Salsa > Why don't you ask him/her to dance?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salsachinita, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Something MapleLeafSalsero said in "Hierarchy among dancers" thread inspired me to ask everyone here this question:

    Why don't you ask him/her to dance?

    I know it's a very general question to ask, but I am really interested to find out some of the reasons. Perhaps there would be something for all of us to learn.

    Ok, I am talking about a normal club/social setting here, so no-one is obliged to ask anyone for a dance :wink: .
  2. Xtreme Salsa

    Xtreme Salsa New Member

    Maybe because I suck? Honestly I'm a beginner and I dont feel comfortable yet to ask some people to dance at some salsa clubs. It just feels weird when your partner knows alot ore than you do and you slow them down because you dont know as much. But as time progresses I gain more and more confidence.
  3. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    The places I frequent are geared towards the advance on2 NY City crowd, hence infering that we are all around the same level, the reasons why I wouldn't ask someone to dance are.

    1- The person obviously doesn't enjoy the music.
    2- The person thinks spinning is danicng.
    3- She thinks she is too good looking.
    4- Stuck up dancers.
    5- The person always looks around when dancing, no matter who they dance with. 5 unexpected spins off beat gets their attention very quickly. :twisted:
    6- She is wearing one, or all of the following, short skirt, a tube top, no dance shoes.
    7- I just don't like the persons style.
    8- She is a self lead
    9- Can't adapt to the musics tempo from song to song and looks like she is dancing the same song even to a cha cha.
    10- And the number 10 reason why I wouldn't ask someone to dance is: Bad Hygiene
  4. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Hi Salsachinita,

    I’ve noticed you created a thread on this so I’ll reply to your question here instead of on the "Hierarchy among dancers" one.

    I have a black list and a grey list.

    Grey List (high risk situations)
    • Girls who have said “no” to me before in the past
    • Girls who look like their bored out of their minds when they dance with me
    • Clique-ish

    I’m willing to dance with any of these girls. I do however think twice before asking them because it’s a high risk situation. By high risk I essentially mean 2 things:

    a) You may have a bad dance experience with them
    b) You may get turned down

    I’m slowing trying to transfer these girls to my white list, one by one...

    Black List (never again)
    • Girls who have mortally wounded my dance ego.
    • Girls who have refused a dance with me because they were “tired” and during the same song danced with someone else.

    The first situation only occurred once (when I was a beginner). I only had a couple months of salsa and asked this advanced girl to dance with me. I was very happy and motivated after the dance because I thought it had gone well (I was used to dancing with beginners…). At the end of the song, she moaned “There is no hope for you, I suggest another hobby”. The b*#%tch! I have never asked her again! She is at the top of my black list and will forever remain there. About a year and a half later, I noticed that at the socials she’d look my way, as I was getting off the dance floor, with those “I want to dance with you eyes, you’re getting good…”. I pretended she didn’t exist. She eventually quit salsa classes and stopped going to the clubs. Good!

    The second situation rarely happens to me now. It happened once in a while when I was a beginner. I think it is very rude and humiliating for the guy (or girl) and it shows no character. I mean, if they don’t want to dance with you, that’s fine, everyone has the right to say no. But, they should be considerate enough to sit out that song! Once a girl did this to me and later on that night came up and apologized and asked for a dance. I think this shows a great deal of character. I immediately put her on my white list again.

  5. Phil Owl

    Phil Owl Well-Known Member

    Reasons I wouldn't ask (most would be from previous experience with person):

    1) Person has a tendency to be wreckless and out of control and flailing everywhere (actually had a dance with one woman that felt more like bronco-busting than dancing, YIKES :shock: ). Another incident involved a woan who was not only flailing but also dug her nails into my hand like a bird-of-prey! THAT HURT! :x :roll: :evil:

    2) Snooty attitude and you can see it in their eyes and face. Disinterested attitude while dancing with you. Cliqueishness.

    3) BAD HYGENE!! :evil: :x :roll:

    4) Feels they have to critique and question your every lead, move etc. :evil: :x

    5) Weird, psychotic look in person's eyes (and you think I'm kidding about this one?)

    6) Obviously intoxicated
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Ditto Phil Owl!! I completely agree with you. How can a person be close to someone if they have "stinky mouth"? Every second you are assailed by the smell. One solution I have sometimes is I'll try to eliminate that problem by going up and chatting with them, pulling out a extra-strength breath mint/gum for myself and offering it to the follow. If that takes care of it I'll dance with her, but if she refuses or it is not successful she's out of luck.
  7. Xtreme Salsa

    Xtreme Salsa New Member

    oh man I've danced with a girl that had the psychotic look, wtf is up with that?
  8. Phil Owl

    Phil Owl Well-Known Member

    Had acouple of those myself, couldn't wai until the song eneded and got the h--- to another part of the room pronto!
  9. KevinL

    KevinL New Member

    I don't generally ask guys to dance because (even in Vermont) onlookers look at us funny. It easier among the swing dancers, and the fact that I'm a teacher makes it more acceptable even among the ballroom dancers, but if I don't know the guy I won't ask them to dance. I need to practice following so that I can better understand what to tell the followers in class, I just don't do it that often.

