Ballroom Dance > Why don't guys dance?

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  2. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Maybe geography plays into things. Living in the south and having family living even further in the south, it's a stereotype I've run into often enough for it to be downright tiresome.
  3. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    According to me, one of the main reasons that guys don’t dance is that they think it’s a very feminine thing to do. Normally whenever you think of someone doing the splits you tend to think of a woman. Also when young, most guys are pushed towards sports by parents, whereas girls are pushed toward ballet and contemporary.

    At the same time, I think that the elegance in dance is more seen when women dance (compared to rugby or football where most of the stars are male)
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I lived in Boston. And, again, people who really should not have any sort of correlation between costumed performance and sexuality, or at least who shouldn't be that uncomfortable about it...

    I think, though, the TV/movie stereotype plays into it more than anything else, especially with Latin. Even DWTS is not always helpful there with the costuming. (Ballet, I'm afraid, is a bit like skating, there's enough truth to the stereotype to make a lot of men uncomfortable.) And ronalds's sort of right, though flexibility specifically is more about genetics than gender, people just don't realize it...I've mentioned before, NP was much more flexible than his wife/partner, and is the only teacher I've had who asked if I've EVER been particularly flexible, even as a kid. (No. Never been able to do splits, stretch my back especially far, was terrible at gymnastics and tumbling even as a tiny kid.)
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    true until they see the hotties we get to dance with!!! i had a friend who was a marine two tours in iraq came back went to local JC took a dance class for fun fell in love with it this guy has more partners than... well you get the idea
    ajiboyet and Gorme like this.
  6. Leon Theou

    Leon Theou Active Member

    The most abuse I took for being a male dancer was actually from women. I was a regular at the salsa lessons offered by one of the colleges I attended. A number of the women of the student body were extremely vocal in their opposition to any sort of dance where a man is leading a woman, on the grounds that it is sexist, patriarchal, and discriminatory (never mind that about half of the leaders at any given class were female). Some of us, both men and women, tried to explain the absurdity of those arguments, but they simply denounced the ladies for accepting the arrangement, and submitting to the "male penis creatures" (I am not making this up, they actually used that phrase), and the guys they called misogynists. This sort of harassment discouraged a lot of guys from coming to the lessons (also, a number of them agreed that partner dance is an inherently sexist structure and therefore bad).
  7. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I would love to give those girls a piece of my mind. The "leading" doesn't work unless the woman decides to take the lead... She doesn't have to. As it's been said to me before, the Man suggests, and the woman decides to follow... Ugh but I'm preaching to the choir here lol
  8. Steven123

    Steven123 Member

    My perspective on this is just my perspective . . . just one man's point of view. I think there are some dance forms that look masculine for the man to do and some that look feminine for the man to do. When the man is showing his athletic ability and mastery of the music, I think it is masculine. Sometimes though the man is learning hip and arm movements from women and is just thinking to himself, "I don't care . . . I'm not gay . . . I don't have anything to worry about . . . if this is what I have to do to be able to dance with women, then I'll do it." I can't really tell you with words what dancing masculine and dancing feminine look like, but there is definitely a way to do both. I think ballet is very masculine because those guys have to jump so far and their legs are humongous even if some of them are gay there is still a lot for guys to like in ballet. Latin ballroom on the other hand . . . to me it looks kind of feminine for the man to do . . . even if he is not gay. This is opposed to latin street dancing which looks more masculine and that is why there are more guys in salsa clubs than girls.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    no its because salsa girls are easy...............:eek: KIIDDDDDIIINNGGGGGG
    danceronice likes this.
  10. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    In my experience, theatre dance (jazz, ballet, tap...) seems to have less men overall and a higher proportion of these are not-so-straight compared with ballroom. As far as I can see they're as manly as one would need, perhaps more 'gentleman' than 'lad' - but I can only view that as a good thing!

    Watching a skilled male ballroom/latin dancer, no matter how many sequins, mesh or fake tan to me always looks strong and masculine. That is surely the whole point of the man dancing with a woman.

