General Dance Discussion > Unwritten Rules of Dancing

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

  1. alanw

    alanw New Member

    Just found this thread, for along time I was very nervous about dancing with other people, I was always a bit shy and thought my skills were not good enough to cope with others, I only ever danced with my wife as we had learned together and knew our own routines.

    Eventually however, after beginning to learn a few sequences dances ( by joining in and following the couple in front) I gained a little more confidence which was helped by joining in some progressive dances, whereby we moved on to a new partner at the end of every sequence.

    Now, I still tend to dance with my wife most of the time, but if she feels like sitting one out or is too busy talking to someone, I will happily ask another lady for a dance and do not have too much problem with acceptances.

    If the other lady is with a partner/husband/boyfriend I will normally ask if he minds minds, and have not yet had any problems and at the end of the dance I escort the lady back to her seat and thank both her and her partner.

    I feel so confident now, that although I do not personally rate my dancing skills too highly, when we see new couples arrive at a dance we frequent and are obviously having trouble with a dance we tend to split them up and lead them through the basics of the dance, as a result, we now have a group of people we have helped who join us a a friendly social group at many of the dances we go to and we all dance with one another.

    This has meant, that although I was not too keen on learning to dance in the first place, but only did so to please my wife,(that was before I caught the bug), it has helped us to build a social life around dancing with many new friends and also acts as an opening to meet people on an equal footing when we go somewhere new.
  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Sounds like a very good, and natural (least for us addicts around here), progression, Alan. Always good to hear though. :)

    Personally, I still don't feel confident on dance floor, but pro says I've become both a good and confident dancer, so I'll just take her word for it. :)
  3. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    AW: nice to hear of your 'settling in' to the dance life! Actually, you sound a lot more settled in than I am after rather a few years of dancing. I decided rather early that I wanted to do competetive dancing. That means a lot of time working with just one person - your partner or coach and for me at least, does not mean much social life. I have gradally got to know a few people but they tend to be the ones interested in competition too, which is not a large set.

    It will be interesting to see if you get the competition bug as well as the dance one and how this would affect your dance experience.
  4. alanw

    alanw New Member

    Hello Elisedance, "settled in" yes, but as for entering competitions, a definitive no, I only dance for pleasure and I also think at 68 I am a little too long in the tooth for competition discipline,

    I will stick to what I know and be happy and enjoy myself at that level.
  5. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    wonderful. go with what you want - though no age is too old to compete any more, as it should be.

    An interesting modern phenomenon is that age is beginning to be defined by what you are and your attitude more than by your years. The abandonment of mandatory retirement has had the biggest effect on this - so if you are in your 50s but performing equal to 30 yr old - then thats your 'age'. And, in my opinion, that is just how it should be.
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Were definitely some guys in 60+ range at one of last comps I went to who danced way better than I do at 27. :)
  7. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    they were probably muttering 'spring chicken' or something such....
  8. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    hhaha, nah, I was just sitting in stands watching . :p
  9. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    "lazy, good for nothin' spring chicken" or something.... ;)
  10. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    You don't happen to be a former maths teacher, do you?
  11. alanw

    alanw New Member

    Originally Posted by alanw [​IMG]
    Hello Elisedance, "settled in" yes, but as for entering competitions, a definitive no, I only dance for pleasure and I also think at 68 I am a little too long in the tooth for competition discipline,

    I will stick to what I know and be happy and enjoy myself at that level.

    You don't happen to be a former maths teacher, do you?

    A former maths teacher? No, sorry, that is not me!
  12. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Hey guys...I finally figured out the reason that I have trouble getting dances at a couple of my local venues.

    It all clicked into place when I was talking to one of my friends. He told me that he sees many of the same folks (from those unfriendly venues) also attending a popular local singles event.

    I then realized that the majority of folks at those two venues are there primarily for social reasons - if single, to find a date; if in a couple, to have a 'couple's night out'. Dancing is just a means to an end for them. They only learn dancing to the extent that it facilitates their other goals.

    It is a telling point that I never see most of them at workshops or competitions. And if they take regular classes at all (and many don't), they always go to the cheapest instructor/studio instead of seeking out the best ones, who sometimes charge more.

    I've realized that leaders in this group only dance with ladies who appeal to them as potential dates. On occasion they also will dance with instructors/pros/high level people so they can show off. This is an over-50 crowd by the way, and they seem only to feel comfortable with those in their own age group. I'm a bit younger (and look young for my age), so apparently I don't fit the bill.

    My goals are different than this group. I don't go dancing to find dates; I'm serious about learning to dance well for its own sake. I just want to get some practice and have fun.

    I am dealing with this problem by having my own group of friends to go dancing with, as I previously outlined. Also, I am avoiding the 'difficult' places and I am finding other venues where there are people like me who just want to dance.

