General Dance Discussion > Please Help! Dancing at Prom!

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Xander, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    Agree. cornutt, extremely well said.
  2. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Thanks; if I don't find some humor in it, I'll be a basket case. Or, *more* of a basket case!
  3. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    you won't be the only one, so don't worry. :p
  4. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    To open the can of worms...
    Sooner or later they are going to have sex, aren't they? And unfortunately there's very little you can do to stop them other than locking your little Rapunzel in her room (which is pretty much the worst thing you could ever do, your daughter would never forgive you). So the best you can do as a parent is make sure your child knows all about safety precautions and STD's and unwanted pregnancies etc. You really can't stop a child from having sex or smoking or whatever. It's a mater of charater, and that's build up to a certain age. From then on your role is over.
    Thoughts? (I can imagine MQ dashing towards me with a chainsaw :lol:)

  5. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    MQ sounds like what my dad would have done with a chainsaw lol! But seriously you are right T_E. And the kids do start young. I have two little nieces. The oldest is ten now, but a few years ago we were alone, and she said, "Don't tell mommy, but I know what sex is". You can about imagine the horror on my face, because I didn't know what to say, because I didn't know where she got the information lol. The only thing I could do is let my sis handle it, and she did by being honest with her. I think that's smart. Honesty is the best policy in this case!
  6. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    While we're complimenting cornutt about the great advice....can we compliment xander too?

    Seems to me like a well adjusted and thoughtful young man from his initial post. Unlike many people on here he actually did a seach and checked out links....he asked for simple tips on dancing, not grinding or a cure-all. Proms tend to be in May so he gave himself a little prep time...and most impressive...he asked for advice on how to act...rare that we get someone on here who's interested in more than the grinding.
  7. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'm not dashing at you. I'm middle aged and could never keep up (however I have dead-on accuracy with throwing a spiked heel!). But, you're preaching to the choir...I've BTDT, and know most of the tricks. Like...hmmmm...."mom, I'm going to Cathy's and she doesn't have a phone". I swear if I hear that, I'll drug my daughter's drink at dinner to ensure she doesn't make it out of the house.

    I'll just give 'em enough rope (and some birth control advice) and hope they make wise choices. There's not much more I can do.
  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. Credit where credit is due. The young man is smart to do his research!
  9. It's Wonderful

    It's Wonderful New Member

    If only more youth asked what was nice and cool rather than just doing whatever they see others doing! Surprisingly, sometimes fellow 14 yr olds aren't the best role models ;)
  10. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Aw shucks, tweren't nothing'. :oops:

    And yes, I'll give some props to xander too. It's probably no secret to any of the ladies here who have children, but our society doesn't exactly encourage boys down a good path these days. The young chap had the guts to log in here and tell us what his concerns really were. He obviously wants to do the right thing. In my book, that's the mark of a real man.
    :cheers: (oops, sorry, you're not quite old enough for that yet, but you will be soon).
  11. Xander

    Xander New Member

    Hey Everyone,
    I apologize for not responding to your replies earlier. I rarely use internet forums and because these take quite a while for people to respond, I figured everyone was just annoyed with my mundane questions. Anyways, I am very appreciative for all your responses. Thank you so much for your advice, especially cornutt. You really went out of your way to help me, and I am very grateful. Your advice on conversation and etiquette were very helpful, and I feel much more prepared for the big night (mentally, anyways). I am astounded with the level of intelligence and tolerance found on these forums, contrary to my prior experiences.

    Your advice on dancing was very informative, but I'm confused on one thing. I assumed that "grinding" always involved the woman's back to the man, so when you say that you should start by facing her and holding her hands, I can't quite picture how that would work. Also, are there variances in this basic Latin motion or other movements that can keep a 2 hour dance more intriguing for my date? Lastly, where should your eyes and mouth be while you're dancing? Should I tell her anything while we are dancing, like a compliment on her dancing or the music? Should I have fairly steady eye contact? I apologize if these questions are ridiculous, and feel free to tell me so. However, any further advice would be greatly appreciated by a stressed-out junior. Thanks for your time.

