I haven't said anything in this conversation so far, mainly because I don't know the area Doug lives in. I'm several thousand miles away and I didn't think that I had a great deal to add to the excellent advice, you've had already. However, I'd like to add a bit now. A while back I used to attend a social dance regularly, two three times a month. It was local and most of the people who went there lived in the area. the result was that there were a lot of people there who knew each other and would meet up there. I went to dance, certainly, but (and I think this is important) I also went to socialise. Typically I'd go along with my husband, instructor and a bunch of people, some of them other students with my teacher, some people we knew. The thing is, the socialising was at least as important as the dancing. It was a chance to catch up with people, find out what was going on in their lives while we all had a good time sharing a common interest. I didn't always dance every dance, in fact I usually wanted to sit a few dances out chatting. Looking back I can imagine that our group we might have seemed a bit intimidating to people who didn't know us - a bunch of people who clearly knew each other well and often danced together. We didn't mean it that way, but I can see how it might have come across. but that's life and it happens in lots of social situations, not just dancing. However, if a man I didn't know, or didn't know very well asked me, I'd usually dance with him and so would most of my friends. Heck he was new! Exciting! I didn't (and don't) care about how a good/experienced a leader a man is when I'm dancing socially, I care more about whether we have a good time. That might include pleasant conversation, it might include giggling about mistakes we make, it might just be pleasure at moving around the floor together. Doug, you said that you danced with a lady who thought the cha cha was a salsa, but it didn't matter because you had fun. I'll bet you did, I'll bet it was a hoot! That's great, having fun is the point of social dancing (for me anyway). So, I'm going on a bit, but I think what I'm saying is don't be intimidated. Even a group look like they're together, it doesn't necessarily mean that the ladies aren't interested in dancing with a new guy. Remember that for some people the socialising is as important as the dancing and join in with that, chat a bit after a dance if you get on with somebody. Set yourself achievable goals - I'm going to ask two or three ladies I haven't danced with before to dance tonight and see what happens. And, no matter what, have fun. If you're having fun dancing, believe me plenty of women will be happy to dance with you.