Ballroom Dance > Minor rant: dance loyalty

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Dance Monkey, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Dance Monkey

    Dance Monkey New Member

    Everyone, how many times have you asked someone to dance and as they begin to process the request another person asks them, then you guessed it they go dance with the second later person. This has happened to me in various ways too many times.

    I've had other guys just grab a lady and take her on to the floor with no protest from her. I've had a guy snake his hand under mine to tap her on the shoulder first. Oh and I've had one already accepted with me, waiting for the floor to clear get asked by the guy coming off the floor... Yes, she walked off with him. Later she wanted a dance with me and my friend who saw this tried to snake ME to teach her a lesson, but I did could not bring my self to vengeance and I declined the second request.

    Some of them say they were confused, to which I reply that it is still their fault and they should apologize... I've gotten one apology because an instructor took her back off the floor when they saw what happened.

    This is happening so much now that I'm considering dancing only with little old ladies, and perhaps my hippy yet proper friend who do not get so "confused".

  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Hi DanceMonkey,
    It's very hard to assess what is going on without seeing it. I've certainly never had such a thing happen to me.

    If it happens once in a while, I'd say suck it up, thems the breaks sometimes. But if it happens regularly, if I were in your shoes, I'd start assessing just why ladies go off and dance with someone else after I'd asked them to dance. Just to be sure, you did actually ask them to dance, right? As in saying the words "Would you like to dance?" or something to that effect.

    Oh, and don't be waiting for the floor to clear. If she has accepted your invitation, you take her hand and start walking her onto the floor. I'd be pretty amazed if the lady still goes off and dances with someone else in those circumstances.
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I have not seen that happen, either--I've seen someone headed towards one person, but stop because someone closer asked them first, but I've never seen someone sweep in and grab the person being asked before they can even reply. Come to that, provided it's a simple 'Would you like to dance?' I haven't seen anyone who takes longer than a couple seconds to say yes or no.
  4. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Have seen this before---also happened to me a number of times, some in my early social dancing or when at a new venue.

  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    This would seem to imply that this is more likely to happen if the ladies in question don't know you. Which I suppose makes some sense, even if it is a bit rude, since the lady doesn't know if you'll ever show up again, anyway. Of course, behavior like that biases the outcome.
  6. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Are you doing one of those really long winded, "I know everyone here dances International and most of the American dancers are from Fred Astaire but I learned at Arthur Murray and I'm a Bronze 2 dancer and I know this a bolero but would you like to maybe dance a rumba and I don't know International or Fred Astaire and I've only been dancing for 6 years and I'd better tie my shoelace" things where you don't actually get around to asking before some other guy has swooped in and just ASKED?
    Because that's when I see "confusion" for the woman happening.
    Only other time I see it is when someone is swooping in to steal a lady from her spouse, which is generally considered funny. At least when it's my husband and my favorite old man doing the swooping to each other's wives.
  7. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    I've seen this happen a few times. Whoever got there first is not the person they wanted to dance with, but since that person got there first, the lady might have been stalling for time until the person they like to dance with comes within reach.

    The other thing I can think of is that the lady simply forgot that you asked, especially if you were not really assertive in guiding her onto the floor. E.g. you asked and wandered off and when the song came on, someone else came and asked her before you got over to her.
  8. drejenpha

    drejenpha Member

    This has never happened to me... I've run into promised dances before but that's to be expected. In the case of a guy jumping under you to get to the girl that's a bit off on his part, nothing wrong with her. They owe you no loyalty unless you've already asked them.

    Asking someone to dance isn't a process that requires time, just a simple phrase (I prefer to use "Dance?" or the name of the dance as a question) or hand gesture with eye contact (works better if you know them, it's a bit informal). You then take their hand and lead them to the floor or meet them halfway and then take their hand and take them to where you want to be on the floor. No more cutesy tapping unless you cannot move in front of them/you need to snipe them before someone else asks.
  9. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    I think you ought do just that. And I don't mean that in a snarky way. Just see what happens - worst case, you'll have more data to give you better insight.
  10. Dance Monkey

    Dance Monkey New Member

    I've had it happen to me when I ask "may I have this dance?", "would you like to dance?", "dance?". In the first two cases the guy grabbed her in the middle of my asking. In the last one the girl started explaining that she does indeed dance and she then shook my hand... :confused:

    One of my friends is a bit hard of hearing (though she won't admit to it) and the music was extra loud, so I had to ask twice with my hand out. I later found out she had somehow never clued in on our was taught what the hand gesture meant. After I stopped asking her to dance she got self conscious about the quality if her dancing. I explained to her that I politely ask people to dance. She got defensive that she just does not know these things and that I need to grab her instead if being so polite (right, so even though she now knows I still must conform to her). So I told her I'm not going to dance with her anymore, because the hippy has no problems with "asking". She now picks up the cues and no longer gets confused... Though she is still hard of hearing.

    The case of waiting for the floor to clear was necessary as it was impossible for us to get on the floor, since traffic clogged the entrance and locked us in. ten seconds of waiting is not so long that a lady should forget. She even pressed her self up against me to get out of the path of flow. One of my friends saw what happened, but thought she was not going out to dance because of how she was pressed up against me... Instead they thought we were getting friendly... So I won't blame the guy for asking her to dance since it may not have looked like we were about to dance... But I will blame her.