    Finally, I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion on intercourse at a young age. In my opinion, this kind of behavior is a result of bad parenting and pop culture. The things kids see on MTV and in movies not only have subject content dealing entirely with sexual themes, but they present it in such a way that makes it appear completely normal. It's no wonder that kids are losing their virginity at younger and younger ages. The bad parenting contributes to this by not properly informing children about sex and not censoring what they watch on TV.

    Again, thank you ALL for your time. I truly am privileged to talk to you through these forums.

  12. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Au contraire Xander, we are the ones privileged to have such a thoughtful young addition to DanceForums! Please feel free to ask away, we have great members and moderators that try to answer/help with anything that comes up on these boards.

    I'm hoping that cornutt or somebody will have more information for you regarding the grinding thing, I'll have to admit to little or no knowledge on that subject. However, on varying cuban motion or hip movements to keep a 2 hour dance interesting...changing the timing, speed and emphasis of your hips (and related foot/knee movements) will allow you to express different dynamics in the music. For example, you can make the hip movement look heavy and sensual or playful and energetic in this manner. Changing positions with your partner and using different "holds" (safe ones - don't want you getting slapped now!) will also help keep things interesting.

    As for talking to your date while dancing, I can only let you know what I would appreciate out on the floor. On fast songs when the music is loud, non-verbal communication works better for me, things like; a smile directed at your partner when you're having fun dancing with each other, or a look that says "you're hot and I'm lucky to have you out here dancing with me", or a playful look that says "I'm hot and having a great time out here!". But keep it LIGHT, gauge where your partner is and how she's reacting. Maybe other forum members can comment, but I appreciate it when a gentleman makes me feel like he is just having the time of his life dancing with me. Coming off the dance floor, go ahead and compliment her dancing.

    On slow songs, I'd go ahead and do some light conversation....keeps the lady from getting too uncomfortable with having nothing but body contact to concentrate on.

    When is your dance? Do let us know how things go (have you been able to tell we're all a bit nosy here?). I'm hoping that you (and your date) have a great time!

  13. Xander

    Xander New Member

    Hey latingal, thanks for your reply. I just had some questions on the "holds" that you spoke of and how you can change positions to add variety to the dance. Do these variances apply to dances that will be seen at Prom, or are they somewhat specefic to the Latin genre. What might these holds and positions look like? Thanks for your time, and your advice on communication during a dance was very helpful.

    My prom is on April 29, so if there's anything I can do to better prepare myself for the dance in that time frame, please suggest anything. Thanks again and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
  14. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    Definitly compliment her!!!!! Tell her she looks beautiful, it's fun to dance with her, etc.

    At a prom it's definitly ok to talk while dancing too. Sometimes the music is too loud and other times you'll feel comfortable with silence, but most people will be chatting and joking with friends and dates throughout the night on the dance floor.

    Eyes and mouth. Keep your face slightly to the right of hers when dancing close (ie slow dances). She may put her head on your shoulder in which case it's alright to lean your head lightly against hers. Let her take the initiative on that one though. Make lots of eye contact but don't stare. Staring is creepy, but natural eye contact is good and expected.

    Your questions are no different than any of ours when we were your age. I even went to my proms alone and had a blast. Not all of the dancing requires touching, a lot is side to side swaying in a big group/circle. It's hard to explain, but you'll fall naturally into it...I promise.

    To prepare....I know it's not the coolest thing to do...but ask an older female relative how to slow dance. It's very simple. There are two versions you can do.

    1) This one you're most likely to do: she puts her arms around your neck and yours go around her waste.

    2) This sweeter but just as easy, keep your left arm around her back (mid back, think of putting your hand on her opposite shoulder blade). She'll have her right arm around your right shoulder. Hold her right hand with your left. When you see dancing in movies, this is how you want to look.

