Well folks, I had a very unpleasant experience this weekend, turning down a request to dance. I thought I'd share it in the vain hope that someone will learn something. I say request to dance, it felt like a demand. I'd been chilling out for a while, watching the dance floor, keeping an eye on the absolutely fantastic teacher with whom I wanted just one dance before the end of the night, but otherwise being passive. It had been a long day of workshops and practice, it would not be an understatement that I had been on my feet for 6 hours. Into my vision she strode. "Do you dance?" she spoke in imperious tone. My response was approximately "I'd rather not, I've been dancing all day and I'm really tired." She then declared that she thought "the only reason someone should not dance is when they are sweaty or drunk" and stalked off. I accept that there is an element of truth to her words, in an ideal world we would all indulge each other and live in a wonderful happy dancing eutopia. My truth is that she had a big no coming from the start. I'm a man/leader, I'm used to doing the asking, if I'd wanted to dance, and wanted to dance with her, I would have gone straight over and asked. Instead, I sat there watching the world go by. Warning numero uno. Secondly, her tone was demanding, her attitude aggressive. I've had this phrase used on me before. "Do you dance?". Not "Would you like to dance?" or "Would you like to dance with me?", or even the guilty pleasures of "I saw you dancing earlier, <insert compliment>, will you dance with me?". Perhaps a little light conversation first, to coax me into friendliness. I don't mind enduring a little hardship for friends. I don't even think she was smiling at the time. I hadn't seen her dancing before, I'd never seen her before, a total unknown quantity. Should I have given her a lacklustre tanda? Should I have danced for one track before politely (and yet rudely, because it's all about delivery over words used) returning her to her seat? Should I have just offered a flat-out no with no justification, since that can be read as making excuses? Should I dance at all when my heart is not in it? The bottom line is that her asking me made both of our nights worse. It took me a good 30 minutes to get out of the argumentative mood it provoked. When some appealing music came on a little later I felt I should suppress my urge to dance with someone else in the room in order not to add insult to rejection, so I missed out on some potentially pleasing dances. I gave no signs, no cabaceo-like behaviour, what do I have to do to not be asked? Do I really have to go and hide in the toilets like the women do?