General Dance Discussion > Unwritten Rules of Dancing

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by lynn, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    The woman should have known whether her date would mind, (or asked immediately if she didn't know) and then declined the first invitation.

    Well put, and a lot fewer words than I used :wink:

    I think maybe I better let this thread cool off a bit.
  2. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    cornutt -

    Dang... If I were the lady in question and had the boyfriend fromh-e-double hockey sticks AND hd an instructor do that..... Boyohboy.... Buclear Amrageddon would not *even* begin to decribe it..... Woooooo
  3. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    You can tell how serious Mommy is... she so stressed she's not even hitting the right keys! :wink:
  4. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member


    Seriously, I broke all my nails a few days ago (I'm sporting bloody nubs at the moment). I can't type worth a darn when I don't have my nails.... UGH!
  5. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    My first post on this thread ---

    In group classes, we rotate. My dh would rather not, but if that what is going on, he will go along with it.

    At a social event, he prefers to dance with me. Sometimes I am the one who feels guilty if there is a shortage of leads, like I am hoarding him. He won't say no to anyone who asks him, however.

    But, to me, a social can be more than just the dancing. We have friends with whom we socialize at the social. In-between dances, when we are all sitting one out, around the snack table, etc. I like the "social" aspect of the evening out. So just because we aren't dancing with everyone doesn't mean we aren't being sociable.
  6. jhpark

    jhpark Member

    I tend to wait a while for people to get paired up and then get someone who isn't with anyone. We always rotate so I'm not concerned about who I'm with at the start, unless there's someone there I haven't seen for a long time and I want to catch up a little... Then I'll snag her.

    Sometimes, admittedly, I'll go for a better dancer. But that's usually after waiting to see who gets paired up. And yes, introductions... though I am bad with names.

    I'll try to work out a move with my partner, if it's just not working (usually it's my fault, as I suck at learning new moves) I'll ask the instructor for help. There was a great incident once where the follower blamed it on me "I'm obnoxious because I only follow what I'm led", where the move had worked with the last 3 in the rotation... And I called an instructor over, he showed me 1-2 things to work on... Then the instructor tried it with her, and he pointed out 5 things with her frame that were preventing him from leading the move with her. So I felt at least partly vindicated :)

    I've been taking private lessons about 3-4 months now because my schedule doesn't let me take group lessons. I don't think we do anything in particular to make it work, apart from getting there on time... It helps to have an instructor whose teaching style fits with my learning style.

    Practice parties

    I will ask my instructor to dance, usually once near the beginning of an evening, sometimes twice if it's approaching the end and she isn't dancing with anyone.

    I actually don't have any 'practice' parties in my area, it's just different teachers sponsoring social dance parties... Well, no, there are practicas, I just don't go to them.

    Other social dancing parties

    I can't say I use shoes to gauge whether I want to dance with someone. Ii usually try to watch them dance, though I'm not able yet to judge whether someone will mesh with me or not by doing that.

    I think you're expected to dance with all levels of dancers, but I have a trouble making myself dance with newbies. This is bad, as I'm really a newbie myself still, so I'm going to start making myself dance with people I don't particularly enjoy dancing with. Or at least, I'll try to.
  7. precious12

    precious12 New Member

    HI, i have been reading this post, and thinking how it relates to some of the situations i have been in. For ex. at my studio we have a group lesson, and then a party every Friday. I am one of the younger students at the studio being just 17, but i have been there since the studio opened and am up to Bronze 3, but i usually sit out dances. I understand this sometimes because there are just to many women and not enough men. Sometimes i end up dancing with the main instructor who is a women, or the other women instructor who is silver level, and i do not mind at all, i just love to dance. But it irratates me when there is only two or three more women than men, and i have to sit out for five songs while my instructor dances with the same girl for all those songs. Also sometimes when i sit there and am patiently waiting to be danced with and he looks directly at me, smiles and waves, and picks up a girl who is walking back to her seat, it just gets on my nerves. So i have started recently to just ask the men around me to dance if they are sitting or standing around, and i have not had a problem. I just want to dance, i am not picky about height or experience. I just want to shake my booty!!
  8. DennisBeach

    DennisBeach New Member

    We have been dancing over 6 years. We still are dancing mostly with each other. Actually it's more fun now than it was in the beginning. 15 different dances and a lot of different moves, provide the variety for us. People are all different. The places we dance, it's about 50/50 with couples that dance mostly with each other and couples who dance 1/4 or more of the dances with others. Couples with similar ability, seem to be more likely to dance mostly with each other.