    So I have this pretty much solved, but I'm curious to know if this kind of situation exists for the rest of you.
  13. FatBaldGuy60

    FatBaldGuy60 New Member

    To be honest, I almost never dance with anyone other than my wife. In class situations, of course I dance with whomever during the rotation.

    At social dances our instructor usually makes it a point to get me out for a couple different dances, but we got into dancing as a hobby we could do together. At this point [about 5 months] we still have so much to learn about dancing and dancing with each other that dancing with others is not something that interests us.

    We recently decided, with the encouragement of our instructor, that we would look at competing. This will hopefully give us more motivation to practice and sharpen our skills, but again means staying focused on dancing with each other.

    Jenny, I think you hit it in the head, though. You really have to understand the personal motivations to dance, as they do vary. Once you determine that, you know who will dance with others, who won't and why they are doing so.

  14. WorksForShoes

    WorksForShoes Member

    Ditto, FBG60. I recognize the value of dancing with others of a variety of skill levels, and DH and I make a point of rotating when we can during class and maybe switching partners with others for a social dance or two. But quite frankly, if it is a social evening out, I want to spend the largest part of my evening dancing with my husband. Dancing with him is the reason that I started dancing, and entering competitions with him is part of the reason that we put so much time and effort into our dancing. I need a no-pressure social outlet to spend time with him, and if that means my ability to dance with other leads lags a bit behind, then so be it.
  15. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Guys...please don't take my comments as any criticism of couples who want to dance together and not rotate. Actually I think that's very sweet that you like to do things as a couple. There's one venue where I go, where the majority of dancers are committed couples who do not circulate. I have no problem with that because I know that going in, so I just make sure to come with my own group of friends to dance with.

    My complaint is about dances where the vast majority of people come there single, but aren't circulating for reasons that have nothing to do with dancing.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    again...I have found due to my marital status and my level of dancing...that I will warm the bench if I don't do the I do
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    I only find my marital status to be an issue on the rare occasions when DH is with me. Then, I don't even get approached unless he goes elsewhere.

    Now, level of dancing...that's a different story altogether. Moreso at some venues than at others.
  18. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I gladly do some asking at the venues where I know that the people are really just there to dance. I usually get a pleasant reaction in that case.

    But at the dance places that mainly function as singles events, there's just no point. If I ask a guy who's not attracted to me, he gives me a sour look or acts reluctant. I don't need that. Even though I am single, I don't go dancing specifically to find a date. If it happens as a byproduct, that's great but it's not why I'm there. If I really wanted a meat market atmosphere I would just go to a regular club and do freestyle, which is easier and doesn't require lessons or special shoes. :rolleyes:
  19. Tenehill

    Tenehill New Member

    I choose partners more or less randomly, but trying to avoid same partner for the next exercise.



    I try to help if I can. Sometimes I ask them to look how the others do the move. Sometimes they call the instructor.

    I rarely ask them. So do they.

    Always, unless I know them.

    No, I just enforce my wish.

    Newcomers (beginners or not) deserve special attention; I try to dance and chat with hem.
  20. redsalsero

    redsalsero New Member

    im a bit bored and got nothing to do... so just might write things here in DF

    im still in beginners-intermediate class. when i attend new classes i ussually observe from the bar who are fixed couples sometimes thats pretty obvious. they ussually start with a few basic routine steps wich can give me an good idea of who i want to dance with. then i go stand besides her and ask her immediatly when we have to form couples.
    at a workshop its al strangers so i ask whoever is closest to me

    not really i see it as a challenge for the ladys who are taller.
    although this question does not mention age difference. i prefer people from my age around 18-30. dance experience not a problem its more fun to see how they react when my lead works and she says oh wow i didnt know i could do that.

    sometimes. mostly the ladys ask though. i dont really see the point since most people will not remember my name after this one dance. i sure wont remember untill i see and dance with u a couple of times.

    Originally Posted by lynn

    i dont really like dancing with my instructors they overdo the styling to much and sometimes even try to teach me by leading. but that rarely does happen. but still i dont feel really comfortable with it. unless i must be in a super good mood and my freestyle dancing goes flawless. and besides they never asked me.

    Other social dancing parties

    Someone wearing proper dance shoes is probably a serious dancer, do you ever pay attention to the shoes that someone is wearing before asking them to dance?

    yes i do look at what type of shoes but it depends on how the person dances in them. sometimes its too dark to see. i rarely see strangers with dance shoes though only me and a few friends wear them when at a party.

    uhm cannot see the difference between international,american or even european style therefor i dont care. i do ask them how long they have been dancing if it was a good dance i always end up with a thankyou and a compliment.

    Do Not Ever drink alcohol at a party this counts for both man and women.
    we all know that but im just saying it again.

    greetings redsalsero

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