Ballroom Dance > Close to giving up.

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dgarstang, May 10, 2013.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think, given all of his issues with what isn't ideal, most of what we are suggesting is fraught with potential for disaster
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    yep, that's how I teach leaders. Put the lady where you want her and try not to overthink it.
  3. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    So, I know I'm going to get told by a few people here just to give up, but I'm too stubborn. Another failed evening at CBD. This has been the theme for several weeks now. There was no lesson, so I arrived at 9pm for the party. I sat there and watched for half an hour or so and then left. I'm sick and tired of doing that.

    While I was watching, it occurred to me that there's nothing social about social dancing in this context. You don't talk to people. You don't make friends with people. Most of the people there seemed to lack the ability to smile. I usually flag people in my mind that don't smile at least once as people not to dance with in the future.

    And as always, there was no one there from the group classes. That's not really a surprise given the scarce number of people in the group classes. For reasons I don't understand, the people that go to the group classes and the people that go to the parties seem to be two completely different sets of people.

    However, when you DO see people from group classes at the parties, it makes it a LOT easier. I think on this particular evening my issues where self confidence related. When you see someone you recognise from a group class, self confidence immediately becomes less of an issue. I can't emphasize how much that helps. It often gets you kick started and helps your confidence to grow just enough to keep you going and then dancing with strangers on a nightly basis. I guess my self confidence issues have been magnified by my general attendance at parties lately. It's a self perpetuating cycle.

    I know my instructors in the past have all said they'd try and connect me with other students as dance partners. It hasn't happened. I've been on the dance partner web site for over a year now. Nothing has come out of that, and there's barely anyone on it anyway. Unfortunately the Xanax wasn't helping enough tonight.

    opendoor, if your suggesting that I dance different dances to what's posted on the monitor, I probably wouldn't do that. I guess I'd consider it breaking the rules sort of.

    loki, asking strange women to dance is not fun. Not in the slightest, and especially when your self confidence sucks. Dancing isn't fun when I try and dance the waltz with someone and they're all over the place, not following my lead, either because I'm doing it wrong for some reason, or they've just taken their first waltz class not 30 minutes ago.

    IndyLady, if I focus more on the follower, and less on my feet, my footwork will be wrong, and then in my mind I will have failed the step, and then my self confidence will suffer even more.

    And finally, Lilly_of_the_valley, I think your probably right. That's not what I get out of dancing. My biggest high comes from learning a new step and then actually pulling it off at a party. Being in a strangers personal space has always been difficult for me, and quite honestly, it's not that much fun. It's gotten better, but it's still not natural for me. If I keep at this, my next biggest challenge, with the smooth dances at least is going to come when it becomes more important to be physically connected to someone at the hip. That's so far outside my personal comfort zone that I don't know how I'm going to overcome that challenge. If I skip parties, I'm going to feel like I'm missing out. I feel like I'm forgetting what I've learned, and what I've spent money on. That unto itself is stressful.

    When I used to go to Arthur Murray, there was pros' and con's. One of the pros was since that because of the closed system, the people at the parties where the same people as those from the group lessons. You'd get to know them really well. You'd have conversations with them while you danced. This was of course also a con, because it got boring dancing with the same people week after week. This doesn't happen at CBD. People don't smile. I was dancing the waltz with a middle aged Korean lady a few weeks ago and I did something wrong, according to her. NO!, she exclaimed. I went into panic mode and politely said 'thank you for the dance'. She wouldn't let me leave. That was very uncomfortable.

    Anyway, I'll try again tomorrow night. I may do the hustle class. I've been basic hustle on and off for months now. That's easy. When it comes to the intermediate lesson, he goes so damn fast that I have to drop out in about 10 minutes. If I can't understand it, I can't lead it, and there's no point in me being in the class anymore. I'd take two xanax if I didn't think it would affect my ability to drive home afterwards.

    Lilly_of_the_Valley, thanks. I'll check that other place out. I was going to try Dance Boulevard in San Jose, but all they have on a Saturday night is salsa. No general party. In fact, CBD is the ONLY place in the area that I know of that has a party on a Saturday night (except Cubberley). I've not been going to Cubberley for a while because most of the dancers there are absolute beginners and its quite frustrating.

    Again, I know I'll be told to just give up by a few people or to stop making excuses. When your self confidence affects you though, and you don't have the benefit of people you know to help pick up the slack, it's REALLLY hard to move forward.