    When it's crowded, for me it makes it easier knowing what my partner can do and not having to think much about that, so I can concentrate on dancing safely and affectively.
  9. reb

    reb Active Member

    That's the advice I would have given you - give them a chance, but if they're too shy or skittsh, then do the asking!
  10. anp73ga31

    anp73ga31 Active Member

    Being the single one, most of the time I just dont go to group lesssons. There are always way more women than men, and generally the group lessons around here are beginner lessons anyway...I'd rather let some other woman learn something she doesnt know or still has a problem with.

    As for parties, I generally dont ask men to dance. This is partly because there is an older lady at our dances who slinks around the floor, stalking out any available male, in a very annoying fashion. Not only that, but she sits and glares when she's not dancing, as if to say, "how dare he pick YOU to dance with over me!". I dont want people to think of me like her! The other reason is that most people at our dances are married or there with someone else, and I generally like to let them do the asking so that I dont step on anyone's toes. My good friend Wooh is kind enough to share her DH when she has decided to sit out a dance or doesnt like the song or the dance, etc. So I dance with her husband alot. She is also kind enough to get him to go dance with other single women whom she has noticed no one has asked to dance. I think that is very generous of her....I know that if I were married and my husband danced, of course I would want to dance with him alot. However, having done ALOT of social dancing, I can definitely say that my good following skills have been developed by dancing with many different men. Therefore, I would encourage married folks to dance with other people at least a couple of times during a will benefit both the man and the woman when it comes to their leading/following skills. But if a couple is more comfortable dancing just with themselves, I dont have a problem with that at all. There is one couple at our studio who the husband has just now gotten to where he is comfortable enough to dance with people other than his can tell that its because he's afraid he wont be a good lead and the woman willl go screaming from the floor. lol! Also, I think its partly because they've seen me there for a while and know that I am serious about my dancing and not there to pick anyone up. And I'm fine with that. I understand.

    As for dancing with my teacher at socials(who is also one of the owners of the studio), he tries to dance at least once with every single woman there. I usually just wait until he comes to me, because since I'm one of the few who actually take lessons from him, he always comes to get me on dances that he particularly enjoys doing with me. Like quickstep and a very fast hustle. (Similarly, he comes after Wooh for a VW because he likes dancing that with her).

    Anyway, I am fully aware that I am single and that when I go to dances that I will most likely sit a number of them out...its no one else's fault that I dont have a dance partner; I understand that. Oh, and I think its nice when women who DO want to ask a married man to dance first approach the wife and ask if she would mind if she borrowed her husband for a tango/waltz/whatever. I think that's just polite; I've seen it done quite often at ballroom socials and usually the wife is like, "Sure!" Although I will say that a husband asked me to dance at a country bar once and later when I saw his wife I thanked her for letting me dance with him....and he never came back to dance with me again! Not even the next week or the next! I guess maybe from far away she couldnt see who he had danced with and thought I was old or disfigured or something, and when she saw me close up and saw I was younger than her(though not prettier or skinner than her!), she wouldnt let him dance with me again. I dunno....
  11. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...seems like a pretty fine line to walk. Gotta be handsome/pretty enough to be asked...but also gotta be ugly enough so that the asker's significant other doesn't feel threatened. :lol:
  12. anp73ga31

    anp73ga31 Active Member

    ha ha! Well, I suppose that the fact it was a bar scene didnt help...despite the fact that whenever I go there I dont drink or pick people up, but simply dance, most of the other people there come for VERY different reasons...I noticed after that that she only let him dance with the few people they seemed to hang out with, and vice, that's ok. I dont go very often, just when there are no good ballroom parties being held on a saturday night. lol!
  13. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    DH and I are one of those couples who dance about half the dances with each other. Other women don't usually check with me before dancing with him, and I don't think about it. But on Friday as he was leading another lady to the floor, she caught my eye and gestured as if to say, "you're really not dancing this one with him?" Too funny.

