Ballroom Dance > Close to giving up.

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    re: twinkletoes--I don't see this as being the same ...because most of us do that while accepting reality and being open to what we need to do about it...all I am going to say on it

    but I do want to applaud the people who are local to Doug for (again) extending whatever helpful advice they can
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  2. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    TwoRightFeet, your post is very good and in my opinion very true in that many guys feel just like you did. I certainly did and still to a certain extent feel that way. In this long thread, your post is among the three or four most helpful and inspirational posts that I have read.
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'll give you that. I was mostly just ruminating.
  4. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    Re: they don't smile. But if you smile at them, taking the initiative, perhaps they will smile back! It's a natural tendency, returning a smile. Literally, our brains are programmed to have a tendency to do that. If you look grumpy and unhappy, like you're forced to ask them to dance, like it's the last thing you want to do, then of course they would not be happy about that, right? Just take the perspective of other people and it might help you understand why they are behaving the way they are towards you.
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    people with phobias should seek psychiatric help... this is a relatively easy condition to treat if done by a professional
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  6. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    I know I'm going to get criticized for posting to this thread again. I just wanted to say that this is still a problem for me. I went tonight and danced maybe 7 times in two hours. It seems like most people there are either with someone and dance with them most of the time, or, for reasons I don't understand, know who they are going to dance the next dance with. The result is that when I approach the dance floor as a dance is ending and try and make eye contact with someone for the next dance, it doesn't happen. They're on a mission to dance with someone they'd already arranged to dance with. When I was at Arthur Murray, after the dance was over, generally speaking, everyone would turn around and dance with the first person they made eye contact with. Add my social anxiety, the fact that at least tonight there was noticeably more leaders and followers, and the fact that a good 30% of the dances on the playlist aren't taught as group lessons there, and it makes it really really hard! It could be said that these people who know each other have all been going for years. I've been going on a regular basis for over a year now.

    I'm just stating the scene there as I see it. I don't really know how to improve it. Going to do my best to not get upset by any negative replies.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    what do you want Doug?....seriously?....advice on how to alter reality?...advice on how to change other people?....information on where the perfect dance studio of your dreams can be found?....I mean seriously, yes, you are right, you are going to (again) get a bunch of big meanies telling you to accept reality
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  8. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    1. Go up to someone when the music starts and extend your hand. If they are not already dancing with someone, they re obligated to dance with you at a social (that is the unwritten rule)

    2. After you finish dancing with that person, smile, say 'thank you, I'm looking forward to dancing with you again', and then walk up to someone else. Go to #1 and repeat.

    3. If the music that starts is for a dance you do not know, make note of it and file it in your brain. You will not dance those dances when they appear on the DJs playlist - get over it and resign yourself to sitting out. If you are interested in learning that dance, inform your instructor.

    4. If the gender balance is too skewed, remind yourself that you may not dance all the dances you want simply because the balance is off. Everyone else is having variable success with dealing with this. You are not alone and it does not reflect on the venue, yourself, or others there.

    If you find that that particular venue plays too much music you do not dance, or has a gender / single balance that is consistently working against you, simply do not go there any more (altho some may argue that your leaving upsets the gender balance more). The venue has no way of changing the gender balance - since more females will show when they want to, and the music selection might be just fine for those who attend. it's not their job to cater only to you.

    Remember you are not responsible to 'support' a dance. In my area a disgruntled and well known curmudgeon who throws dances twice a week actually sent out emails chastising women for the gender imbalance, and scolded potential patrons - in all caps no less - who drove by his dance and looked in to see how it was… saying he was noting who they were and counting them. I might add, then, that you are not obligated to go to dances held by unbalanced HOSTS lol…
    flightco likes this.
  9. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    If there are any followers sitting out the dances you don't do, use those times to say hi, and ask them for the next dance (or for the next waltz, or other dance you like, if you don't have a list to know what dance will be next and whether or not it is one you do). Then you will be one of those folks that knows just who you are heading over to when the next dance starts.

    Or even, just use the dances you are sitting out to say hi to people - doesn't matter if they are leaders or followers. If there are more leaders on a given night, get to know the other leaders that are sitting out. Just start to get to know more people, at least well enough to say hi and give a friendly smile in passing. That is as important as the dancing, and in the long run it will help you get more dances.

    It can be tough, many nights won't be perfect (for lots of reasons) - but you can always make the best of the situation you have on a given night. Keep in mind many followers face skewed ratios week after week and month after month. Some give up but many keep coming back and make the best of it.
  10. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    By the way - you did about 7 dances last night over 2 hours - great! From your previous posts, there used to be nights you would stay only a short time, and then leave without having danced at all, or that much. So give yourself credit for a bit of progress.
    FancyFeet, latingal, flightco and 2 others like this.
  11. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if this has been addressed in this thread.. It's been awhile since I've read it, but if you liked your AM studio so much, why don't you just go back there?
  12. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I suspect that Doug wants acceptance for who he is. I think that a whole lot of men have the same problems that Doug has. The difference between most people and Doug is this: The great majority of men and maybe women who have his problems quit dancing. Unlike Doug-they see dancing as a losing proposition and quit. That is my opinion. Whether Doug should do the same is not for me to say. Perhaps as the old saying goes: "There is a time to hold and there is a time to fold."
    mjnemeth likes this.
  13. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    If the problem is social anxiety, not dancing, then maybe more time should be spent developing social skills. I'm sure you aren't the only one not dancing, so take that time to go talk to some other people. Get to know people by name. See what they are about. Ask them questions. Express interest. Tell them about yourself. Take that time you aren't dancing and put it to good use!

