Translating dance classes to real social scenarios

Since recently I'm taking part in discofox classes and I've been wondering... How do you take what you've learned and apply it to a real life scenario?

For example let's say you're at a wedding/party/club and you ask a girl you've never met before to dance with you. But she may not know how to dance discofox. She may be a master at tango/salsa/twerk or she may not be able to dance at all. So what then? Is she just supposed to guess what she is supposed to do or what?


Active Member
You may not have advanced far enough in your study of partner dancing yet to have mastered much of it, but this is what your teachers mean by Leading.

When you taking your class and the teacher demonstrates a pattern I suspect that at least some of the instruction is regarding how to Lead It. Hopefully, you've experienced at least a couple of instances where you invited a Follow into a step or pattern and indeed they "listened" and executed it. It could be that you felt that it was only the demonstration of the follows side of the pattern that allowed them to execute it, but eventually you will develop enough skill in the Lead that you will be able invite even untrained follows into a step and they will step into it, maybe not with grace, maybe not with exactly the expected pattern, but your invitations will be heard and accepted. Part of leading is also adapting to the unexpected response to a invitation into a step. This is just another skill in Leading that you will develop with time and practice.

Hope that helps.


Well-Known Member
Is she just supposed to guess what she is supposed to do or what?
If you can lead it well enough, the lady shouldn't have to guess. How well she follows depends on her. I have had successful dances with ladies who've never had a lesson -- but I had to lower my definition of successful. As long as we keep moving to the music, even if the figure is simple, is defined as successful.


Well-Known Member
..She may be a master at tango..
Do not start with &1-2-3 as it is usually taught but simply with 1-2-3 with the one is a tap with your left foot. A tango dancer will be able to follow right away.
A bit more difficult because salseras are used to dance all those hustle stuff to way more complex rhythms. Simply sway to the music on the spot for a while first, then lead her decisively..
She will not be interested.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
Best bet is to ask her if she knows disco fox. If she says "no," you could say, "it's not that hard," or, whatever. Your results will vary.
Same goes for any dance.
You could also give her the count that you plan to use and see if she recognizes it. That would increase your chances of having a good dance.

Recently learned of this Shakespeare line.
"'Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."

When it comes to dance, failure IS an option. The world will continue to turn.

(As you gain more experience, we can talk about how to handle, "no.")


Well-Known Member
Be advised that, in general, unless the couple getting married are themselves dancers, wedding receptions usually make pretty lousy dance venues. The dance floor will be the size of a postage stamp; the DJ won't know much about dance music, there will be drunks everywhere, and inevitably at some point someone will spill their drink on the dance floor. Having said that: If I'm at a place where there might be casual dancing, and I want a dance, I might pick a song that goes with a dance that has a simple basic step, and then ask a lady if she would like to dance. If she says she doesn't know the dance, I'll offer to show her the basic step, keeping in mind that I will probably have to count it out for her and that she may not be able to dance it fast enough to keep up with the music. But if the choice is that or sit, I'll take that every time.

If there is someone there you know who knows the dance, dance with her once or twice first. Other people will see you dancing and they will get interested; make a note of who is watching you, because these are women who are more likely to say yes to a dance with you.

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