Social Dancing with More Advanced Dancers

When I first started dancing I did not ask the higher level people as I considered this rude to do so. I knew that I brought nothing to the table for them to warrant asking them to dance (but possibly the chance of hurting them by accident due to my lack of ability) compared to what they were bringing to the table for me. Lets face it, why would you ask someone much higher in abliliy to dance? Possibly for your own benefit, not theirs, so are you really the one being selfish? If they asked me then fine, they took their chances. If I asked them I forced them to feel bad if they turned me down or dance with me as a mercy dance to not hurt my feelings. Unless asked I kept with people of my own ability or lower. I worked on my dancing so that I would be worthy of higher level people dancing with me as I would bring something back to the table for them.
Interesting. I've really started asking others to dance, when I started coming to parties here by myself more and I realized that I won't get to dance if I don't ask. I was not a complete newbie by that point, though, and probably was somewhere in the middle of the pack for the local area, level-wise.. When I was a complete newbie, we lived in a different area (eastern LI) and dance scene was such that people did not mix.
 

reb

Active Member
OP speaking here - If nothing else, this has taught me quite a bit about the variety of personalities and belief systems that come to the dance floor. Some I was familiar with, others are new and intriguing enough for further exploration, and still others are just...well, it is what it is.

While I hadn't intended for this to go to some of the extremes it did, I am grateful for the insight it's revealed.
Well said.

This is one of the most exciting aspects of maturing (that's intended to be my nice way of saying growing older :D ) - learning more about other perspectives (and oneself) than imagined before . . .
 
OP speaking here - If nothing else, this has taught me quite a bit about the variety of personalities and belief systems that come to the dance floor. Some I was familiar with, others are new and intriguing enough for further exploration, and still others are just...well, it is what it is.

While I hadn't intended for this to go to some of the extremes it did, I am grateful for the insight it's revealed.

I'm beginning to believe, as commented on the word thread' that 'social dancing' is an oxymoron

Still, you are right - this thread is an accurate reflection of the types of people on a social dance floor -and one of the reasons 'social dancing' is interesting. Basically, its a micrososm of people that you do not come accross in your dainly life because that is usually (excepting some professions) preselected.
 
I'm beginning to believe, as commented on the word thread' that 'social dancing' is an oxymoron
Ditto to wooh. Why? :)
Still, you are right - this thread is an accurate reflection of the types of people on a social dance floor -and one of the reasons 'social dancing' is interesting. Basically, its a micrososm of people that you do not come accross in your dainly life because that is usually (excepting some professions) preselected.
I think there's been a bit of self-selection. The people posting on this thread may tend to be a bit more passionate about their views of social dancing than the average dancer.
 
"Social dancing" sometimes becomes a catch-all phrase to describe anything that is not

- a lesson
- a class
- partner practice during general studio hours
- a competition run through
- a competition
- a performance rehearsal
- a performance

...realistically, there's a lot left over to put under this label!
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
and yet...if it is partner dancing it is social...where there are two people there is a social dynamic...whether it is acknowleged or not...it is still a dynamic
 
I think what is most important is that the goal of dancing is to have fun!
It should be a positive experience for both the beginner and the advanced dancer.

We have to recognize that often one of the key ingredients in both good dancing and fun dancing is an openness of the mind to confidence and enjoyment. If this is present for both dancers, even of different levels, its going to be worthwhile.

Now, when it comes to the dynamic created with mixing social dancers and competitive dancers, it is relatively common to see some friction. I think this is the result of the lack of openness, and people on both sides need to learn to relax and enjoy. :)
 

tsb

Well-Known Member
Wow, talk about resurrecting old ghosts. :)

I feel an update is in order. I have been taking group and private lessons for over a year now, and I'd say my dancing has certainly improved. What was interesting was that the dancer in question as well as many of the other highest level leads at the location in question pretty much left me alone for most of the better part of 2008. I'd stick to dancing with my classmates, visitors to the venue, or with my boyfriend who has a few more years of experience dancing than I do.

As I became more of a regular and got to being social with a good number of the dancers there, more folks would ask me to dance, and I grew more comfortable with asking other guys to dance with me. Sometime around maybe September or October of last year, the high level dancers who had previously ignored me (including the dancer who inspired this thread) started to ask me to dance more. And it wasn't a half bad experience. Now we all regularly ask each other to dance. There are still a few "upper crust" dancers that stick to the people at their level, but I've got more than enough friends to keep me occupied for a decent night of social dancing.

As for the specific lead who inspired this thread, I've noticed over the year he's gotten a lot more sympathetic when working with newbies. He knows an insane amount about technique and theory and is a lot of fun to dance with, but as I think a couple of people in this thread alluded to, it's not enough to know vast amount of material if you can't adjust your lead for the follower's capabilities. I'm glad we both learned from this situation.
would you do me a favor and clarify something? you mentioned taking ballroom as well as west coast swing classes. was this problem you mentioned happening with ballroom dances or primarily in WCS?

thanks.
 

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