    You are going to tend to attract the same energy you emote, whether that be here on DF or at the studio. Just as you practice your dance steps, practice being that fun person to be around, even if sometimes it means enjoying some time alone or talking to people off the floor.
    Gorme likes this.
  14. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    Yes that is the way it is at the dances I go in NJ. Yes ,many come with partner or hook up with a group of people. Yes , they made prior arrangements. I do this right at the beginning of the dance or when they come in with a few women I know. Maybe you might consider doing this.and if you enjoy a particular dance with ; set up a future dance. More men then women, is this normal or could it be a fluke? So you did see the scene correct!

    "negative replies." Im sure some of them are meant to help not hurt.
  15. flightco

    flightco Well-Known Member

    I wonder if part of Doug's issue with social dances is the expectations set at the AM parties. I am not being critical of any way of doing business, just stating my observations from FA. The Practice parties at FA were, without a doubt, practice parties but they were also a selling opportunity and the instructors would never let you sit out a dance. For us leads, this is great because; we don't have to ask, the instructors always make us feel great about our dancing, they are able to compensate for a mislead with a smile, we get to dance many dances. What's not to like?
    I was not at FA very long when I moved to an independent studio and the parties were more like parties. The opportunity to have a great time was there but it took involvement on my part. Also, I was a much better lead with a FA instructor than I was with social follows, why can't they follow a simple lead? (To those for whom it was not obvious, I am making fun of my leading, not the follows following). I danced fewer dances at the independent party (maybe not overall, the parties lasted 3 hours rather than 1 hour and 15 minutes and there was not a 15 minute period in the middle where there was some type of studio promotion, again, not complaining - it is their party and they did not charge me to attend, even after I started taking lessons elsewhere). At FA, if I was sitting, someone was asking me to dance; even dances I had never danced before, no one sat out a dance unless there was a shortage of leads or follows. As a lead, I danced most every dance, most with instructors who covered my every mistake - again, what's not to like?
    I guess the point of my message is there is a big difference between a social dance party and a franchise studio practice party. I said maybe Doug's expectations of the social dance would be from the practice parties he had attended. I know the first social my DW attended with me, she had mentioned she was disappointed there were not more instructors there to dance with, her expectations were set at FA.
    If you attend an independent studios social dance party, expect to ask more than you are asked to dance, not dance as many dances, understand that many people do come together, as a couple or a group, and they will dance most dances together, your follows will not be able to follow you the way an instructor can and, unlike the franchise studio instructor, they did not come there to make you feel good about your dancing (although I have found that most ballroom dancers will try to do just that, they are just happy you are trying; WCS follows, in my experience. is another story):wacky:
    If I would have advice for Doug at this point (he had stated in the past he cannot continue AM because of cost, something I fully understand) it would be:
    Keep going to the Socials and don't be disappointed if you only dance 7 dances; make it about the whole evening, dance what you can, meet new people - talk with those who are not dancing, never know what you may have in common.
    Look for the nervous newbies; give something back - I always make it a point to dance with a follow who seems nervous about being new. I do simple steps and reassure them they are doing fine and if they make a mistake I ask if they would like to try it again, if they don't I stick to the very basics and just try to help them enjoy the dance (lord knows there have been enough ladies who have done this for me).
    I also look for people I have been in a group class with, it is a natural place to ask for a dance.
    Overall, just enjoy the whole experience, it's a night out and dancing 7 dances beats staying home watching the tube any day.
    FancyFeet, fascination, Gorme and 2 others like this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    actually...there is a third more common response; alter your expectations to be realistic....
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I certainly hope and pray that the heartfelt helpful suggestions offered here will not all be brushed away as not possible or useful...again...I hope they are heard...that would be so lovely
  18. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    It was college night last night where there were several local colleges in attendance. These were not the dancesport teams, but rather people who were taking beginning social dancing at their respective schools. There was one group who was hanging around where Doug was sitting and I encouraged him to ask one of the girls to dance, but I think he has anxiety in approaching a group of people. However, I did see him dance with some other ladies, so I have to say that it's an improvement.
  19. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    flightco's response hits right on the mark. Spot on. I really appreciate your response.

    alter your expectations to be realistic.

    Well allrighty then. I'll just expect to dance less during the two hours I'm there. Hardly a dance was sat out at AM. I guess it's crazy talk to actually want to be dancing most of the time I'm at an independent studio party.

  20. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    That's what I've been working on and many of the ladies there are receptive to you approaching them and talking to them. In fact, they're more approachable than anywhere else you can possibly meet people.

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