Salsa > Women redirecting dances

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Ron Obvious, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Ron Obvious

    Ron Obvious New Member

    Women re-directing dances

    I'm sure you've all encountered this phenomenon: you ask a woman to dance, and she says: - Why don't you dance with my friend over here?

    Is there a way to be tactfull about this? Because basically, I want to dance with the one I'm asking, but in almost every case I end up dancing with her (usually beginner) friend, because it would be really impolite not to do so.

    Well, I guess I understand the point of view of the woman, that they want their less skilled friends to have fun too. And I should add that this usually happens with women I know. But still, I think this is not the correct way to handle such a situation. If they want me to dance with their friend, they should ask me to ask their friend to dance.
  2. azzey

    azzey Member

    I absolutely don't mind (even enjoy) dancing with beginners and will often seek them out. However I usually select the right girl for the right song (tempo, style, mood etc) so it does screw things up when you get re-directed during the start of a Tito Puente or Los Van Van.

    Often this is because the girl is needing a rest from the previous fast songs, the guy who tossed her around wildly, wanting a drink, has not seen me dance, has seen me dance (!) and thinks that's the way I dance with everyone and is now too frightened, has her own favourite guy to dance a particular song with etc.

    What I do is either dance with the girl (if I think it's appropriate) or appologise to her (important to act confident and friendly here) and say that I'll come back to her later (in a few songs) and mean it. As long as you're sincere she's not usually too disappointed as she's just happy to have another guy on her dance card. If she is disappointed just flirt with her a little.

    Getting to dance all night to every song you want with every partner you want is largely a matter of timing. Watching the room, being aware who is waiting to dance with the same person, preparation before the song ends, avoiding being asked by the wrong person (who may be shuffling next to you and who you'll gladly dance with on a different song), ending your dance near to the next partner you want to ask thereby beating the guys to the punch who are waiting on the side lines. hehe.
  3. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Personally I've never done that -- is it common? Guys (and women) have come up to me and asked me to dance with their beginner friends, and I'm happy to oblige, and at the few times when I had a beginner friend with me I did ask my male friends to "dance with her later", but not "instead of me"! I'm too selfish for that I suppose :lol:. And I can see your point -- if I asked a guy and he redirected me to his friend, I would be disappointed too. I think redirecting is effectively saying "no".

    If/when you encounter that situation, perhaps you can:
    - Promise that you will dance with her friend *after* her, or

    - Dance with her friend, but book the next dance with her (the woman you wanted dance with in the first place) first?

    Or if you know the woman well, you can tease her by saying (with a hurt expression) "oh so you don't want to dance with me anymore, do you?", before proceeding to the above... She might take a hint, even if it's a joke hint.
  4. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Has never happened to me that I remember. I've had girls come up to me and ask if I'd dance with their friend. That's flattering and I've always been happy to do it.

    If it happened to me like Ron describes I imagine I'd be so nonplussed that I'd say something stupid like "why?" or "uh, it's ok thanks" and stand there like an idiot until either I realised I wasn't going to get a dance or until the girl got so embarrassed she had to accept.

    If I was on the ball and feeling bolshy, I would say (with a grin) "I wasn't asking her, I was asking YOU!" then assuming I did get a dance rather than a slap I would chat during the dance and ask about her friend then probably go ask her for a dance later.

    I think deflecting a guy like this is rude and shows that for that follower it's not about people having a good time but about technique or some other criterion. It's also unkind to the asker who doesn't know now whether to take it as a "never" or a "maybe later" from that follower.
  5. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i've never redirected someone. i HAVE hijacked a guy or two rejected by my best salsa girlfriend, a supernaturally pretty woman who drives all the men on the local scene batty with unfulfilled desire.
  6. Ron Obvious

    Ron Obvious New Member

    Yes, that would have been the perfect thing to say. Too bad I can't do like in the Seinfeld episode "the jerk store", and try to arrange the situation again now that I have a good come-back line.

    Anyway, I don't think she was deliberately beeing rude, she was just thinking of her friend and was probably feeling she did the right thing (however, she didn't think about how I'd feel).

    A similar thing has happened to me once before, as I was a relative beginner. I asked a female friend to come with me to a salsa club and dance. We decided to meet there, and then she'd brought one of her friends that couldn't dance at all, and asked me to dance with her instead because she was too tired herself. I guess her real reason to go to the salsa club was that she wanted to see if there were other good dancers there.
  7. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I have done this twice:

    1. My back hurt so much that i couldn't dance anymore that evening.
    I redirected this guy to my daughter who is almost as good as I am (but much more beautiful though). But she is newbie in the salsacommunity and was a foreign face at that salsavenue. She needed to meet more people. And I couldn't dance....

