa and men asked me for my phone number my first instinct was to refuse. I went mostly to "regular" clubs (ie. meat markets) during my college years and in that context I knew that giving out my number = consenting to possibly being asked out on a date. After dancing salsa for a while, I began to see some people over and over again and some of them became what I consider "dance buddies"--the ones you chat with and dance with periodically during the night. After a couple such meetings, I usually began to think that it would be nice if I knew when "so and so" would be at the club so that I can try to go out that same night and can find a friendly face in the crowd. This thought, however, is not tinged with a desire to get asked out. I just want friendly, no-pressure companionship at the club and I figured there must be males out there that want the same thing.

    So I started thinking that it was a bit vain of me to think that every man in the salsa scene who asked for my contact info wanted to pursue me romantically. I also realized that the salsa scene is different from the "regular" club scene and so maybe giving out my number doesn't carry the same connotation in the salsa context (after all we dance salsa most of the time with people we have no romantic interest in). To make a long story short, I finally got over my initial hesistancy to give out my number. I have given my number out to men who as a whole, I danced with more than once, who I danced well with, who were polite and were not making passes at me and who asked for my number casually instead of aggressively. For the most part, I haven't been disappointed since I seem to have found genuine male dance buddies with whom I spend time with only at the salsa scene. I now have a number of male friends who call me up from time to time to see if I'm going dancing that night and if so where I would be going so they can join me. Some call me up to see if I have the time and energy to accompany them to a club they want to check out, some call me to see if I want to carpool. Anyway, these have been pressure-free excursions to the club--there's an implicit understanding that we're free to dance with everyone else, that I don't expect him to pay for anything for me and that the night isn't a "date." We often discuss how nice it is to have a "safety net" partner when you first arrive at the club so that you can get your dancing legs on or sometimes, just demonstrate to people that you know how to dance (which makes it easier for him to get dances later and easier for me to be asked to dance).

    Things have been going along swimmingly until one guy (let's call him Mr. X) I recently gave my number to got irritated by my "foot loose and fancy free" attitude during our first salsa excursion. During my dance excursion out with Mr. X, we danced with a lot of different people. I told one guy I danced several songs with that night that it was my first time dancing at that club and although I liked it, I was still a bit intimidated by the unfamiliarity of it to come to the club on my own. He told me to give him my number so that he can call me when he goes back to the club and I can join him so I won't be scared to be alone. I gave him my number and was grateful for the offer. Mr. X however got irritated that I gave out my number--an awkward end to the night to say the least. The only way I can understand the source of the irritation is that perhaps the excursion wasn't entirely understood to be platonic. Apparently I misread the casualness of the dance excursion--whether that was a miscommunication or a unconscious turning of a blind eye on my part is something I'm trying to figure out. :?:

    The question is this: how do I ensure that when I give out my number to a seemingly friendly salsero that it is understood that I only want friendship? Are there magic words to say? Are there critera (aside from the ones I cited above) that I should look for to weed out the Don Juans? Does the very act of giving out my number inherently send mixed signals to a salsero?

    Is Harry (from When Harry Met Sally) right when he said "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way."

    I would love to hear the male perspective here and to hear advice from women who have been through a similar dilemma.
  2. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Disclaimer: I'm a ballroom dancer. I've only danced salsa a short time. (And by the way tsb has a salsa party coming up on the 27th. :wink: )

    In ballroom we give our numbers out all the time without trouble. But salsa seems to be more intense than ballroom and is more clubby.

    Sure, men and women can be just friends. In my experience the sex thing does appear from time to time (you just have to remember we are still men. It's what we do. :wink: ) but you can still be friends. Now my experience with this does not include hot, sexy salseras that I'm dancing with.

    In my case, if I get your phone number after just having met you or recently met you, I'm hoping for a date. If I've known you for a while then I'm asking for a friend's phone number. Uhh, there have been a couple of exceptions to this. :roll: :lol:

    If you ask for a number maybe be clear and just say you are not interested in a date? Somehow I think that if you try to hint at it we might miss the message.
  3. leaf

    leaf New Member

    Give out numbers to unavailable men (married/attached/gay)... hehehe... kidding! I guess it's easy to draw the line by meeting them strictly in the salsa club. Attempt to make it a group affair, call the entire world to salsa! Drop hints in the midst of conversations, like how you enjoy having like-minded friends to salsa together and wish that the group can grow bigger... etc.