    I don't ask people (men or women) who sit down with their arms crossed and glower at the dance floor. I feel a little bad that they appear not to be having a good time, but I'm not going to subject myself to that kind of torture!

    I tend not to ask women who look old (65+) unless I see them dance and know that they are still physically fit. If they still move as if they are young I'm up for it, but if I can't tell, or if they are stiff and obviously have bad balance, I'm much less likely to ask them to dance. I'll dance with them if they ask me, but I tend not to be the one to do the asking.

    I won't ask the one woman locally who refuses to make eye contact with me and turns her back to me whenever she sees me. I think that her behaviour has something to do with her being the teaching partner of another local teacher who doesn't like me very much.

    I tend not to ask the really good local salsa dancers to salsa because I'm such a newbie, and I'm not very good at salsa. However, several of them are friendly with me, and like dancing with me, we just don't really do what I consider to be salsa because I suck. I will ask them to dance to songs that I can dance to, but just not very much salsa.

  10. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    My list is very, very short:

    Backleaders (nuff said!)

    She's wearing footwear that is obviously not safe to dance in (backless heels!)

    Overstylists (did a thread on this one. If you have to do ladies styling to EVERY move we more! :lol: )
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    To continue on what KevinL said I don't ask guys to lead as it won't go over that well, especially for salsa!! :shock: In club ballroom, however, once I get good enough to switch roles I could easily do so.
  12. brujo

    brujo New Member

    Torture, interesting choice of words. I had an older lady in one of my classes say that she gets frustrated when she goes to clubs because only the half naked young women get asked to dance, and she gets to sit there, too shy to ask anyone to dance. This is exactly the elitist attitude that turns people off salsa and encourages cliques and factions within the salsa world. After all, why ask a stranger to dance when your friends will never reject you.

    My favorite club has a nice mix of regulars and fresh faces. There are absolutely no cliques there, because when they come in, we will immediately break them up and infiltrate their ranks and have a jolly good time. It is so much more welcoming than to have people sit around, sulking and waiting to be asked to dance.
  13. redhead

    redhead New Member

    Bad hygiene should be #1! :uplaugh:
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Another one to join the clique buster gang!! Right on!! :D
  15. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I think KevinL actually brings up a good distinction—those I don’t ask to dance and those I won’t dance with…two different groups. Actually, to fine-tune this even more, I feel like there’s also a difference between those I have never danced with and don’t ask vs. those I have danced with and won’t ask.

    In addition to many of the items already listed, here are some of my others…

    Have never danced with her – Won’t ask her to dance:

    #1. No timing, i.e. can’t stay on beat, even for basics

    #2. Doesn’t seem to follow, i.e. watch her guessing which direction to go without waiting to see what her partner intends

    #3. Totally inappropriate footwear, i.e. clogs, 4” cork platforms, etc.

    #4. Lack of floor sense and/or control, i.e. see her slinging her arms around, opening up to full arm extension without looking behind her, spinning herself into others, etc.

    #5. Auto-dipper, i.e. see her throwing herself into dips (whether led or not!)

    #6. Oblivious to her partner, i.e. doesn’t look at him, is only concerned with her own styling, etc.

    #7. OK, this is going to sound harsh, but…lower ability level than other available partners. Again, this is I won’t ask, it does not(!) mean that I’ll refuse to dance with her, only that I’m out to have fun too so, if there’s a better partner available, that’s who I’ll ask.

    . . . #4 & #5, if really blatant, actually fall into the camp of those I won’t dance with period. If she’s a danger to me and to others on the floor, I am unwilling to take on that responsibility and risk. Just as a caveat, however, #4 is not about beginners who don’t have full control yet…that is only to be expected (besides which, when do any of us ever have full control? I certainly don’t!), I’m talking about the truly careless.

    As far as the have danced with won’t ask, anyone who I don’t enjoy dancing with…it’s that simple. I’ll still accept dances from most of these people though, the #4s and #5s again being the exceptions. Other then those, the only absolute “won’ts” are those who’ve (A) injured me, or (B) disrespected me.
  16. Jmatthew

    Jmatthew New Member

    I assume that girls that are sitting down at a table don't want to dance unless I know otherwise. I figure everyone needs a break, and someone sitting at a table is probably on one, and I don't want to disturb it. Of course, for those girls that go sit down and then never move... well, sucks to be them I guess.