    2. When I had a very good friend standing by my side for three hours :(.
    She was almost desperate.

    She was much a better dancer than I was at that time but she was also a new face in the salsa community. I actually asked a guy to ask her for a dance. He wasnt too happy about my suggestion. He told me to tell her to ask him for a dance. But she didn´t dare because she was new at that place.

    To redirect a dance might be a nice gesture to a friend. It doesn´t have to mean that that girl is a less skilful dancer or less beautiful. She might be a newbie in town!

    1 person likes this.
  8. aimerrouge

    aimerrouge New Member

    Honesty is the best policy in such situations, if you don't want to dance with someone you shouldn't. A simple "No thank you" will suffice.

    Concerns about others perceptions seem to ring hollow if dancing with someone other than your first choice is such a bother.
  9. Ron Obvious

    Ron Obvious New Member

    Yes, it is a nice gesture to your friend, but you put the guy in a difficult position. I would actually too prefer the friend ask me instead.
  10. azzey

    azzey Member

    It happens mainly in Latin clubs where the crowd is a mixture of Salsa dancers and non-dancers/clubbers. Mostly because non-salsa-dancer girls perceive dancing as something more than just a dance OR sometimes they are fearful to look bad with someone who is a good dancer.

    My current girlfriend is just such an example: She told me after we went out a couple of times that she was afraid to ask me to dance even though she really wanted to and thought I was cute.

    Another dance friend (who is now a regular partner of mine) also admitted to me the other day that she was in shock when I asked her to dance for the first time. Must be my aftershave.. LOL.
  11. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I've had the situation happen to me a number of times over the years, but I'd say the percentages are about 50/50 whether the "redirectee" is a better/worse dancer. Sometimes the person I ask is intimidated about getting on the floor and points me in the direction of a more-skilled friend, whereas other times the person I ask has been dancing a lot but wants her less-skilled (or equally skilled) friend to get some time on the floor.

    Either way, I've never considered the redirection rude, and I'm happy to oblige. My goal is simply to find somebody who wants to dance with me, and a redirection serves the purpose of taking the sting out of a flat "no," while also putting me in quick contact with a clear "yes." Plus, if I've really had my sights set on the first one, there's an easy segue to asking her later, especially after creating some good karma by doing the initial "favor." Overall, it seems to me that it's a way of making both friends happy instead of just one.
  12. africana

    africana New Member

    I've done it before, and I can see how it would be considered rude, but the last time I remember doing it, I was a little miffed at the way that fellow came up to me!

    In this case, my friend had been standing rigt on the dancefloor EAGERLY swaying, dancing a bit on her own, clearly wanting to be asked. And there I was SITTING in the corner, almost hiding, looking as settled and as bored as you can imagine (cos I was bored, it was my first night back from a week of dancing in new york, couldn't help it!), clearly not itching to dance, but really hoping that someone would just ask my friend
    So this man (not a "dancer") walks in front of my friend, blind to see her, and comes over to me, where I'm trying not to be seen, to ask me. Well I told him to dance with her instead, that she's there for the first time and needs to partner. He just laughed or smiled and mosied off...:roll:
    I suppose in a way I was saying no to him, because in that moment I felt he was one of those "power courtiers" who go for a certain target. He intentionally ignored my friend. So I don't have any regret about not accepting dances with people like that. IMO they aren't there just to enjoy the dancing and music and socializing with everyone. Instead they pick and choose depending on certain looks or what they percieve you to be, it's not just dancing for these people

    I think that's what aimerouge was hinting at

    Now if he had graciously danced with my friend, my opinion might not have been as harsh, even though I had suspicions
  13. Vibrance

    Vibrance New Member

    It’s a weird phenomenon – often the ladies doing the all the right things to get a dance (solo dancing on the edge of the dance-floor) are the most intimidating. Generally speaking, they tend to be the better dancers (they are confident) and as most guys don’t like giving ladies a boring or unchallenging dance they are scared to ask. Then, her frustration at not being asked grows, so the lady starts rolling out some complicated shines...
    She thinks her dancing is saying “look at me, I can dance and I need to dance NOW!!”

    He thinks “Oh my god! She’s awesome – I’m SO glad I didn’t ask her, with those moves she would own my sorry backside!”

    Eventually (two to three dances later) a guy does ask, but because she feels she has missed out and isn’t confident that she’ll get many dances that evening, she tries to fit 10 dances worth of shines into just 1 song and takes a few liberties with his lead (“oh sorry, you didn’t want the quadruple spin did you?”).

    The guy comes away feeling crap and possibly tells his male friends not to dance with her as she doesn’t follow.
    She comes away feeling crap, wondering why there are so few good leads around and why no one asks her to dance.

