General Dance Discussion > Unwritten Rules of Dancing

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

  1. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Some really excellent posts on here.

    My experiences:

    1. At the dances I attend, some couples mingle but the majority don't, and they give off an unapproachable vibe. So I do not feel comfortable going up to a couple sitting together and asking one of them to dance - especially as a female. I don't want the evil eye from the guy's wife/girlfriend.

    2. Leaders, this rant is for you!

    Since most dances have a surplus of women, it is up to the leaders especially to show courtesy and act like gentlemen. I am sick and tired of sitting out too many dances (and seeing other ladies do the same) because many leaders will dance only, and repeatedly, with the hottest or youngest women, or only very advanced women. Yes, guys, I know you're human, but if you just want to meet 'hot' girls, go to a bar or to any event that is specifically for singles. And if you only want to dance with very advanced women so you can practice lots of flashy moves, then find yourself a regular partner who has those skills.

    I want to point out that I am not unattractive or a bad dancer. No, I'm not 25, or a size 2, but neither am I old or fat. I dress well, I am complimented on my appearance, I am friendly and I smile, and although I am not advanced, I am told I am a good follower and can do most dances competently at a beginner/intermediate level.

    Maybe some of the guys assume that if a woman is not young or thin, she won't be agile enough to dance really well? Not true! I have been dancing my whole life, I am in perfect health, and I'm still just as flexible as when I was a teenager. There are many, many women like me who are frustrated with some of the leaders' attitudes.

    One of my teachers does it the right way. He is an excellent leader, able to adapt to different followers, and plus he's tall, so basically all the women want to dance with him. If he wanted, he could spend the whole evening only dancing with the hotshot types, but he doesn't. He makes a point of scanning the room for women who have been sitting a while, and asks them to dance.

    So leaders, please...the ball is in your court. Follow my teacher's example and act like a gentleman. Women talk to each other, and the word will get around if you don't. Thank you.

    p.s. before I get accused of sexism, my rant applies in reverse..ladies should not only dance with hot/young/advanced leaders. Say yes to anyone who asks.
     
  2. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I don't mind if my husband dances with other women. (In fact I encourage it.) I get annoyed with women that expect it and get snooty if I dance with men other than my husband. (Just because I'm "taken care of" doesn't mean I shouldn't get to dance with other guys as well.)
    If you want to approach the guy half of a couple, I always find it really cute when women ask me if they can borrow my husband for a dance. It's just polite, in that it acknowledges that he's there with someone. Even though I'm not worried about someone "stealing" him, it's still nice to say you aren't.:)
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    What other reason would a leader have to ask a woman to dance, if he didn't know her?

    Maybe you should start asking.
     
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    exactly...I am either gonna start asking the dudes myself or I am going home....but I am NOT going to sit around and warm the bench...no way
     
  6. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    here its actually disapproved of. at least in the studio I have frequented the most women would rather sit all night and not dance than actually ask a man. And if you do, well, the HUSSY!
     
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    so be it...have been called far worse
     
  8. FatBaldGuy60

    FatBaldGuy60 New Member

    Blasphemy! Name the cads and I will punish them forthwith!

    FBG
     
  9. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I didin'texplain entirely. The disapproval is always from the women, not the men. They actually love to be asked - I get the feeling it takes pressure off them and it obviously flattering.

    Now if you would like to punish the women, let me start with the names.....
    ;)

    (PS assuming your gallantry applied to me equally to F!)
     
  10. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Not only have I asked men that I don't know who were both in a couple and single, I have also asked WOMEN who I don't know! Especially when their husbands/partners/whoevers are off dancing with other people, they seem to appreciate the non-bench-warming.

    Usually goes like, "Hi, I hope you don't think this is wierd, but I drove all the way up here to dance and I don't want to sit. So since the guys are all spoken for this round, would you like to dance? I can lead some."

    I don't care who's left - if you're sitting and I'm sitting and there's a good song on, I'm going to come ask you to dance. :cool:
     
  11. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Yes, I have started asking but I often get weird looks from the guys when I do. Either they're surprised a woman is asking, or the scene is so cliquish that they don't like being asked by someone outside their group.

    And Joe, I thought I explained pretty well that the reason for dancing with someone you don't know, is simply to be polite and sociable, and to be willing to circulate. You don't necessarily need to gauge an unknown partner by their looks, age or perceived skill. If they are smiling and friendly, I think that's enough to give them a chance. It's only five minutes out of your life. If it doesn't work out, so be it, you don't have to dance with the person again.
     
  12. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Just keep at it, they'll stop being suprised. And once they figure out that you can actually dance, they'll stop being cliquish.

    IME, IMO, etc, of course.
     
  13. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I hear you...I certainly will keep at it. But I should say that in many cases these potential partners do already know that I can dance. Many of them are people that I have met in classes and workshops. I dance with them there, and everything goes fine, so presumably these leaders know that my skills are good enough. Yet they avoid me at social dances.

    It's not just me. I have heard the same complaint from several of my friends, both male and female. My solution was to pull together these friends and we go out as a group together, so we always have each other to dance with. We do still try to mingle amongst other people as well, but most of the time it is hard due to the cliquishness.
     
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    While it can sometimes be absurdly frustrating to get a first dance with someone, it really seems that in general those who are there to dance do appreciate those they find they can dance well with, usually with complete disregard for the various subdivisions that we humans habitually draw amongst ourselves.. But when repeats of good dances don't happen, I'd suspect a number of likely causes:

    1) They are preoccupied - with friends, with other thoughts, with a current, former, or potential partner, etc.

    2) They aren't interested enough in dancing, either generally or at this given moment, to appreciate someone they can dance well with

    3) They don't share your opinion of your experiences dancing together

    4) They just don't like you... it happens, sometimes even between people who can dance extremely well together.

    Sounds good.

    Another thing to consider is that dancing plays a different range of roles in different lives. If your dancing consists of going to occasional socials and classes, you may tend to approach it with a specific mindset. On the other hand, if dancing is a near daily part of life, then approach to dancing may reflect a wider range of life experiences - gregarious moments, joys of new interpersonal discovery, time to just relax and watch or catch up with friends, even fairly antisocial moods that should be broken only by trusted friends. We do not all have to be there for the same reason all of the time, it's enough that our reasons for being there have enough overlap that we can share the space.
     
  15. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    As I became more competitive, I have cut back on social dancing. Even when I am there, I sit out a lot.
     
  16. I admire your attitude. Although I think that line may not be the best, because no body likes to be another's second choice, kinda like that kid that always gets picked last in gym.
     
  17. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    Ditto. Some of the men will not dance with me as they say I am too tall though most say they are too intimidated. I like asking others to dance so they can find that I am just interested in having a nice dance and not a top level performance or moves from them. What is wrong with just a friendly dance with someone.
     
  18. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    really truly? i know my middle name, then... lol

    i especially like to ask men i've never met, and the one's lining the walls. kinda like picking a grab bag... ya never know what little gemmy moment might ensue... lol :)
     
  19. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    As if that's even possible! :)
    I remember when I was more of a beginner and reluctant to "inflict myself" upon more experienced followers. I figured if they asked me to dance, they did so at their own risk!
     
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    brilliant, just brilliant :)
     

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