    If a guy is taking too long to take a lady out to the floor, and he is right there then say something! Just switching partners is rude. If the song is ending and I ask you to dance, so you suggest the next song it is your responsibility to decline the next offer. Forgetting is still your fault. Once you accept them you deal with the consequences... Do you think I walk out on a dance because a lady only knows the basic step and someone better is available? NEVER.

    I have been reserved multiple times and I always take care to be available for the next song. Once I was reserved and then she was asked to dance just before the next song. She switched. My list of civil dancers got shorter.

    My hippy friend has refused multiple dance offers after promising me the next dance. One of my other friends did not think much of it until it happened to her.
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Is it just one lady exhibiting the offending passivity? I say passive, because it seems she is unable to say no to the most recent request, even when she had previously committed herself. Either she has some issues of her own to deal with, or she is really not your friend.
  12. Dance Monkey

    Dance Monkey New Member

    More than one. I don't think it is me, I think it is an unfortunate culture that is a mix of ballroom etiquette and street aggressiveness. Note that I've had instructors appalled by the behavior and other women try to help out by presenting themselves... I've even had one declare "women are idiots" quite loudly. I'm just glad my old dance partner was there last night.

    BTW, this is a rant so I'm by no means saying most women do this. Most are great, but some are not.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Just throwing something out there...

    Sounds to me like "rescuing" behavior going on. As in, perhaps various women have asked various men to rescue them if you have asked them to dance. Perhaps turn a critical eye towards yourself, your attitudes, and your own leading?

    I'm not saying this is necessarily the case, but it could be a possibility. Just sayin'.
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    In that case, the smartest thing to do is cut your losses. Dance with the ladies that have some sense of etiquette, and forget about the rest. It's what I do.
  15. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    Yes this is possibly "rescuing" . Did notice any body language? That is a glance to some one. But I think you're just simply being "bird dogged",
    other guy are using you to seek out willing women.
    Seen this many (and had it done to me) in the bar/nightclub dance scene.

    Have said that, Ive done a lot of rescuing myself. Usaully the women ask me to dance the next dance or I get THAT eye contract. Still I never seen a women so impolite to accept then dance with some one else!
  16. Dance Monkey

    Dance Monkey New Member

    Nope, it's not me. I've already looked at myself, and I've consulted with others in case I was missing something (do I smell?). Like I said, I've actually had them reserve dances with me.

    I have been told by some that they sometimes get confused, and my standards are too high. I suspect their standards are just too low.

    It's time for me to start saying no to dance requests.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am not sure what you are getting at with the term "standards"...I do believe that it is rude for a lady to intentionally bypass a first request and take a subsequent one...emphasis on intentional...and I do think it is fair to elect not to take a chance on that person in the future if you so choose....but, if what you mean by standards is to imply that you have been too selective interms the the skill of the dancer and thereby maybe you have asked them too much or that their standards are too low in terms of who they chose to dance with over you...I think it might be a good idea to take some time to seriously think about what button this is pushing for you...bottom line is that if you feel they were rude, you can elect to bypass them
  18. Dance Monkey

    Dance Monkey New Member

    By standards I mean good behavior. Who they pick to dance is their business, that they drop/leave/forget me is poor behavior.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...edit to add; if intentional, it is your perogative to choose to be offended
  20. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Brings to mind one memorable occasion, that for me (by happenstance), changed the way I ask ladies to dance at socials (and that, IMO, has prevented this from ever happening to me anymore).

    Some years ago, I arrived at a new venue, with dancing already in full swing.
    I selected an innocent-looking chair (being the middle of a song---most chairs were empty) and proceeded to put on my patents.

    As I'm bent down, placing my shoe-bag underneath my chair, a lady plops down beside me (the song had just ended).
    The lady had her back turned to me when I sat up.
    I said "excuse me, would you care to dance?" (a nice, breezy, Foxtrot piece was starting).
    She said "I would love to, just let me put my things away here,...".

    When she turned towards me I was stunned, because there sat one of the most gorgeous-looking women I've ever met.
    Or so I thought.

    When we stood up to go on the floor, a man approached us and asked her to dance.
    Now I've no illusions about being a Greek-god, but even I could tell this guy was! (Hell, I almost asked HIM to dance... :) ).
    Still, I was much surprised when she agreed to dance with the man and left me standing alone by the floor!

    A few seconds pass (as I wondered about what just transpired) then I felt a tap on my shoulder.
    I turned and there stood a Lady---a high-level competitor whom I had competed against a year before, and who had obviously observed my little skirmish.
    She smiled broadly and said "why don't we show her what she gave up!"
    I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and promptly forgot about the earlier episode (no skin off my teeth).

    To say that we were noticed that evening, is an understatement---she is a joy to dance with (we danced almost every song).
    (I should note also that she is truly elegant in stature, classically beautiful, and the best personality to match--and, I daresay, considerably prettier than the first).

    After the second Foxtrot, we decided to partner up.

    So now, when I go to a new venue, seek out the best dancer at the social and dance my best, then the wallflowers for a spell or so, and then everyone in-between.


    [When I finally sat down to rest for a bit sometime that evening, the first woman came and apologized, asked me to a dance---further explaining that she thought I was just a beginner trying to pick her up.

    I politely declined--not out of spite, mind you--and said (truthfully) that the lady I was dancing with had asked for ALL the dances that evening, and that it would not be polite as I had asked her to do the same for me. I smiled lightly and set off to dance with my new partner.]

    Mr 4 styles likes this.

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