    Oops!! Back on topic – as a few people have said, I think it’s fine to be re-directed, as long as she indicates that she will dance with you later on.
  14. Houdinni

    Houdinni New Member

    I'ts happened to me sometimes to be redirected, (mostly in scenes I'm new at) and unless the girl gives a very convincing excuse, I think it's really rude.

    For one, since I'm the one inviting, I invite whoever I want to dance with. It's the only true advantage of inviting, since the one who invites has to deal with the times girls just say no. So if I pass someone who want's to dance, because of wanting to dance with someone else myself, I think I'm intitled to do it. If the girl wants to dance with me, she just has to come and invite me... I hardly eversay no, unless I can't move or have a broken leg.

    But redirecting is even worse than saying no (unless the redirecter is a close friend, and has the confidence to do so). Because in this casa she's not only saying no, as she is trying to push me to dance with someone that i may have absolutly no will to dance with!!!

    So as an advice to the girls who do so (for reasons such as stated in above posts), if you do want to help the friend who isn't dancing. Accept the invitacion that was ada to you, and then AT THE END of the dance ask the guy to invite your friend to dance.

    That way not only you won't offend anyone, as you'll probably get the guy to do it with pleasure every single time...

    Just my 5 cents...
  15. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    Me too :lol:! If a guy comes and asks my friend and I to dance, I always end up going first.

    I agree it's not that nice, but some do it when they're tired, not always with bad intentions.
  16. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    well.. on the upside, at least she didn't direct u to a guy friend.. lol

    it happened to me but only a few times in all the years.. i just say.. 'sure.. maybe next time around'..

    if i was not interested due to any reason or another.. i'll just pretend i didn't hear anything over the music and take her into dancing w/ the quickness.. lol
  17. ash88

    ash88 New Member

    On the topic of redirections...

    I once walked over to two advanced girls sitting near the dance-floor, offered my hand and opened with a warm, "Hi, would either of you like to dance?"

    They turn to look at each other. One says to the other, "I'm a little tired, do you want to do it?"

    The other replies nonchalantly, "I don't really feel like going either. You can go."

    Good lord.

    Meanwhile, i'm standing there dumbfounded, with my hand offered, increasingly feeling like everyone in the room is looking at me.

    Time ticks by....

    Finally, the second girl says, "Oh ok, i'll do it", as she half-heartedly stands up, dusts herself off and takes my hand.

    Did I actually feel like dancing anymore? Hell no. It was the first time i remember feeling like retracting my offer.

    Thankfully, this has only ever happened once. And i'm positive the vast majority of followers will never do this to a leader. I've never offered to dance with either of those girls ever again ;)
  18. Ron Obvious

    Ron Obvious New Member

    I once did that too. I asked two girls whom I knew "so which one of you wants to dance with me?". Then one of them rebuked me stating that a gentleman doesn't ask that way, you can never put a question to women which involves a choice in that way. And she's right, it was a clumsy question to ask.

    It's better to just choose one of them.

    I guess theese two situations (men double-asking and women re-directing) are quite comparable. In neither of them did any one of us mean to offend the other party, but sometimes we say clumsy things when we don't think what position we put the other party in.

    We should not ask such questions which cannot be politely answered with either yes or no. If, in fact, only one response is possible without breaking the etiquette, then what is the point of doing the asking in the form of a question, when in fact it is an order?
  19. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    The proper way for followers to get their newbie friends some dances is to, when they first get there, take them around and introduce them to some leads and say "This is my friend X, she's new at this. Will you please save a dance or two for her?" This way, the lead has some choice in the manner, instead of getting "you will dance with this person, and you will do it now!" :rolleyes: I'm more than happy to dance with newcomers, but I want it to be a time and a song of my choosing, so I can help them get going, and I don't feel like I'm missing an opportunity.

    The one time I got really annoyed with a follower in this type of situation was: Our studio plays lots of swing music (yeah, I know I'm in the salsa board, bear with me), but usually only 2-3 good WCS songs per night. So a great WCS song starts, and I'm looking for one of my favorite WCS partners. Instead, a lady literally jumps out in front of me dragging a a newcomer friend (with whom I'd already danced once) by the arm, and asks me "Dance this one with her!" I was so stunned that I couldn't summon the wit to find a polite way to turn her down. So, instead of a fun WCS, I wind up doing a boring sort-of ECS basic with a newcomer who never managed to find the beat, wouldn't stay in my hand, and still hadn't worked up to the music's tempo by the time the song ended. :(
  20. sweavo

    sweavo New Member


    "Wanna dance?"

    "I'd like it if you asked my cousin!"

    "Where's she?"


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