Shut up and dance!

Just wondering how everybody handles dancing with new people.

I've found that many partners are happy to say, "would you like to dance?" and that's the last you'll hear from them for the rest of your time together.

What is the norm with you? Do you make small talk or do you prefer to hold your partner, close your eyes and dance or, as one guy I know tells me, "shut up and dance!" ?


New Member
For me, it depends on the person I am dancing with. If I get the feeling they are comfortable dancing and talking, I will talk/ask questions such as - where they are from, where did they learn to dance, how long they have been dancing. Other times, I am too busy laughing (out of pleasure rather than anything else) to get a word out :lol:
I think a little talk can be ok depending on the situation, like you accidently stomp on your partners toes...whoops, a short apology is in order! :D

Being completely honest, it is EXTREMELY distracting when a lady starts to make chit chat on the dance floor. I really focus on connecting with my partner and just "letting go" to let the music move us...isn't dance about communicating with our bodies?

We have so much noise and chaos in our culture, and so many people that blab, blab, blab, chatter and blab some more, usually about inane BS that most of us didn't want to hear about anyway. Its like when I go to get my haircut once a month at a local those people in there never stop to draw a wordless breath....Chatty Cathy city and then some. :?

So, I say, feel the music with your partner, let yourself be taken away and enjoy your time together. But please don't start a conversation on the dance that for after or before the dance.

For instance, I just got back from Salsa dancing...and I was so tired and not feeling well when I showed up. Didn't dance much since I felt lousy...but then I saw this really beautiful girl that I have been too intimidated to ever ask to dance. Knowing that she was both attractive and a great dancer, I figured she'd turn me down but it was worth a shot.

Well, she said yes, and I can't recall if I ever said the words...I remember walking up to her and then we seemed to just start dancing.

She didn't say a word for the first few minutes...but believe me, she was THERE...I could feel her despite that she wasn't making a lot of eye contact. She had amazing frame, and leading her was so effortless...she was a very petite girl so I was very gentle with my lead...and I had another "in the zone" moment where I lost all sense of time.

At one point I was leading her through a double spin and another couple (who wasn't paying attention) bumped into her, so I leaned over and said "I'm sorry about that!"...and she quickly replied that it was ok.

When we starting was like we were pulled out of that magical zone...without words, the dance was of the best I have ever had as the connection with this lady was so wonderful. :p

We only really spoke to each other after we were both exhausted and decided to stop, as the song was one of those 15 minute Salsa's that never seems to end (trust me, I was about to shoot the DJ several times tonight!).

So, if the leader doesn't seem to want to talk, then I guess "just be quiet and dance," is the best way to handle it. ;)



Well-Known Member
to chat or not to chat

If its one of my favourite tango pieces then I wo't talk the music is too good but I might hum to myself.

A little chat for a bar or two at the begining is apparently th e thing to do in Argentina as everyone was chaperoned and this was the only time they could be alone together.
:lol: Can't resist this title......even if I have no business being in AT forum.

A friend of mine, whom I have nicknamed "David Helfgot" (anyone seen "Shine" :wink: ?) loves to talk, on & off the dancefloor. He's one of the hardest people to understand, especially when the music is loud & his words seem to roll into one another :roll: ........

Nice guy, good friend. I have fun dancing with him anytime, but the "Shut up & dance!" line is a must :roll: :lol: ............


Active Member
In my first AT class (yes, I've finally done it, so I'm more comfortable writing in this forum now :D), one of the first things the teacher said was "if you're talking, you're not dancing". This was because the class started with a lead-follow exercise, and some of the people (who came as a group) started chit chatting while doing it, but I agree with what he says. To me dancing is about entering another dimension made up entirely of the music and my connection with the lead. I'm okay about exchanging a few words directly related to the dance, but I don't feel I'm dancing when the partner tries to have a conversation.

When I'm dancing, my vocabulary is extremely limited -- you won't get much out of me other than "oops, sorry" and "it's okay" (when the leader says "oops, sorry")... :oops:
LOL.. yeah catchy title there..

i dont think i can handle much conversation beyond the "Hi.. where are u from.. how about a foot massage" kinda thing :lol: .. i think there are many other situations better suited for a nice convo.. but during dance all i care for is body language.. any other sound other than the music will be disconcerting and takes away from my other much more primed senses and connectibility.

Phil Owl

Well-Known Member
Varies for me.

There was this one woman I danced with occasionally back in Boston that she and I could carry on a conversation while dancing. Kind of fun actually.

Personally, I just enjoy the adoring look of an appreciative partner above anything else. Incidental comments and laughter are fine too.

There were of course a few incidents where I wished my partner would've just shut their yapper, namely the type where they were emasculating you and picking apart your every move and trying to "teach" while dancing, BIG NO-NO! :evil: :( :roll:


New Member
I think it depends on alot of factors, for me these include
1) How loud the music/venue is.
2) How comfortable I am with the dance.
3) How good the connection I have with my partner is.
4) Whether or not I am romantically interested/involved with my partner.
5) How much I like the music.

For me I don't like to constantly be engaged in small talk but if I am enjoying the dance I tend to flirt a bit with my partner, unless she does not seem like she would be comfortable with it. In my opinion often times it is unreasonable to carry on a conversation since the music is too loud or the person I am dancing with does not seem interested in small talk. I have done tango only a few times and always in a ballroom setting but it has been in settings where small talk was reasonable.


New Member
bordertangoman said:
The Grand Master Ching Bong says....

the enlightened one, when he is dancing knows he is dancing, and when she is talking knows she is talking, and when he is talking and dancing he is in a musical.

HA-HA! That's hillarious, bordertangoman ! :lol: :lol: :lol:


Well-Known Member
The title says it all. Actually I usually prefer just dancing, but there are a few occassions where we aren't really dancing, but just going through the motions and talking, so that's fine, I guess. I can't dance and talk, but can do the motions and talk. :wink:
I tend to not talk too much, unless it is a good friend that I am dancing with and we just want to catch up. I figure that it distracts the lead and you only get a half hearted dance while he is trying to concentrate on leading and talking at the same time.
bordertangoman said:
What really annoys me is when she's talking but not to me, but some other friend on her mobile phone!!
:lol: Okay. I think I am going to have to try that one and see how the guy I am dancing with reacts! :D


Well-Known Member
MacMoto said:
bordertangoman said:
What really annoys me is when she's talking but not to me, but some other friend on her mobile phone!!
Do people do that!?? :shock: That's unforgivable in my book.
I was being heavily ironic on people's pavlovian response to the mobile and terrestial phones: that if it rings we think we have to answer it and we think that its more omprtant than what we are doing right now.

It hasn't actually happened, though I have known mobiles to ring at Milongas but its usually in the person's bag and they have forgotten to switch it off. The only time I would regard it as acceptable is if the person is a medical proffessional 'on call' or for parents who have a baby sitter.
I can't believe someone danced with you and chatted on their mobile, BTM...sheesh. The funny thing is that ballroom dancing (and AT, to some extent) tries to exist in this land of old-world charm and manners and men and women having clearly defined roles, but it seems it's not always so.

I would have turned around and said, "if you'd rather talk on the phone than dance, perhaps I should let you go".

Goodness, it drives me wild. You wouldn't chat with someone else when you're in the middle of a conversation with another person, so why do it when you're dancing which is more intimate?

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