[social dancing] Increase your chances of getting asked

Dr Dance

Well-Known Member
As a leader, I am more attracted to choosing someone to dance if she exhibits certain tendencies.

1. If she smiles. This tells me that she is in a good mental frame.

2. If she is on the sidelines practicing instead of sitting. You'd think that she wouldn't be "bothered" if she appeared to be "busy." But being active attracts me more that if she was passive (sitting). All I have to do to get asked is to discreetly practice my routines or new moves on the dance floor. Every time I do this, I always get asked myself.

3. If she is skilled. I know that this isn't inherently "fair." Every dancer has to start somewhere! But if I know that she is advanced, I will tend to ask her because I love to use my own advanced moves that could not be done with a beginner.

4. If she has given me good past experience. If I remember her being "fun" for a previous dance, she is bumped way up on my dance card list! If her previous reactions have been positive, I will wait in line to dance with her again!

To leaders: What else attracts you?

To followers: What other factors make you popular on the dance floor?

To everyone: How else do you increase your chances of being asked to dance?


Well-Known Member
Re #3: I don't go to socials to practice by myself. (Set aside that at my current studio there isn't room to be in the same area as the social dancing and not in the way and practice.) If I want to be asked, I stand. If I don't, I sit.

What makes me generally popular is if I go to the same social venue a lot and dance without leaning, lugging, or generally making it physically uncomfortable for leads. And I almost never say no when asked unless I really don't like/do a dance (WCS is the only universal here) or I'm really tired/footsore and sitting one out.


Well-Known Member
One of my favorite leaders is well-known for how little he smiles. Some followers do find it disconcerting, but he is a good leader in all ways (skilled, excellent judgement in what to lead, takes the safety of the follower seriously, and says "thank you very much" at the end of the dance). He's in high demand despite the lack of smiling.


Site Moderator
Staff member
I would never bother to practice at a social...I would find that....odd....
and my experience is that if one is too advanced, it has the opposite effect on men...

also, as regards asking men, because I worry about men who are there for purposes other than dancing, I prefer a guy who doesn't smile...then again, that hasn't served me particularly well

Dr Dance

Well-Known Member
also, as regards asking men, because I worry about men who are there for purposes other than dancing, I prefer a guy who doesn't smile...then again, that hasn't served me particularly well
So for you, you'd be more comfortable if you were fairly certain if you knew that his intentions were "noble." That's more than fair!
A couple of leaders have mentioned to me that they like asking me to dance at social dances because I am a good follower and don't 'panic' if they lead a step I don't know. Other friends have mentioned being told the same thing.


Well-Known Member
I've seen leaders bug out when something goes wrong. Instead of just picking back up on the fly, they have to stop cold in the middle of the floor, bob-and-count it out, and then strike off again.


Well-Known Member
I was going to get on here and rant (how unusual for me lol) about how 'smiling' 'pretending to be interested' etc have NOTHING to do with dance, quality of dance, etc… but then of course the name of this thread is how to increase your chances. If the ask-er does not know you, then they can only decide based on the same social cues that folks use in looking for a hookup or a date - a smile, interest, clothes worn, appeal. Once you get the dance started, not to worry, it is all over in a few minutes and you can rate your experience… lol

A dancer looking to dance with someone, really dance, will look at how he/she looks with others when they dance, if they have technique or are simply a 'follows' (for instance), and who he/she knows at the social.

An unsmiling, poorly dressed dancer who is not looking for my eye contact but knows how to dance is preferable to ME to a smiling, hot, but
clueless shuffler.

But that is my 2 cents...


Well-Known Member
…. 'smiling' 'pretending to be interested' etc have NOTHING to do with dance, ...
I share some of your ideas, but not all of them. Dance is the umbrella term that of course includes the literal activity, but the rest is dance as well: training, teaching, managing, researching, djaying, … and not least: social dancing. And learning social dance is nothing else than social learning. So basically I appreciate the opener´s question. Better asking here publicly than blunder besides the dance floor awkwardly.


Well-Known Member
Based on my experiences at an open dance social:

* Wear a dress or skirt, rather than pants. Look feminine (not necessarily sexy). Long hair is a plus.
* More likely to get asked if you are not obviously there with a partner (husband/boyfriend/whatever) - even if you regularly dance with others besides your normal partner.
* Sit closer to the dance floor.

Thank you for confirming that avoiding eye contact may help avoid a dance partner... I've expended a fair amount of effort avoiding eye contact with one particular gent with a high success rate.


Well-Known Member
Or follows could ask leads for dances. Leaders only get momentarily flustered when I ask them, but usually accept the invitation.

Follows: what could leaders do to increase the chance of a follow asking them to dance?

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