    I guess you can't stop someone from liking you :wink: Just ignore his "unhappiness" or advances, as per normal, dance with anyone you like and he will get the idea that you just wanna have a good salsa night out & nothing more.
  4. ash88

    ash88 New Member

    If you give me your number, unless i've known you for 6 months already, i'm going to assume that you are preluding to asking me out on a date or getting me to ask you out.

    As to the best approach in dealing with this, I'd think honesty was the way to go. You might offend some guys, but surely they are the ones that were hoping your platonic outing wasn't going to stay platonic.
  5. brujo

    brujo New Member

    Magic words to say:

    I just want friendship.
    You are good enough to dance with, not good enough to mate with.
    The only mambo we do will be vertical, thank you very much.
    Lets be dance buddies.

    It doesn't really matter what you say as long as you are honest. Don't worry about feelings, you are not responsible for the way anyone reacts to your words, I would assume the guy will be more offended if you lead him on, making him think it is a date. Don't worry, our hides have been thickened by all that rejection from our beginner days...
  6. brujo

    brujo New Member

    Only men have sex? No Comprende. Who do men have sex with? Other men? Cattle? Blowup sheep?
  7. tacad

    tacad New Member

    :lol: Rather I meant to only speak for my sex. I do very badly speaking for the other sex. :doh: :lol:
  8. *Sigh* this is pretty much the rule in the "real world"--I was hoping it would be different in the salsa scene since people may want to see each other at a club again simply because they dance well together, they don't freak each other out when they're chatting on the sidelines and they're both addicted to the same activity. Okay gentlemen duly noted--no giving out numbers to people you haven't known for a while (ie. 6 months or more).

    Don't laugh--I actually thought about this already! I nixed the idea because I don't want to cause potential arguments between the married/attached salsero and their significant other and also, I have yet to meet a gay salsero (this would so ideal!).

    I'm worried I will offend those men that REALLY do just want friendship. I don't want to insult and push away those men by being presumptious in assuming they are attracted to me or in assuming they have ulterior motives. :(

    :lol: Oh Brujo, I wish I was sassy and gutsy enough to say that!

    Yes, honesty and straightforwardness is logically the best approach because it prevents confusion. However, personally I think it is easier to say "no" altogether rather than give my number out and then qualify it with "just to be clear, I only want to be friends." In the former approach, a man can save face if I simply say "I'm not comfortable giving my number out to people in clubs" whereas in the latter, there doesn't seem to be a graceful escape from the preemptive straight-out rejection. Although being rejected is hard (we ladies have experience in this too you know), delivering the rejection message can be just as bad when, like me you can't help but worry about people's feelings and are wracked with guilt for having hurt someone :(
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Ok, seeing that you guys are being silly, let me bring the topic back on track :lol: ........

    Well, blossomingsalsadancer, there is generally no magic words, per se, except in the delivery of your words.

    You've done all the right things. If people are going to misread anything for a 'signal to date'.....that's too bad.

    In my experience, if you ask the guys for their numbers instead, and put it in salsa context, they are usually quite clear on your intentions. USUALLY.
  10. WoW! What a good idea! I think I'll try that approach from now on!!! :bouncy: Now all we need to work on is training me in how to ask for numbers. :)
  11. africana

    africana New Member

    What's wrong with just making friends with girls?
    You said there are plenty of men asking every where so there's really no need to take a man of your own to the clubs.
    A girlfiend is the safest, no ulterior motives, no threat of the "eww" factor, no man expecting you to only dance with them....

    I had an epiphany one day, after a long discussion with one of my male salsa *buddies* that guys never really "quit". that's not necc. a bad thing mind you, but it's one more thing to worry about
  12. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

    I have quite a few salsa-buddies in my phonebook. They get in there in different ways, but the men usually ask for my number. Some of them I was quite aware that their intentions were more for a date. Depending on my mood, I may give my number out anyway because the trend has been that most of them don't call for whatever reason. A man I recently went out with had to ask me on three separate occasions if he could call me before he actually did it. Even if I never agree to a date, chatting on the phone has created better friendships than if we were simply club acquaintances. I don't think there are any where it has really hurt our relationship. I agree that it is very nice to be able to ensure that on a given night, you will have enough "good" leads.

