Ballroom Dance > Why don't guys dance?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancin_feet, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    As an elaboration on the previous post, ladies are much more likely to ask me to dance after they have seen me dancing with my wife.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    if I go to a dance alone, I am much more inclined to ask the married men as I don't want there to be any confusion, particularly if I am in a venue where people don't know that I am happily married
  3. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I don't even consider the marital status at a ballroom social. I assume that every one is there just to dance, so I just ask whomever is the closest! If a guy is with his girl/wife, I will usually say "can I borrow your guy for this dance?". On a different note, I rarely social dance anymore... sigh....
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    same here..think I have social danced, MAYBE twice this year
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I dance socially every week. Anyway, the fact that I am married and was dancing with DW is besides the point. These ladies that would ask me to dance didn't know I was married, anyway. Some would ask if DW was my competition partner, or something like that.

    The point, for the benefit of men or women that have trouble getting partners to dance, is that being seen dancing (as long as your partner looks like their having fun) will increase your chances of dancing with other ladies.
  6. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Personally, I much prefer being asked directly. If his partner/wife says "yes", it's almost impossible for him to say "no". :)
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Maybe that's the point. :cool:
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it is easier to tell whether or not a man is married than you think (but that is a different thread) ...and I don't think seeing a man dancing with his wife, specificalyl because he appears to be doing well or having fun, has alot to do with it for me...when I social danced more frequently (and it used to be at least once a week)... IF I did the asking, it was to whomever was nearest to me who was still not dancing....but I preferrred a guy who I knew was attached (or not likely to be interested in anything else) if a choice presented itself
  9. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    Right "having fun" AND knowing what you're doing ! I get ask to dance a lot,now if I don't know the dance well I just say so. There are dances t

    BTW I remember there was a thread about asking someone to dance who
    look like the were with someone.
  10. Jarndyce

    Jarndyce New Member

    An interesting thread. I'll revive it (I trust nobody will mind, given the history of the thread) and add my (rather long) two cents into the mix (speaking of which, I'm glad people don't put coins in Christmas cakes any more, accidentally swallowing them would be awkward..)

    I'm one of the 'college' (or more accurately, university, as it is termed in Australia) joiners to the dance community (male). I wish that I had started years earlier, but I never would have. My parents don't specifically dance so I had no exposure to it as a child.
    I remember that in year 10 (for non-Australians, the 3rd last years of Senior School - apologies if you knew that already) my school put us all in for 4x3 hour ballroom classes. I pulled out all stops to avoid going. (I was a good student, so avoiding things wasn't exactly common practice for me). I managed to find fairly legitimate reasons to avoid the first three classes, and only went on the last week, so I was way behind the 'ball'

    I think that I assumed that I wouldn't like the music. I should clarify that by saying that I was a good violinist, and at the time couldn't stand (almost any) modern music (my rather strong opinions have since mellowed significantly). There was almost certainly an element of not wanting to interact that closely with girls - despite being friends of some calibre with every one of them (small class size).
    Another significant obstacle I think I identify was insecurity with moving around to music (and goodness knows with what else). I had literally never danced in my life. Other guys would do the 'death wiggles' or shift their weight back and forth on the dance floor to modern 'doof doof' music at school formals, but I obstinately refused every invitation to dance, no matter how pretty the girl. :p
    Not wanting to be seen in some half-hearted attempt to move as part of that mysterious and unattractive 'dance' thing I had never even seen was probably the major thing - avoiding perceived/anticipated embarrassment in other words.

    To provide a potential part-answer to other questions people have considered in this thread, the reasons I eventually started were not in an attempt to pick up women.
    Rather, I attended a graduation ball and hit it off with a nice young lady, but was stranded as soon as people started to dance. I reverted to my previous blank refusal to dance at all, no matter who asked or encouraged me to. Months later I was looking for another hobby to begin, and thought how nice it would have been just to dance with that girl, how much more embarrassing my refusal to dance was for all concerned, and from out of left field, the idea that I could one day dance with a significant other (I once saw my parents dancing).
    I knew that I didn't want to dance at nightclubs or similar places, so thought the structure of ballroom might suit me. The very idea of there being an older crowd (who I get along with more), a more refined theatre of social interaction than the norm and that Ballroom was the sort of thing that people historically did (images of traditional ballrooms with music I would have liked and at least an overlay of distinct and even formal civility appeared) attracted me I went to a free introductory private at a nearby AM studio with an open mind - and promptly fell in love with Ballroom (not Latin - mostly).