    I've consciously tried to STOP asking other men for a dance, especially when the gender balance is way off. If I don't get an invitation but I want to dance, I go into leader mode. I've been learning the lead in all the group classes I've been to for most of the year so I know a limited number of steps in the basic dances. Unfortunately, I can't remember everything I've been taught. And even though I'm perfectly content to do just the basic step with a beginner leader and I don't see a need for them to apologize to me, I still apologize to followers that I can't do much, and I'm not completely convinced they don't mind. Also, when I'm leading I can't hear the music well and I get off beat easily, even though when I'm following I can tell immediately if the leader is off. Why does this happen? I need to be more forgiving of leaders, expecially DH.
  14. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    Well, now that Precious has revived this thread, I've reviewed my posts and find that things have changed a bit for my LW and me since I last wrote on this subject.

    We've been ballroom dancing for two years now and I now longer worry about whether I'm good enough to dance with any of the other women at a studio practice dance or other dance social.

    I still, however, dance mostly with my LW. The reason is that I know she wants to dance and I don't want to leave her sitting alone while I go ask someone else. It's just a matter of deference to the one I love.

    We both have our own "unwritten rule," however. Neither of us will turn anyone down. So if someone asks my LW to dance, she'll accept and I'll usually ask another woman immediately. Likewise, if someone asks me to dance I'll accept without feeling guilty about leaving my LW alone, because I was asked and we have this "rule."

    At studio parties, when new students show up, we usually go out of our way to make sure we ask them to dance. We believe in returning the "favors" we received from more experienced dancers when we were beginners.

    But apart from those exceptions, we still dance mostly with each other.

    And Precious, I echo the others' advice: Don't hesitate to ask men to dance. There may be men at your venue who, like me, are perfectly happy to accept invitations but prefer not to leave their "dates" sitting in order to extend invitations.

  15. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    A few weeks ago, I went up to one couple (I was on friendly terms with the lady, but didn't really know the guy) and actually said to the guy, "Would you mind if I borrowed xxxxx for the next dance?" :oops: I cringed for a while after that. So the next time I was in that situation, I thought a bit more carefully, greeted both by name, shot the breeze for half a minute, and then asked the wife directly for a dance.

    How do you request a dance of one member of a couple? If you are out as a couple, how do you prefer to be approached?
  16. reb

    reb Active Member

    Hi TC

    Just good old fashioned "may I have this dance" works well.
  17. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Generally with couples at the studio, I will ask the woman directly. After the dance I will walk her back to wherever husband is sitting, thank her, and thank him.

    A couple comps back asked woman that I knew who she was due to parents and friends/sister, but she didn't know who I was. Her husban is a big businessman here in town, and a reputably extremely nice guy. So while they were sitting at table, I went up, asked if I might borrow his wife with a smile on my face, and kindly turned to her and asked her to dance (he had smiled, but not answered), I figured that was good balance of asking the two.

    Of course, then I finally introduced myself to her once we started dancing. :)

    With couples I know that are regulars at the studio, can be a lot less formal, up to me telling husband to sit down, that it's my turn to dance with his wife. :) But of course, those are couples that I know well.
  18. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Hi reb!

    I feel a bit more comfortable if I acknowledge the askee's companion in some way. In some rare cases when I know the couple fairly well, I've asked each for a dance. :D

    Anyway, whatever I say, I will be sure to wait until all parties involved are fully clothed and out of the dressing room. ;)
  19. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I think I like this approach.
    :D I've pointed at her, pointed at me, then pointed at the dance floor. If I were feeling a bit more formal, I suppose I would punctuate each gesture with a grunt.
  20. meow

    meow New Member

    TC, you are a crack-up!!!!:uplaugh:

Share This Page