I went to a New York City dance studio last night to take a class which I found out (once i arrived) was cancelled. Since I paid a seven dollar cab fare to get there, I did not want to waste my money or my time so i requested to lead in a basic salsa class they had scheduled at the same time as my cancelled class. In Philly, I take class often as a lead without any problem. But at the New York studio, the receptionist told me NO. She said only the men are permitted to lead, the ladies to follow. Since I knew the studio owner, who was not in the studio at that time, I phoned her. She seemed a bit taken aback that I wanted to lead, but after a moment said, "Well, if it is okay with the instuctor, I don't have a problem with it." So, I approached the instructor before the class started and asked him if I may lead in his basic class. I told him I spoke to the owner and she said it was okay with her if it was okay with him. He denied me. He said "the ladies in the class might not like it. I need the ladies to follow and the men to lead. You could only do it if you bring your own partner and the two of you don't rotate with the class." Sheesh. I was shocked at this. It seems downright sexist thinking to me. What difference does my gender make? I'll say this, it certainly makes me want to take my money elsewhere. Following that incident, I still wanted to salvage my night, so I went to El Flamingo where there was a free 7 p.m. class by Jami Josephson. I took the class, as a follower, since I was afraid to offend anyone now. After the class, I asked Miss Josephson when her studio classes were and would I be permitted to take class as a lead. She replied, "Yes, if fact I encourage ladies to learn to lead as well as follow." So, now I know when I want to strengthen my lead, I can go to her studio. What do you all think? What have been your experiences with this sort of thing?