Salsa > Would you like to be told? How?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by africana, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. africana

    africana New Member

    Let's say someone has some serious flaw that they are COMPLETELY oblivious to: like strong body odor, halitosis, chronic offbeat-ness, sharp finger nails or rings that scratch, braids that whip your face during spins, sweaty palms, or whatever

    Or let's say this person is you: would you want your dance partners to tell you? How? Or would you rather be blissfully ignorant?

    Notice that most of the problems I mentioned above don't involve inflicting serious harm to a partner, so one can't use that as an excuse. But they make things less pleasant
    So if these things bother you about a partner, would you always accept dances without saying anything, or would you ever mention it?

    as for me I would have appreciated someone telling me about my hurtful braids a LONG time ago :lol:
    I have since changed my hairstyle when I finally found out the problem (the things we do for salsa lol!) turns out several guys wouldn't do too many spins so as not to get swiped
  2. nikita

    nikita New Member

    That's very, very difficult. In my job I have to do it all the time. But on a private basis I just never did. Some guys sweat so much, that I put myself over an extra shirt, before dancing with them+ I hold half meter distance:-? . Still it's disgusting:( . But I never said anything so fare.
    Years ago I told a beginner, better not to wear a watch, after he hurt me with it. He never forgot and still happily tells me, that he was never wearing a watch again. But that's something else, I guess.
  3. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I would tell it and like to be told!
  4. amo_dile_que_no

    amo_dile_que_no New Member

    I'd like to be told, preferably in a nice way. It's going to hurt a bit no matter what but at least then you can do something about it.

    I think this is where your friends come into play. As your friend, he (or she) should gently and privately alert you to things like that and not leave it to some poor stranger. Even if it hurts your feelings a bit. They are doing you a favor and because of it you may very well get more dances.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    I definately would like to be told, but if its an embaressing thing like body odor, I would prefer that a friend tell me.
  6. Vibrance

    Vibrance New Member

    I too would like to be told; similarly it depends who and how they tell you.

    If a beginner told me I was off beat and was doing my CBLS incorrectly I’d ignore them – but if it came from someone with experience then I would listen.

    Hygiene and grooming can be an issue, but I wouldn’t be ‘too’ hard on sweaty dancers – it’s summer and if you’re dancing for a couple of hours, you’ll perspire. But yes, I can imagine it being quite gross if someone is an excessive sweater.

    My recent gripe is ladies with massive hair clips – they add an unexpected inch and a half to the circumference of her head and my hand often knocks them. That said, I guess it’s better than being facially whipped by her tresses during a spin J

    However, unless a partner asks I would never make comments about their technique – I’m not a teacher, it’s not my place. On another post I talk about dancing with someone with ‘rusty robot’ arms; she has been dancing longer than me and I feel it would be inappropriate for me to try and correct her.
  7. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    I'd like to be told, but would have trouble if I was the teller.
  8. Houdinni

    Houdinni New Member

    Most things can be told in a nice manner...

    Others I'm not quite sure... How do you tell someone that his/hers BO... Is there a nice way to say this?

    Or halitosis?

    Or sweaty Palms?

    For the rest, usually people thank you for your advice, since it's good for them, but the ones mentioned above... sure, it would be good for them, but can you bring yourself to tell it?
  9. Floyd

    Floyd New Member

    I sweat a lot, and when a woman mentions it, I assume it bothers her. Since there's nothing I can do about it, I don't ask her to dance again. When I see another man who sweats a lot, I make a joke about me sweating, and then show him the shirts I wear, which wick moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric where it evaporates instead of soaking in. These shirts tend to stay dryer than a regular shirt. They are sold under the brand names Drytec, Wickid, and Tempradry.

    I never tell people they are off time because that feedback isn't going to help them dance on time. They dance off time because they can't hear the beat or because their dance workload is too high, which causes some aspect of their dancing to suffer.
  10. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i've certainly become way more tolerant of bad breath and body odor since i started dancing. the guys whose dancing interests me in spite of the above i try to catch at the beginning of the party, when both issues are usually still manageable. i have pressed gum into the palms of a few (with and without a wink) and try to remember i don't know them as well as my coach, who i sometimes leave in the middle of the practice floor without a word to retrieve gum for. i'm allowed to ham up that moment with him since we know each other very well, but for others i am much more undercover about the whole thing.
  11. Brendan

    Brendan New Member

    If it's something that's something that's physically unfomfortable to the follower such as fingernails, watches, rings, too forceful a lead,... then I'd like to know and am happy for anyone to mention it.
    Leading technique and that sort of thing is slightly different. If there's something I'm doing wrong then that's also good to know but at the end of the dance unless it's uncomfortable for the follower.
    If it's a personal hygiene thing then it would be better to be told by a friend but I might pick on on the bad breath thing if everyone I dance with suddenly starts offering me mints all the time.

  12. englezul

    englezul New Member

    I cannot imagine any excuse for being oblivious to things like strong body odor, or halitosis. It's either you take care of yourself, or not. These are not things that one does on the "need to" bases. They're things that one must do precationary.

    Offbeat-ness?...No, nothing about this. Two kinds of people are chronically off-beat, people who anatomically don't have the structures that allow them to understand music and it's rhythmical flow and people who get it, but their skill is low, so they're not moving fast enough, etc. They need more practice.

