You won't dance with me, I don't dance with you

I still don't feel the need to share myself, or her [my partner], with anyone else the class, and without being rude (between breaks in class I go talk to everyone, help out when people ask me questions etc etc), we do not rotate with the class.

Mind you this whole discussion strikes me as remarkably similar to a thread a short while ago where someone was going on about how people are obligated to dance with other people. It's utterly ridiculous to try and dictate who and how many people a person should dance with.
Well, I think that a class and a party are different in that aspect. If you come to a class and the teacher expects people to rotate, you have to do so. If you don't like it, find a class which does not require rotation, or take a private lesson. And obviously, you can do whatever you want at the party. Different environment there.
 
this whole discussion strikes me as remarkably similar to a thread a short while ago where someone was going on about how people are obligated to dance with other people. It's utterly ridiculous to try and dictate who and how many people a person should dance with.
Oh word up, man! I went dancing to some local chapter USA Dance Sport event in (won't say the name of the town) but even though the event had well over sixty, maybe seventy people in the room, and just about EVERYONE was getting up to dance, since I was visiting from out of town, I decided I would hang back and wait until a "good" song came on.

Well this one lady came up to ask me for a Rumba (or maybe it was a cha-cha, can't remember other than it was a standard Rhythm dance), and one of her comments to me, as she was taking me out to the floor was "you know you need to do your part, and you should be asking all the available ladies for dances, we are short on leaders here today". She said all this in a very "scolding" tone of voice. I was a bit surprised at her boldness with me, a complete stranger who was obviously a new face on the local scene, being that we never met before. Based on what I could see by casual observation, everyone in that room seemed to be dancing with everyone else to begin with, so I naturally felt this hand slapping was a bit uncalled for. And lord knows I wasn't wearing a "Dance Host" label like they have on those Ballroom "dance cruises"... so in my mind, I wasn't obligated to dance with anyone if I didn't want to. If this lady wanted to have a good dance with me, I surmised, then she certainly was not starting off on the right foot.

So I figured since she must assume some seniority in the local scene by coming on so strong, she must know a thing or two on the dance floor, and I pulled out some of my more advanced moves, which most followers with any training should know, and the little old bitty couldn't keep up! Mind you I wasn't even trying to "suprise her" with any esoteric silver/gold level moves, and I was not attempting to seek vengeance in any way, instead being extra careful to make the lead very clear, predictable, and without over-leading anything (don't want to insult her, of course, if she supposedly knows anything).

Afterward, I did ask a few more ladies to dance (pulled the exact same moves on them, mind you, which they were all able to follow quite well), but you can be pretty sure I never went back to ask "Little Miss Cranky Pants" for a subsequent dance.

It turns out there was another lovely, demure lady who came up to me much earlier in the evening and just said "hello" to me and socialized with me in the most friendly way. Clearly she recognized I was a new face in town, and she was just being friendly and social, and although she did mention that she hoped we could share a dance sometime during the evening, she suggested it without ever once giving me the impression that I was pressured or obligated to do so.

Well you can pretty much guess that after I had that unfavorable dance from "Miss Bitty-licious", I went to the sweet lady who originally befriended me and and asked her (for a Bolero, I think it was) and we had the most awesome powerful and sensual dance (now this girl could follow)! I wouldn't be surprised if the "crank-maiden" was jealously watching us the whole time.

But to me it just goes to show you the vast difference it makes if a person dances with a complete stranger because that person was unassumingly friendly and social firsthand, as opposed to being forced or guilted into dancing by someone who nags them into it.

First impressions do count.

We are, social creatures after all, regardless of skill level.
 
Oh word up, man! I went dancing to some local chapter USA Dance Sport event in (won't say the name of the town) but even though the event had well over sixty, maybe seventy people in the room, and just about EVERYONE was getting up to dance, since I was visiting from out of town, I decided I would hang back and wait until a "good" song came on.

Well this one lady came up to ask me for a Rumba (or maybe it was a cha-cha, can't remember other than it was a standard Rhythm dance), and one of her comments to me, as she was taking me out to the floor was "you know you need to do your part, and you should be asking all the available ladies for dances, we are short on leaders here today". She said all this in a very "scolding" tone of voice. I was a bit surprised at her boldness with me, a complete stranger who was obviously a new face on the local scene, being that we never met before. Based on what I could see by casual observation, everyone in that room seemed to be dancing with everyone else to begin with, so I naturally felt this hand slapping was a bit uncalled for. And lord knows I wasn't wearing a "Dance Host" label like they have on those Ballroom "dance cruises"... so in my mind, I wasn't obligated to dance with anyone if I didn't want to. If this lady wanted to have a good dance with me, I surmised, then she certainly was not starting off on the right foot.