    In both examples just sway in time to the music. Like I said, ask a female family member for help on this and ask them to show you how to turn in option two. You'll be envy date of all her friends with this. Practice a few times -- it's not rocket science! -- and you'll get a fell for it and be a little more comfortable.
  15. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    cornutt - where are you?, I'm getting myself in waaaay over my head.:)

    Xander, the "holds" I was refering to can be used in what I think they call "grinding", of both the close and not so close vicinity. Change the position of your body and hands to add variation in what you're doing. Depending on what position you are in (behind her or in front of her) A hand can be placed on her shoulder, on her hip or waist, around her waist, both hands at her waist, etc. But don't go for positions more intimate nature unless she is comfortable with that.

    As for body position, besides the obvious moving from front to back, back to front - change the orientation of your hips (i.e. instead of standing with your feet both facing the same direction, turn out one foot at a 90 degree angle to the other, lift the heel of the turned out foot slightly off the ground and do your hip motion in the same direction as that foot).

    Vary the timing and speed of your hip movements in all these positions to add interest.

    I guess I have a question grinding all that the "kids" are doing now-a-days? Or is freestyle dancing still done a majority of the time? From the little club dancing I've seen, grinding does seem prevalent, but freestyle dancing was being done at least 60-70% of the time. If so Xander, do you have the freestyling thing down okay?
  16. Xander

    Xander New Member

    Actually latingal, I'm not quite sure about freestyle dancing. I'd say that most of the dancing I might see at prom is grinding and slow dancing, but I could be wrong. For the record, I'm completely clueless about freestyle dancing, so if you could offer any advice in that area, I would appreciate it.
  17. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

  18. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Okay, I'm getting in deeper and deeper....freestyling at least I've done that quite a bit. We need other opinions from other forum members here! From the club dancing I've done, I tend to go from freestyling to what they call "grinding" (okay descriptive, but inelegant name) back out to freestyling when I'm dancing. Anybody have a handle on what is normally done at clubs and also proms?
  19. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    My youngest sister's going to her prom in a couple of weeks, and she says you can expect mostly grinding. A few kids might be brave enough to freestyle, but most will alternate between grinding with their dates and swaying around with their friends. (It really is a sort of "group dance" like cornutt - I think - was describing - everybody in a circle, talking and doing small movements in place)
  20. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    A barn dance, sort of! :D

    I am definitely not the expert on grinding. I'm just trying to make some suggestions based on (1) what I've seen here when the topic has been discussed previously, and (2, and here's where I get devious), what I'd like to see a beginning dancer try. I've heard of grinding both face-to-face and back-to-face. I supposed you can do both, but... I don't know, that back-to-face thing just seems awfully impersonal, and kind of demeaning to the woman. It doesn't seem to leave much opportunity for the partners to interact, and it definitely doesn't help with leading any interesting moves since the woman can't really tell what the man is doing. Anyone who has a different opinion, feel free to jump in. I just know that if I was that age now, that isn't the way I'd want to do it.

    As for what to do with your hands: If you are going to do back-to-face, you don't have that many choices: put your hands on her hips, or wrap them around her waist. If you do face-to-face, you have more choices. You could take the traditional ballroom/Latin hold, with your right hand on her upper back, and your left hand holding her right hand, either out to the side or down at waist level.

    You can vary this by sliding your right hand back and taking a two-hand hold for a while. You can cross your arms, taking her right hand in your right hand and vice versa. Or, if you have a straight two-hand hold, you can turn your partner by taking your left arm up and over her head, putting her facing the same direction as you. Then, you draw her back to your side (with her arms in front of her), so that you are now side-by-side facing the same direction. This is what the swing dancers call the "cuddle" position.

    Another possible hold might be to put one hand on her hip and hold the other hand away. You can swap this up, using the right hand and left hand alternately. Or put the other hand behind your back, with the palm facing out. (I do this sometimes in ballroom, when I'm leading an underarm turn or some other move where I have one hand that isn't doing anything for a moment.)

    Just remember this one rule: you're dancing, not groping. Leave that for after you get to know her a bit better. :raisebro: Also, don't put your hand on the back of her head, and don't mess with the hair.

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