Women asking men to dance.


Well-Known Member
While the old rule of only men asking for a dance has become outdated and women for the most part feel free to ask a man for a dance I've noticed there are still a number of women who feel uncomfortable with this. Of these some are older women who grew up during that time when the traditional rules were firmly in place while others are newbies who are not yet comfortable with their skills. Some I notice will feel free to ask only certain men those being ones they know and dance with a lot.

As far as age groups go the women who do feel the most comfortable with asking men to dance are the younger ones in their teens to early thirties. I myself get more requests from the younger ladies.


Well-Known Member
Yes, spitfire. I have no problem asking anyone to dance. But a friend, who is twenty years older, would rather sit the whole evening than ask a gentlemen. I think it's just a generational difference. *shrug* :?
If you are curious, check out what Alicia Monti says about women asking men to dance Tango in the articles section of this site. Face to Face: Copello and Monti. I am glad a woman said it first.
The question is "Do you find this abroad?"
I ask. Especially when I'm somewhere new I ask for practically every dance that I get (since leads tend to be out numbered greatly).

For the most part I'm just fine with it and it feels perfectly natural, but sometimes I get tired of asking... Just plain tired of having to try so hard. Once I even went home early because I was sick of it and thought that at least I could better the odds for my fellow follows.

I think everyone wants to be asked... of course they do... it shows acceptance at some level... people seem to really dig on acceptance.
I don't want anybody to ask me. They always ask me when there is some music I just hate or when I am talking with some friends. Then, they think I am an knat when I say, "No." Women just can't take rejection well enough to be going around asking. Maybe someday, but not yet. It is also my responsibility to know when the woman wants to dance before asking. At one milonga, there is a DJ who always begins a little DiSarli tanda with Bahia Blanca. When I hear it, I look around for a particular partner. I know she loves that music, and she likes to dance it with me. It's easy for men to know when a woman wants to dance, women just can't tell when a man does not want to dance. They ask and get their feelings hurt. And it always seems to be the newer women dancers who get the hurt feelings and who are most sensitive. I am sorry that there are too many women at all the dances in the U.S. I cannot help it. When I go to dance, I do it to get away from all the social pressure from work. If I have to dance with every woman who asks me, it starts to seem like work. Then, I go home, and there are even fewer men dancers.
I stand corrected... not everyone likes to be asked.

I feel I'm pretty good at decerning whether or not a guy is looking to dance... I don't get turned down very often because of this. I don't interrupt the conversations of strangers or if he has somehow separated himself from the dance floor. I don't feel offended or personally rejected when a guy says no... I know perfectly well that he is under no obligation... I wouldn't want him to dance with me because he somehow felt that he had to. I chalk it up to timing no longer think about it.

I don't think I agree that men are better at knowing when a potential dance partner wants to dance. The VAST majority of men don't strike me as the observant half of the species... especially when it comes to women!! IMO
Yeah, maybe you're right. This is not a question I come across very often, because I only go to dances where I know everybody in the States. The women who ask me normally do know when I want to dance. When the Bahia Blanca comes on, normally I am looking at that particular dance partner looking back at me. Men may not be very observant, but the point is that it is their job to be observant in the milonga. They watch who dances well, and they do their best to dance with those. I don't necessarily use that criterion, but I am always watching. One might say that the male of the species is not necessarily the more observant or the best at dancing. In that case, the man has no business at the dances at all. There are traditions that go along with every dance. I really didn't consider where I was before I answered this post the first time. My body may be here, but my head is almost always somewhere else. I have to wake up before I write any more.
So, here is a better answer. Some women are good at being rejected, some are not. Some men are observant, some are not. Some women can tell when I want to dance, some cannot. There are just some things that are different with different dances, different groups of people. Women have even asked me to dance when I had a plate full of food. The tradition where I am from and everywhere else I have ever been is that a gentleman simply does not turn down a lady at any time, except in the milonga. And that is not quite true because the lady does not ask in the milonga. The man asks. On the other hand, things change, even in the milongas in Buenos Aires. At certain milongas, ladies sometimes ask the men. They are mostly young people. Then again, this only applies to women who are strangers to me. I am always glad to accept an invitation to dance from the right partner. But the original question posted did not make any accomodation for that. Still, if I had to choose between women asking and men asking, I prefer to ask, not to be asked. There is no easy answer to this question, but I still prefer to ask. I also like to go with friends who have partners. I can dance with their partners, and they can dance with mine.
Who knows, SK, maybe we shall meet on some dance floor someday, and you can ask me to dance and I can ask you to dance, and we'll both be happy.
:D I don't perfer to ask. I would much rather be asked. Except that is not much of a choice. If I didn't ask leads to dance then I simply wouldn't dance. So if it is left to preferences I would not have to ask for my dances but as a matter of survival as it were, I do ask... I've gotten used to that. :shrug:

So may be you can just ask me... it seems that would make us both happy!
So far my answer, have always has been “Of course”.

Later I try to return the favour.

(Sometimes when I have gone cold, a lady asking me has been the kickstart I needed).

Phil Owl

Well-Known Member
I have no objections to being asked by a lady at all. I take it as a great compliment!

Not to boast, but I have hada couple of women say to me that I was their favorite person to dance with. :D


Well-Known Member
I also think it's great to be asked by a lady. And I never turn any request down unless it's something that I don't know like a Vienesse Waltz.

Vince A

Active Member
I agree with Phil Owl . . . I think it's a great compliment if a Lady asks me to dance, especially if she is a repeat requester . . . and has a nice big smile on her face.

I never, ever refuse a dance!
:banana: Ohhhh! I ask! :lol: I think the catalyst for me happened a couple of years just after I started salsa.

I went to a city where I knew no one and was as desperate as desperation could be, for a dance :( so I looked around, got a feel for who was with who/or not as the case maybe, grabbed my courage with all 10 hands :lol: and asked a guy to dance. He looked at me as if he was trying to make up his mind whether I could dance or not :roll: (new face in town etc) :oops: turned out I had asked a cuban guy and I hadn't danced cuban for a couple of years or so. :shock:

Yes I missed quite a few of his leads but, it could not have been all that bad because either he asked me to dance later that night or I asked him again and he said yes, determined this time to get his leads :lol: Either way, we became salsa pals and my experiences of asking certainly outweigh the bad. :banana:

I used to ask guys I knew throught the classes but a total stranger :shock: Now, I will ask any and everyone :lol: :banana:
Good for you.

So I'm attending the Carolina Salsa Congress, and I'm pretty sure no one who is part of the salsa community here reads this board...

At any rate, I plain don't know anyone save a couple of people. So I'm very tentative to ask anyone to dance with me because simply put my salsa is not as cool as everyone else's. So I just sit and just not dance. Now, one person who is not from the area asks me why I'm just sitting there, and I pretty much say, "Because no one has asked me."

I admit I do take notes on how friendly some of the members of the dancing community are. And the local salsa community is not very high on my list.


Well-Known Member
etchuck said:
I admit I do take notes on how friendly some of the members of the dancing community are. And the local salsa community is not very high on my list.
That's so sad. I was talking with some people about introducing new people to the salsa scene and all that we do to encourage them and get them dancing. Tonight there were these two girls dancing merengue, or trying to, at a party, and I wanted to dance. So a friend and I made our move and split them up. Actually I made my move and told the other girl that my friend was behind her, and he moved up to take his place! :wink: :) Now if we were talking about the lindy scence I would agree...
yes, women should ask men to dance at all times... its the new age after all.. research have proved that women are mentally tougher, so they can take rejection much better.. there u go :tongue:


Active Member
I ask a LOT, and I ask new faces to dance as well as regulars and favourite leads. It's not unusual for me to end up doing a lot more asking than being asked. In fact when I get lots of dances without asking, I go :shock:. I get an impression that men say "no" much less than women, and when they do say no they are more likely to seek you out later to ask, so women asking men to dance face a lot less rejections (ladies, take note!). I suppose men get asked a lot less than women and feel it's flattering to be asked. I also think (I could be wrong of course) men don't usually have to worry whether the asker genuinely wants to dance or is just looking for an opportunity to grope you :evil:.

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