  4. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Do you realize how rude it is to the teacher of the class to walk out? Maybe other teachers can blow it off and not care, but for me, I think "Is that guy okay? What went wrong? Is there something I could have done that would have made things better for him?" and I'll wonder for awhile why that happened if I don't get an explanation at some point (sometimes people have other appointments, get sick, etc.) It's hard not to personalize when someone gets upset with themselves for not being able to do something and the teacher isn't aware of that. Besides that, why would anybody want to dance with you if you look like a quitter? You've probably developed the "Oh, that's Doug- he'll be gone in three... two... yep, called it..." reputation by now anyway. People take classes to learn how to do the material in the class- NOT because they've already learned it. If you'd look around, you'd probably see a few more guys in class that are as lost as you are, but are dealing with it better by sticking around and giving it a try. They're not going to stone you if you don't do it right. Relax. Most women are just happy to have a partner so they can get through their own stuff.

    The reason why there are two sets of people- one group class group and one social party group- is because for the first set, the group class IS their time to be social in a way, and that's all they want, while the social party group are using the actual party for that. They either don't take private lessons anymore, or have gotten bored with/moved beyond group classes, but still want to dance there in their "dance home". You're not fitting in with either group because you can't make up your mind which you are, and it isn't their fault. If you'd stay around the group classes, you could make friends with them and say "Hey, I'm staying for the party- are you guys? We should sit together-" and then maybe YOU could be the person that starts that new cluster of people that refreshes the social party. Surprise- you'll get bored with that, because then, you'll see and dance with the same people every week. Which is kind of the point for the studio from a business viewpoint.

    It's really rude and unflattering of more experienced (whether that's in their head or not) dancers when they insult beginners by complaining about how poorly they follow. Lest you forget, YOU were a beginner, and right now, a better dancer than you could be saying the same thing about you or worse. Maybe they're following exactly what you're leading and you don't even realize that you're leading it in a manner to get that result. Why can't some leaders grasp one very simple rule of thumb: Dance as close to the level of your partner as you can? If your partner is a newb, of course they're not going to have balance, and will be pulling you everywhere. To you, they're clumsy, unfocused, or whatever you choose to think, but to THEM, you're one of the gentlemen who asked them to dance a song they'd otherwise have been sitting down for. You've done them a courtesy. They might not know what they're doing, but they're grateful that you let them try with you, and will try as hard as they can to do it right for you. You also complain about dancing with beginners, yet get upset and leave group classes, and you didn't seem to be getting what you wanted out of privates, either, so that to me says you might not be that far above the people you think are newbies. The more you dance, the easier it is to learn things you see demonstrated, because your motor skills, balance, etc. all adapt and learn to balance dance equations by supplanting, inserting, cancelling, etc. variables between what you already know and what you're learning through similarity/difference.

    Have your instructors specifically said they'd find you a partner, or only that they would create opportunities for you to meet other dancers? Dance instructors teach dancing. They're not matchmakers (and for those who take everything literally, I am not implying that Doug has any romantic interests, it's just a phrasing), babysitters, therapists, or Dommes, and they owe you no other service but instruction. This is now a very predictable cycle, like a cat sitting in the doorway yowling, yet indecisive about whether they want to go out or stay- and in the end, you figure that they just want you to hold the door for them so they can do exactly nothing. The difference is that they're cats, and you're an adult man- it's not cute and fluffy when you do it. People will eventually get tired of holding open doors for you, and you might find yourself freezing on the porch.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  5. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    >I sat there and watched for half an hour or so and then left. I'm sick and tired of doing that.
    Why were you sitting there. "self confidence" ?

    > "Most of the people there seemed to lack the ability to smile". Hmm, first every one has bad days, second Ive seam women like that at dance that stand around not smiling. Some times when you ask them to the DO light up and smile, I think you find this a big "confidence" reward. I used to go to dance like this and there are little clicks, It is going to take time to be at least accepted.

    >"opendoor, if your suggesting that I dance different dances to what's posted on the monitor, I probably wouldn't do that. I guess I'd consider it breaking the rules sort of."

    Ah absolutely NOT breaking the rules. I live in south Carolina, they do shag to most everything.
    But "beach" music for shag is quite suitable for west coast swing and you see ex northerners doing it . Also Ive heard music announced as east coast swing or foxtrot.

    >I'm doing it wrong for some reason, or they've just taken their first waltz class not 30 minutes ago.
    You're probable NOT doing it wrong . Ive asked here and instructors how to lead a "6 count under arm turn in waltz" nothing seam to work consistently. I think this is going to be true for social dancing for many dances , women are not going to respond as you expect. As far as 30 minute group,these are the women to hook up with for you. Ok you might not enjoy DANCING that night
    but great chance and easy one to engage her in conversation. "How long have you been dance the waltz? " " What other dances do you do?" "Where are taking lesson? " . You ARE try to engage women in conversation? Yes I do understand your confidence problem. But this helps I believe and
    you may find a dancing .