    In both cases what's the point of making such an observation. The only thing it will accomplish is make them feel selfconscious and destroy their night, and you look like a jackass. Nothing more than that. Low skilled leads will not aqcuire more skill by virtue of you saying that, and people who don't hear it will not hear it anyways, because they can't. Besides it makes you look like a condescending prick.

    Now I can imagine a case where you are genuinely concerned about them improving, and they're also your friends, and you can say that if you have some additional input that will help them improve. But if you don't...don't say it.

    Sharp nails, or other accessories that get in the way, small habits ..sure, do tell, cause it's probably something they didn't think about.

    My God, Why?
  13. alemana

    alemana New Member

    because the level of freakout i experienced at such things prior to becoming a dancer was so extreme that basically i would've had to have quit dancing. i was soooo intolerant.

    now i have different values :) blatant and willful stinkiness is one thing - honestly i don't come across a lot of that. but we sweat and sometimes we smell a little. i can deal.
  14. nikita

    nikita New Member

    People, which sweat a lot in the group classes, usually bring another shirt and/or a towel. And then there are people, which don't. They let run their sweat over their follower :-? . If it would be a person, I like and know better I wouldn't be bothered. But if it's not a friend? I think all the time:" Why ....isn't he bringing a towel? Doesn't he realize or is it that he just doesn't care?"
  15. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    So if you're someone who doesn't get that, you need telling!

    /edit: dang, I have a bayath every six month, whether uh needs wun or noaht
  16. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Perhaps a woman who mentions it is trying to help you. Perhaps she truly enjoys dancing with you, and would like to inform you that she would enjoy it even more if you managed the sweat a little better.

    No, there's nothing you can do to stop sweating so much, and I can't imagine any reasonable person would suggest otherwise. But there certainly is something you could do about the fact that you do. You could carry a towel and wipe the sweat from your face, neck and arms after each dance. You could change your shirt once or twice a night.

    Just because you sweat a lot, doesn't mean that you have to sweat all over other people.
  17. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    And to answer the original question, I would ABSOLUTELY want to be told if there was something offensive about me like body odor or bad breath. I would want to be told in as nice a way as possible, but I would want to be told. It would hurt, but I would want to know so that I could fix it. Nobody wants to be the stinky kid.

    And as far as telling someone else, I usually chicken out. :? But I have encouraged other more willing people to do that favor for people I liked who I thought should know. In those instances, the person who was told was very appreciative, and the problem disappeared immediately.
  18. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    Sure I would like to be told. It sucks, but it's better than not knowing.

    Since I dance with all levels of followers, my lead had become somewhat forceful. One of the followers told me that perhaps I should try to use less force - just like that. It hurt like hell, but as soon as I heard those words, I knew that they were true. And even that dance, or the rest of it, was a perfect example of a 'minimal lead' as soon as I recognized that I was being rough. This particular follower was as good when I was taking baby salsa steps as now, and she has helped me learn by dancing with me all along...I figured if she wasn't allowed to point out a bad habit, who else was? That still doesn't mean that it didn't hurt, but I'm grateful to her.. and you know what? I still love to dance with her, and only hold her in a higher esteem.

    So yeah, I'd prefer to be told, but I suppose not every random Jane I meet on the dancefloor is welcome to comment (unless its a stupendously bad thing I'm doing, of course inadvertently!)
  19. africana

    africana New Member

    I finally posted this thread cos I was still feeling guilty about quitting a dance prematurely, abou 2 weeks ago.
    Except for cases of someone making unwelcome advances or being rough, I never end a dance like that, in the middle. i never told a lie to get out of dance, but I did it this time before I realized what i was doing

    he's BO was sooo strong, that about 2 or 3 minutes in the dance (my frst dance of the evening, in fresh smelling, dressy outfit...) I couldn't stand being rubbed with his smell. And it was a long song by the live band. So I did the fake "i stepped on my foot" thing (which actually happens), and ran off to the restroom. The rest of the night I felt terrible cos the guy had to know that I was avoiding eye contact, and was I constantly dancing that night, so obviously I could have danced with him again but...geez. He was a pretty dancer too, what a shame

    How in the world is he supposed to know to fix it if nobody says a thing? I mean only the women he dances with will notice. By the way, as I was cleaning up, another lady in the restroom, said her friend had been complaining about some smelly guy (guess who...)

    I agree about not saying anything about technical issues, unless they are friends, or unless they are constant dance partners and are open to pointers. But for offbeat and roughness issues, I have notified people, especially if I have to dnace with them repeatedly. It seems to turn out fine, because I approach it with an attitude of helping fix it if possible.

    However lately, I have encountered a casestudy whose offbeat problem is pretty bad, because he seems to follow the home-grown, alex da silva method of dancing to hits and breaks, and doing lots of flash, but no real consistency in timing. I feel really reluctant to say anything....he's popular in his circles, but super nice, very handsome/suave, confident. don't want to burst that bubble, cos I kinda do like his style (despite a little roughness)

    and I like him as person but I'm afriad one day a great song is gonna come on, he's gonna ask me to dance and I'm gonna just explode :(
  20. PasionYRitmo

    PasionYRitmo New Member


    It would be really great if showering would solve that, but there are many people with various health problems that cause BO that does not go away with a simple shower (my father included). For instance, fungus/candida/yeast are common causes of BO. Of course not all the smelly people have those problems, but assuming that they smell just because they don't wash is a bit ignorant.

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