So I figured since she must assume some seniority in the local scene by coming on so strong, she must know a thing or two on the dance floor, and I pulled out some of my more advanced moves, which most followers with any training should know, and the little old bitty couldn't keep up! Mind you I wasn't even trying to "suprise her" with any esoteric silver/gold level moves, and I was not attempting to seek vengeance in any way, instead being extra careful to make the lead very clear, predictable, and without over-leading anything (don't want to insult her, of course, if she supposedly knows anything).

Afterward, I did ask a few more ladies to dance (pulled the exact same moves on them, mind you, which they were all able to follow quite well), but you can be pretty sure I never went back to ask "Little Miss Cranky Pants" for a subsequent dance.

It turns out there was another lovely, demure lady who came up to me much earlier in the evening and just said "hello" to me and socialized with me in the most friendly way. Clearly she recognized I was a new face in town, and she was just being friendly and social, and although she did mention that she hoped we could share a dance sometime during the evening, she suggested it without ever once giving me the impression that I was pressured or obligated to do so.

Well you can pretty much guess that after I had that unfavorable dance from "Miss Bitty-licious", I went to the sweet lady who originally befriended me and and asked her (for a Bolero, I think it was) and we had the most awesome powerful and sensual dance (now this girl could follow)! I wouldn't be surprised if the "crank-maiden" was jealously watching us the whole time.

But to me it just goes to show you the vast difference it makes if a person dances with a complete stranger because that person was unassumingly friendly and social firsthand, as opposed to being forced or guilted into dancing by someone who nags them into it.

First impressions do count.

We are, social creatures after all, regardless of skill level.


I like you. This sums up my opinion of social dancing and optionally rotational group classes entirely.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
certainly no one should be made to feel that they have to dance with anyone...while I never turn down anyone, and try not to judge or characterize anyone with whom I dance, I think it also bad form to school others as to how they should behave unless I am explcitly asked
 

QPO

New Member
The dances I tend to go too on a social level there are not too many singles. It is a dilemma, as I have a partner and really enjoy dancing with him. Some of the socials have progressive dances and we participate in them, single ladies can get up in between and they get a dance...It is not the job of the person running the dance to provide you with a partner to dance with.....but I look at it this way, one day I could be single and I would like to hope that someone will offer me a dance, so I do a return favor now :)
 
One of my more interesting experiences was in in grotty nightclub in rural Northern Ireland, I was sort of sounding out the disco crowd to see if any of them could actually dance when I was spotted by this very forceful young lady.

'You can dance - I want you on the floor right away'

We did the complete 'John Travolta' Ceroc bit - and cleared the dance floor for an exhibition dance. It was fabulous evening on all sorts of levels.
 
The scenario I-Man describes is, in various forms, pretty common around here.
I remember one lady (who is a regular at a very large local club) who, upon being asked to dance by yours truly, gave me the old 'how dare you approach within a hundred feet of me, you filthy cockroach' look and very dismissively spat: "Can you Swing???
I responded, still smiling, in the affirmative, and, much to my surprise, she actually allowed herself to be swung for about 2 minutes.
After which she had to sit down, completely dizzy and clueless as to what had just happened.
No, I didn't do anything special, just the regular CW Swing I always do.....

Granted, there are some folks who are just dance addicts and who will dance only for dancing's sake, but for the majority, who you dance with does make a HUGE difference, doesn't it....?
 

nucat78

Active Member
I remember one lady (who is a regular at a very large local club) who, upon being asked to dance by yours truly, gave me the old 'how dare you approach within a hundred feet of me, you filthy cockroach' look and very dismissively spat: "Can you Swing??? [...] I responded, still smiling, in the affirmative,
I had an older woman who responded similarly when I asked her for a rumba. I showed her a few things and she grudgingly said, "Oh, you do know a few moves." I didn't bother with her again.

In her defense however, many men at this venue think they're good dancers and they are not. My instructor was hauled out onto the floor there by a guy who told her he was the best dancer in the place. She said, "Oh really? I'm a dance teacher - show me what you've got." She said that wiped the smug look right off his face...
 