    I'll admit that I have a history of ignoring seeming cultural norms though. I know I'm weird and pleasantly I no longer care if my contemporaries (or almost anyone else) think that of me. In that vein, my little contribution to encouraging people to dance Ballroom is being quite open with my friends/colleagues about spending my free time doing just that. From being open about it I have received no negative reactions and a sprinkling of interest in why I do something nobody else appears to. (I work in a male-dominated area, but one that is quite respectful of other people). From the few times the topic has come up, some chaps like the idea, but have just (I speculate) never had the spark to motivate them to try it (5ish%) some are indifferent to the idea, but have nothing openly against it (35ish%) and the other 60ish% dismiss the idea as not being their sort of thing (probably rightly in their cases).

    To draw that together for the sake of the thread, I think that forcing people to try dancing is a terrible way to promote Ballroom, people need to choose to do something of their own volition (men at least are stubborn, we don't like to be forced to do things, even if we turn out liking them), or be introduced when they (the kids) are really young, so that it just becomes one of those things they do. I think that having music people really love is of the utmost importance (I don't like swing or cha cha music, but love the Waltz/Rumba/Viennese and rather like Fox/Tango/Quickstep, thus dance those and avoid swing/cha cha at socials if I can. To appeal to the greatest numbers, the mainstream musical tastes need to be catered for by Ballroom studios wherever possible (but not exclusively!).
    Most important to my mind is simply getting the idea out there... somehow? I would never have watched dwts or similar programs (still never have, though now I might if I happened across one). If the idea is there, then many things might spark someone to try Ballroom, but the idea needs to be present. Getting the occasional bit of news coverage or having a high profile couple in one's country's successes publicised a bit might help?

    Anyway, therein lies my experiences in why I didn't dance, and then why I did! Feel free to analyse and draw any conclusions you can from it. Hopefully I wasn't just blabbering for my own benefit.
    I'm incredibly glad circumstances lead me to try Ballroom. Doing so ranks highly in the best decisions of my life, though a younger me would probably laugh scornfully if he was told that such would be the case. It's a funny life. :D
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    thank you for sharing your story
  12. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    Thats why most guys prefer the beer... It doesnt complain :p
    Joe likes this.
  13. MultiFaceted Dancer

    MultiFaceted Dancer Active Member

    It really is ashame that Guys don't feel as comfortable as Ladies with getting into dancing. Yet once they do get involved then you always want to dance. Dance becomes a part of you.
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    five women dance for every man do tha math fellas!!!
    pygmalion likes this.
  15. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    I feel like partially it may also be societal views of male dancers-- like if I mention my dance partner to anybody who's not on the team and doesn't know him the first question I always get is one of two questions "Is he gay?" or "Is he your boyfriend?" The funny thing is that the vast majority of the guys on the team are straight and the vast majority of them are not in relationships with any girls on the team, much less their dance partners. It's like society has the expectation that no straight man would ever dance unless his girlfriend forced him into it and I think that is a huge pity, and I think men get scared off by this to some degree.
  16. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    that is so 1970s its ridiculous

    but hey more for he rest of us leaders!!!
  17. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    I know it is-- the funny thing is that none of the guys get asked that either-- I guess people don't want to insult the guys by asking if all the men on the team are gay-- like I told my dance partner about this and his response: "Like seriously? Is that a thing?" He didn't even know that stereotype existed on campus. And since only the girls get asked these questions although we can assure other people that our partners are straight single men, the vast majority of people who ask don't know any guys on the ballroom team so they keep on believing what they want to believe anyway. But what guy really wants to join an activity that he thinks emasculate him in the eyes of the rest of the world? Not too many
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    It's a pretty widespread stereotype. My favorite time I got asked about my teachers and the male dancers at my studio when people found out I dance was *skate moms* asking "are know....[whisper] gay?" I managed NOT to reply, "We are in a skating rink, you cannot turn around without tripping over a gay man [that particular stereotype's closer to being true, though even there it's not as generally true as people think], and you feel you have to whisper the word gay? No, but geez, of all the sports to speculate about the "gay-ness" of other activities as if that's a bad thing..." When FIGURE SKATING looks at you sideways, you know it's a REALLY ingrained stereotype.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    interesting...I have never heard anyone mention orientation
  20. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    DC, LOD, DW... ;)
    stash, samina, latingal and 1 other person like this.

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