    And again Ive said this before DON'T SIT DOWN. At least at the beginning. Yes this makes you uneasy I bet but probably less than being in a womens space, a first step.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    most people aren't saying give up, they are saying "change your attitude".... but yea, if you don't, you are better off giving up
    lots of people talk and don't you, instead of writing people off who don't smile, get OVER yourself, stop labelling yourself as "excused on account of xanax and shyness", and get off your duff and talk to them...make them smile...????
    yep that's guarantee that you will have an ideal scenario at a party
    definitely self perpetuating...can you think of anything to fix that? maybe ask the group folks to call you when they are going to a party?...waiting the 2 seconds it will take for that to be shot down
    regarding the instructors; I know this is astonishing, but remembering every assurance they have given to you (or anyone else)and making it a full-time mission isn't going to can remind them that they offered and ask them if they could do that at the appropriate juncture at a regards partner websites; that's how it goes
    change your attitude
    change your attitude
    change your attitude
    change your attitude or just take privates where you only inflict your unreasonable expectations upon someone who gets paid
    bored dancing with the same people...people who will actually be friendly to you...seriously? you hear yourself?...change your for the Korean lady, we all run into folks who are less than diplomatic...part of life
    change your attitude or don't is not ideal
    here's a concept...maybe...just maybe, the goal in life isn't that you should always feel maximum satisfaction...maybe, just maybe, you need to work harder to acquire some skills that make you a better person...not dance skills....and, if you are looking for a dance experience or progress that isn't frustrating, you are on a fool's errand....change your attitude
    you are right...that is not an excuse...and it would not be as hard if you...wait for it...changed your attitude....lots of people have low confidence and they get over it ...others will not change just because you desire it....the environment will never be perfect....YOU have to change...your attitude......
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Dude, when fasc resorts to that tone...she's right. Change your attitude. You realize you've probably been written off by the other people as that weird guy who sits there, watches people, and then leaves? And I doubt very much you're really good at hiding your disdain for people who "took their first waltz class thirty minutes ago", which is not doing anything pleasant for *their* self confidence. As for people like that lady who said "No!", her job is not to coddle your ego. Suck it up and stop taking things personally or you're never going to enjoy social dancing. Anywhere. No, it's not easy. Welcome to the real world.
    TwoRightFeet and llamasarefuzzy like this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    here's the thing, Doug; this isn't all about how people treat you or about my tone...reflect greatly upon how UNFAIR your expectations are to everyone else around YOU.....about how much work you require everyone else to do with no significantly improved outcome from YOU...this is NOT to be impatient or unpleasant or upset with Doug at is because, unless he wakes up, it won't matter whether he quits or doesn't quit...the misery index will remain the same
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    jiwinco, IndyLady, debmc and 2 others like this.
  9. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    Doug, perhapes the next time you go to the doctor who perscribes your medication, which you feel is not working well for you, you describe him all the feelings that you have mentioned in your last post 204 and see if the doctor can work with you on most of the issues first. It could be different medication , support groups, or trying other group friendly activity such as volleyball in addition or instead of dancing
    regis likes this.
  10. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Dude, if youre parsing my posts as me telling you to givr up, you're reading them wrong. I'm suggesting you shake things up, because it reallt sounds like all you're accomplishing is making yourself miserable. And that sucks, is completely unnecessary and is counterproductive.