    You said that for the most part things have gone very smoothly. There are always exceptions to this rule and it looks like you found one. Just because he wanted more, or wanted things to be different, does not mean that you were responsible for his expectations. He is responsible for his own expectations. If/when you realize that your expectations are not meshing, communicate. He may not like it, but honesty is the best policy. I had an experience similar to yours, only we were going out "as friends" outside of the club. When someone else asked me a question and I stopped to answer, he got upset that I wasn't "just with him". I let him know quite clearly that he had said this was not a date and even if we were dating, I am not the kind to completely ignore the rest of the world. I realize that it was somewhat of a cultural thing, but those kind of expectations won't work for me. Anyway, he didn't like hearing it, but we are able to be friends, inside the club.
  13. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    How about being honest? Like "it would be great to have dance buddies to go to clubs with. Let's exchange phone numbers."

    Africana's got a point about girl dance buddies... And with "unavailable men", you could always ask for the guy's lady's number (instead of/as well as his), making it clear that you are looking for dance buddies to go to clubs with.
  14. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Well, I end up having more guy dance buddies than girl dance buddies. For the simple reason that (in my city anyway) leads are the minorities. The good ones are likely to cause tension between girls as they (girls) all fight to get a dance with them (good leads) :shock: .....!

    Besides, guys tend to stay away if there's a group of girls. They are worried that if they ask one for a dance and get turned down, it's worse than asking the girl standing by her self & get turned down :roll: ......
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You want it you ask for it. Their problem if it is viewed as anything more then what you intend it to be.
  16. africana

    africana New Member

    yes girls can be catty when they all compete for fewer leads. But better reason to befriend them (as alemana calls them, "frenemies") although that usually happens when one no longer sees them as competition, a more mature attitude

    good point for those that tend to hang in herds. but I NEVER hang around girl friends once I get to the club/social. Which is why I detest going out with friends who can't dance (well), they almost always expect you to babysit them or leave too early
    I have two girlfriends that are great examples of independence, they do their own thing once we get there (and do it well) until we are ALL ready to leave. And best part they don't try to carry on conversation IN the club
  17. Nothing at all. In fact, I have more female salsa buddies than male salsa buddies. I try however not to ONLY have female dance buddies because it's a different dynamic when you go out. When you have a male dance buddy, you can start dancing right away the minute you walk in through the doors. With female buddies, we sit around or stand around first to settle in and then we start dancing once the men start asking. I agree that the whole "herd" situation is not ideal since it's intimidating to men--another reason I've been trying to not go out with just a group of ladies.

    Good suggestion! However, this will only work if the significant other (SO) is at the club with him. I've run into a lot of salseros who are attached but didn't bring the SO because she doesn't know/doesn't like to dance.

    Since straightforwardness is the recommended preventive remedy here, have you ever, in the middle of a phone chat, told the man that just to be clear, I only want a dance buddy and nothing more?" It sounds so easy to do but in practice, it seems a little abrupt/stilted/unnatural to steer the conversation into a place where you can let drop the "friends only" warning.

    Yes, per salsachinita's suggestion, I will start doing this. This way I get to set the tone and the parameters of our subsequent relationship/friendship. This however only solves the problem if I'm the one who wants to stay in contact with the other person. This doesn't address the situation when I'm asked for my number. I'm starting to think I should go with a universal "no" but then turn around and ask for the man's number if I want him to be a dance buddy. Is this too one-sided? Too much of a double standard?
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    If lady said no when I asked her for her number and then asked me for mine I would think that she is "kooky". If you don't want me to call you, but want to call me when you are interested in doing something then this is way too one-sided, particularly after I have alreday expressed an interest in doing so. Now if someone asked me for their number and I give it to them, but don't ask for theirs that's ok.
  19. LOL--I definitely don't want to be perceived as "kooky!" Alright so much that idea...back to the drawing board.
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Don't just go on what I said, wait to see what others say too. Maybe I'm the weird one. :wink: 8)

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