    There is usually a slight lean towards more women than men, but it's often not as stark as one might initially think.
  11. davedove

    davedove Well-Known Member

    My instructor said she got something similar in some of here classes, with the ladies not wanting to be "led". So, she had them switch places and told the ladies to lead. Some of them quickly told her "But we can't see where we're going!", thus demonstrating one of the practical reasons that the men lead.:p
  12. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    lol though it is important to know both parts to really understand the move. The solution to this problem--only dance with girls and/or guys that are shorter than you :p
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yeah, like I always tell them: "You don't want to dance with pretty women? That's OK -- more for me!" :cool:
    danceronice and Mr 4 styles like this.
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    the cross we bear.....:cool:
    Gorme likes this.
  15. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    Hahahaha .... that's really funny!!!! It reminds me of when my instructor said I'm going to give a test to you all and you have to draw up diagrams of the figures that I ask. And the women were like, but we can't do that!! We are only supposed to act dumb and let the man lead us, we're not supposed to think, else they get confused!!!
  16. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    You know when I started dancing, I actually read up on this online as to why women follow and men lead. And I got the obvious answers: strength,taller, one of the few places men get to be in control. The way I look at it: The men might lead you, but you (aka women) get to really shine out there with great costumes, drops, lifts and what not!
  17. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    I have heard the argument regarding the follower's role being sexist. I don't buy into that one....the roles are just different, and if one wants to, there is opportunity to reverse roles in same sex type and some collegiate competitions (or simply in practice sessions).

    And at the higher level of lead and follow in latin, the subject of the lead and follow being a "conversation" is introduced. As another poster pointed out, the follow can have just as much input in to changing how the dance flows if the lead and follow are both "active" and "listening" at the right times in the lead/follow.
    danceronice likes this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    all I know is that I have never competitively danced with a man who outweighs me, I will leave the stronger part alone, cough...but anyhow, what is certain is that, at least in standard, if it is going to work, he is limited by how well and how independently I choose to dance....and if either one of us chooses to be insensitive, the dancing will suffer
    Terpsichorean Clod and latingal like this.
  19. One thing I commend dwts for though, is having champion athletes, rappers & blue collar character actors/comedians on to show men that it's okay to do. Seeing the flamboyant guys on detracts from this though. It's a shame more straight men don't see dancing with women more gratifying than getting on top of other sweaty men in north American football & wrestling or whatever the regionally dominant sports are in any given part of the world. (nothing against gays) Just illustrating that those sports are far more popular among men than dancing will ever be. Yes, some men dance, but look at the arenas worldwide full of sports fans, jerseys & hats of sports teams on guys & t.v. ratings of sports v.s. ballroom shows. Companies pay HUGE dollars to place their ads during super bowl (north American football) here in north America, it might be the same elsewhere for football aka soccer.

    Even though it's not usually considered macho to dance, it seems braver to do what you want than to not because you're afraid of what other people will say about you. It’s funny how culture effects things. Aussies, the English & maybe other men call a male friend thier “mate”, in north America a guy saying that means he’s their boyfriend. (again, nothing against gays)

    Anyway, what’s the deal with paso doble, isn’t that supposed to be manly? Or what about capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts influenced dance? I'm sure there are others throughout the world similarly considered masculine, like German slap dancing, that one men do with each other in lederhosen. Speaking of manly dances & no I don’t mean the horizontal mambo, here’s one… Apache, or La Danse Apache, Bowery Waltz, Apache Turn, Apache Dance & Tough Dance is a highly dramatic dance associated in popular culture with Parisian street culture at the beginning of the 20th century. The name of the dance (pronounced ah-PAHSH, not uh-PATCH-ee, like the English pronunciation of the Native American tribe) is taken from the term for Parisian underworld of the time. The dance is sometimes said to reenact a violent "discussion" between a pimp and a prostitute. It includes mock slaps and punches, the man picking up and throwing the woman to the ground, or lifting and carrying her while she struggles or feigns unconsciousness. Thus, the dance shares many features with the theatrical discipline of stage combat. In some examples, the woman may fight back. This was sometimes done in the same venues or brothels as Argentine tango. (I'm not advocating violence to women or men, just sharing)

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