    The number one reason I won't ask someone to dance is because they scare me. Not like, because they're scary bad, but because they're scary good. I'm cool with dancing with the total beginner under most situations (I get a little pickier if the dance floor is really crowded) and usually just for one dance. But I like to dance with everyone I can, partly because one day not so long ago I was a sucky n00b, and if strangers hadn't danced with me then I wouldn't be the semi-quasi-good dancer I am now. :)

    A girl won't get a SECOND dance though if...

    ...she's rude.
    ...she critiques my style or moves, or tries to "teach" me something in the middle of a dance.
    ...starts counting for me. (happens with new people in swing a lot who haven't figured out that sometimes it's okay to break the 6/8 count patterns)
    ...doesn't say thank you at the end of the dance.

    I THINK that's about it. Sometimes in Salsa girls get a little closer than I'm comfortable with, but I think that's a me thing and I need to get over it more than they need to change, so I try to deal. :)
  17. KevinL

    KevinL New Member

    I don't dance salsa well, or often, so I was actually writing about a ballroom experience. I dance with almost everyone, and do my best to break up cliques when I see them.

    Anyway, the time I was writing about was one evening when an older woman, maybe in her mid 50's (well within my usual dancing age range) sat at a table near the dance floor. Every single time I looked at her she had her arms crossed, and seemed to be glowering at the dance floor. That kind of body language just invites people to ignore you. Sitting with your arms crossed, tightly hugging your body, with a sour look is just not inviting. If a person doesn't look like they are open to dancing, why would I ask them to dance?

  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    How close one gets is determined by both partners. If you are uncomfortable then move further away. I used to do that when I first started dancing as I wasn't that great and my incompetence clearly showed, while having a more open closed position did not make it as obvious. :)

    Last Tuesday night I danced with someone to a song where everyone else was grinding away. The follower quite clearly wasn't up to even a close position. (I'm not a grinding kind of person, so that really wasn't on the plate!!) So we danced in open position.
  19. nobodaddy

    nobodaddy New Member

    Salsa Dancing is SOCIAL, and it brings out both the best and worst in us. I can only speak for myself, but I should add that all the responses on this topic have been great. I'm a Geek, and left to my own devices, would sit for hours with my favorite Linux box! :D About a year ago, I determined to get out more, and spotted Salsa flyers advertising lessons. So I started to go. Just doing the basic was torture--ask a lady to dance, make eye contact, smile? :D Eventually I got good enough to venture out to the clubs---totally different atmosphere. You would see guys like Alex DeSilva dance and you just wanted to hide, forget about asking a woman to dance. Eventually I got over this, but the way I did was to go out to the clubs in a group of like minded and similar skill level folks. You're comfortable and able to just dance and have fun. Now I dance with people I know in this group and others who I don't. But I think some of the reluctance to ask better followers to dance is twofold: general insecurity and the still mistaken notion that you must do 1000 crazy patterns with her to make her have a good time. It's a hard notion to break. I know women of all levels just want to have fun, to connect and dance their hearts out. Sometimes I feel this too and can just ask them to dance, go out on the dancefloor and just feel it. Other times I just stare at them and think "I'm not good enough to lead them and create a wonderful dance." I'll give you one crazy case in point, several months ago at a club on a Monday a follower I didn't know asked me to dance, on the first CBL she just whipped accros--zing, I felt "YES" and the rest of the song was just incredible, I felt the music and her, and she smiled at me throughout(CONNECTION!); after the song I just looked at her and asked without hesitation "Another?" and she said "YES," and it was magic all ove again. Later I found out from a friend she's a well know local sem-pro dancer! Here's the point--if I had know how good she was I probobly would have begged off, and I've seen her at clubs since but have never asked her to dance again. Who knows why we ask/don't ask, but a lot of it had to do with crazy notions of our own selfworth etc. Lately, I find myself asking more women I don't know and just igoring all the social butterflies etc and having fun! Isn't THAT what it's all about--connecting and having fun on the dancefloor, so when you arrive home you have a smile on your face and a spring in your step!
  20. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    NOW we are getting somewhere.......this is exactly why I've posted this topic :D !

    Sometimes I'm so frustrated with these crazy notions that people have. How do I know they wanna dance with me, if they never ask me? And how do they know that I'm gonna turn them down....? I do my share of asking and get turn down just as just shrug & move on! (Not so easy for us girls, as there is always a shortage of good salseros. The ratio is maybe 6 guys to 30 girls :x !)

    Good on you, Nobodaddy! We need more positive attitudes like this in the salsa world.

Share This Page