I had an older woman who responded similarly when I asked her for a rumba. I showed her a few things and she grudgingly said, "Oh, you do know a few moves." I didn't bother with her again.
You should have said to her, "Gee Miss, how long have you had that problem? Perhaps if you took some dulcolax prior to going out, some of the better leaders in the house might ask you more!"
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
whether or not one is "sharing" oneself with the rest of the class or imposing oneself upon the rest of the class...
Foound this tidbit more relevant to this thread. I find that most people who think they are "sharing" themselves are usually the ones "imposing" themselves.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
Found this tidbit more relevant to this thread. I find that most people who think they are "sharing" themselves are usually the ones "imposing" themselves.
danceronice said:
I'm with wooh on this one.
Wow, I'd better not try to share myself... right? Right?

(As in, ask a variety of people, seek out people who aren't dancing, rotate among group classmates, etc.)
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
It's not the dancing, it's the attitude of "I'm sharing myself" as if it's a huge favor--like deigning to dance with these people in the group class or at the party so they can have the benefit of your (hypothetical your) expertise and talent.

*Who* I dance with makes a huge difference, yes. I prefer to dance with guys who aren't either out to show just how many super-fancy tricks they know or who have the air of "I am condescending to dance with you, and if you are truly fortunate I will condescend to comment on your technique and offer pointers." I have standing permission from Rhythm pro that the next time someone pulls that I can tell him to go tell the guy DJing exactly what I'm supposed to be learning because obviously he's been teaching me wrong. Someday when I'm especially tired and cranky I may actually do it.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
It's not the dancing, it's the attitude of "I'm sharing myself" as if it's a huge favor--like deigning to dance with these people in the group class or at the party so they can have the benefit of your (hypothetical your) expertise and talent.

*Who* I dance with makes a huge difference, yes. I prefer to dance with guys who aren't either out to show just how many super-fancy tricks they know or who have the air of "I am condescending to dance with you, and if you are truly fortunate I will condescend to comment on your technique and offer pointers." I have standing permission from Rhythm pro that the next time someone pulls that I can tell him to go tell the guy DJing exactly what I'm supposed to be learning because obviously he's been teaching me wrong. Someday when I'm especially tired and cranky I may actually do it.
If only, were we at the same event, I could discern the perception you have in your head of my attitude when I might ask you to dance, and the steps that would work best, I would always ask or not (as appropriate) and make a best effort to lead all and only those steps -- notwithstanding that it would probably be a social dance and I practice mostly standard and you (in addition to having published opinions about both of those) might be especially tired and cranky. I swear!

I mean that sincerely -- completely at face value -- but... well, having read on DF many posts of this sort from lots of different people, it just seems tough to do the right thing as others variously define it, sometimes.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
Wow, I'd better not try to share myself... right? Right?

(As in, ask a variety of people, seek out people who aren't dancing, rotate among group classmates, etc.)
the comment was initially made in the context of something like; I don't feel obligated to share my partner or myself at a group class...it makes a certain amount of sense that folks find that to sound a bit haughty
 
I don’t know why certain people are even bothering to try and veil that they are specifically having a go at me here, but I’ll bite. We can even keep the thinly-veiled gauntlet slapping:

Edit: Actually, probably not worth it. :p Defensive people will be defensive regardless.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
<boilerplate>
Nobody is obligated to dance with anybody. There are a variety of good reasons why people don't mingle in classes or parties, or even favor certain partners or groups over others. When non-mingling is observed, typically tolerances should be high, allowances wide, and judgments reserved. Any one who observes non-mingling and has an emotional reaction to it would be well-advised to consider one's emotional perspectives rather than the actions of others.
</boilerplate>

<reaction to level litmus tests>
Yet I personally find distasteful the suggestion that it's acceptable to disdain dancing with "people who aren't good enough" simply on that basis alone, particularly if it is applied to folks at the syllabus level (where I am) who IMO are typically much better off helping each other learn than playing rank games. Certainly some very good dancers indeed have set a very different example than that for me. Note, I simply won't offer anything further on this subject.
</reaction to level litmus tests>

<I just can't win>
And yet again if I follow my own thinking above, and try to dance with somebody who perceives me as a higher level -- regardless of whether I would if forced assess relative levels the same way -- I risk being pegged as "condescending to dance with them". Heaven forfend I lead the wrong steps^H^H^H^H^Hfancy tricks, on top of that. This thread has NOT been the first place where this has appeared to me to be the take-home message.
</I just can't win>
 

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