    Alternately, yes. You need a serious attitude adjustment. And at this point, I'm not sure that's even possible.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...if this is clinical, it needs to be dealt with....but, if it is not clinical, as I know folks have inquired about much of that in previous posts many moons ago, then it is important to look at the difference between having low self-esteem (thinking poorly of oneself)...versus self-consciousness/shyness/inhibitions...because there is a point at which the latter one, moves from self-consciousness to self-absorption...and the cure for that is to start caring more about OTHERS and to practice the art of gratitude....sometimes folks play the self-confidence card because it gets them gobs and gobs (pages and pages) of attention by good folk who empathize...afterall, who can't empathize to some degree? it is hard...but, absent a clinical issue, a refusal to grasp the realities of life, a refusal to accept others' help when you have asked for it because it still doesn't create the"ideal" ceases to become an issue for which it is particularly healthy to continue to appropriate a sympathetic stance (IMV)...there is a book by John Powell SJ called "Happiness is an Inside Job"....there is a point in time where part of growing up is understanding that none of us is guaranteed perfect satisfaction...there is a point in time when one has exhausted one's support system...there is a point in time when no amount of anxiety meds can solve the problem...not wanting to dance with new dancers because they aren't fun, isn't an issue of low self is a matter of self absorption/self interest...which doesn't benefit the the person who holds that perspective...not wanting to dance with the same old people isn't an issue of shyness, it is an issue of self absorption...unless one is clinically depressed...I am NOT pointing it out to bash Doug ...I am pointing it out because despite my better judgement about the likelihood that it will soak in, I actually do empathize with his misery....I told myself that I wouldn't bother this time....but I decided to try again...for whatever it may have been worth, he was seeking perspective and I have given mine...I will leave it at that for now
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
    TinyDancer109, regis, Sania and 2 others like this.
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I am not a natural social butterfly and heck yes, I was self-conscious about dancing. Until I accepted that most people are not judging me, especially about social dancing, I was going to be uncomfortable. It was not everyone else at a social's job to bend over backwards accommodating my issues. Yes, beginning leads and follows can both be uncomfortable or "not fun" to dance with--I know for a fact that I was a sack of potatoes when I started. And I remember what when I dance with a guy at a party who's clearly nervous, just took his first lesson thirty minutes ago, and maybe isn't winging me through Open footwork because I was no picnic myself when I started and being a jerk or a snob about it is not going to make him a better dancer. I really, really hope you take fasc's suggestion and at least read that book because the problem isn't external, it's internal.
    fascination likes this.
  13. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Great posts, fascination. Social dancing is a lot about considering others, connecting with others, being ready to give without expecting anything in return. If one does not get that at least to some extent, the "steps/leads" one learns in lessons won't work, either. Because it is not a mechanical system, and people are not robots.
    IndyLady and Sania like this.
  14. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I will say that i don't think there's anything inherently wrong with not particularly enjoying dancing with newbies or any other group - the issue is when one blames them for that.

    I mean, I don't get nearly as much out of social dancing as I used to. I still go to my studio's socials, and I don't turn down dances from anyone, but only rarely go seeking people out. A disproportionate number of my dances are with my am comp partner, and I spend a good bit of the evening sitting and watching. But that's *my* choice. I certainly dont sit there stewing. If I wanted to dance more, I'd get up and dance more.

    And really, that's all I'm trying to tell you, Doug. Do what makes *you* happy. Sure, it's good to try to do things out of your comfort zone, but don't be afraid or too stuborn to shake things up if what you're doing isn't working.
    danceronice likes this.
  15. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the goal is not to feel happy or make it work, but to keep suffering or prove to oneself that nothing you try ever works.;)
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  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    one of the commonalities of happy people is that they are "good finders"...not polyannas or people who deny the down side of things, but people who have cultivated (and I use that word with great deliberateness) the habit of appreciating what is good and letting what is not drift away...not that they don't take note of things and change them when they rise to a significant level of displeasure...but they are people who understand that this isn't isn't going to be...not on a train, not on a plane, not in the rain, etc....they will say for example; "if I go to the studio to dance tonight, there will likely only be a few people who will ask me to dance and they may not be good dancers...but it will be nice to try to get to know a few people and we can encourage one another, and I will get a bit of exercise, so I am just going to enjoy it for whatever it is"....we've all discussed that dancing with newbs may not be enjoyable in terms of the dance experience....but it might be wonderful to tell someone that they did something well, or that their frame is good...or just that they will get it before they know it....I mean, when we all lay our heads on our pillow at night, isn't one of the most important things to ask at the end of the day "did I do anything to make the world better today?".....
    Gorme likes this.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my point was simply that it has nothing to do with self consciousness or shyness...and that choosing not to is more about self-interest (if you prefer) than fact those who struggle with self-confidence, particularly if they are confident enough to recognize that they are the better dancer, ought to be the first ones to show mercy
  18. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    IF??? IF??? is there any doubt...

    I suggest you give up dancing for now

    seek out a good therapist to help you develop better coping and tolerance skills meds don't help much in theses cases

    once you improve/fix yourself... go back to dancing and the enjoyment will come

    you cant take a broken VW to the indy 500 and expect to succeed

    he cant ... and that is the crux of the problem...

    get help
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  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, yes...I have concerns about that...though I cannot refer you that far back into whatever thread(s) the inquiries first arose... but most of that was dismissed by OP ...additionally, the good local folks who met him also characterized him as only presenting as shy....generally speaking, I wasn't going to go there again...but yea
  20. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    He obviously gets something out of it, otherwise he would have quit a long time ago.

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