Ballroom Dance > Social Dancing: Why So Critical?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by MintyMe, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    1)Truly shocking behavior. Did your friend seem embarrassed by her or oblivious?

    2) One way in which I can be what some would regard as a tad rude is that when two leaders are talking a lot rather than dancing--and I know them--and they have been off the floor for a while--I will eventually go ahead and get the attention of one of the leaders…he says "excuse me" to the other guy and we go dance. It is a dance event after all. :D They then resume their conversation afterwards. In other words, I think you can go ahead and ask your friend to dance even if the other woman is talking to her. Most followers are used to piecemeal conversations and I have certainly never taken offense when

    3)I'm sure part of the bad behavior of the follower was discomfort with the situation and her dancing. Not saying that that excuses the behavior, but there is a very slight possibility that she will reform in, oh, a year or so. I have to admit probably not though.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  2. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    As a female, I speak only for myself. I have the innate power to be unpleasant, obnoxious, and unsolicited with my opinions to the point of causing serious hurt in others, while simultaneously being completely oblivious to it. I have noticed that women can seem critical to their partners even when they have no idea they are being awful, and actually claim that they're happy, having a good time, etc. They just don't realize that their "critiquing" can come across as something that would make someone wish them laryngitis and gout simultaneously. I think you have to ride a yak up the side of a mountain, meditate, and bring back a rare blue flower to fully understand why some of us are the way we are, because we sure don't always know, either.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2014
  3. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    this scenario and an even worse one, was one of the reasons I ended up suffering from vertigo at socials and almost quit dance altogether. Thank God it's over. What a nightmare. I know, I've been there, I'm telling ya...and only recently in February. Nothing you can do, just change the way you think and feel about it.
  4. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Let's say your driving you car and an overly aggressive driver yells and honks at you. Would you prefer being confrontational?
  5. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    Different situation. In your case, the "aggressive driver" is typically a total stranger who is venting from behind the wheel, probably fuming internally about something entirely unrelated to you. You will probably never see him (her) again. I would not confront for this case. Doing so could even present an unwarranted danger to you if aggressor is packing a weapon. But if the aggressive driver is someone known to you such as a coworker or neighbor, I'd still not confront in the heat of the moment. Then I'd try the friendship route by attempting to confront the person later on foot after they had time to cool off to identify the real issue of their anger.

    About the OP's case, her dancer wasn't yelling and honking. He was merely giving out unwanted criticism. It was not clear to me if he was showing outward signs of anger. But from what I gather from the OP, he was merely showing off his "education." That was indeed a time for her to confront assertively, but not aggressively, by calmly but firmly sticking up for herself.
    danceronice likes this.
  6. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Why ask her a second time?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2014
  7. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    The gaul of some people.... The only time I have offered any advice to anyone at a social was to 1) someone I knew and 2) it was to tell them to relax because they were way to tense and I don't like my circulation to get cut off in my hand.
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    This! We have several new instructors at our studio. They all started the instructor training about the same time. One lady in particular is worse than horrible (can't even clap out the beat, much less dance a waltz box on time). Yet somehow she seems to think I would not only benefit from her "expertise", but that I have somehow sent a vibe that I want to hear it every time we are within ear shot of each other. I am by no means any kind of super accomplished dancer or the like, but I have been taking private lessons from a very competent instructor for several years. Not to say that she won't somewhere down the line, but I can say that at this stage in her dance career, she has little to offer me.

    So as frustrating as it is dealing with it from student to student, it doesn't have to just be students. And somehow because of her status as "an instructor" at the studio, she believes that this gives her some instantaneous level of dance expertise above and beyond us mere students. I would imagine most new instructors are astute enough to recognize good dancing, so I certainly don't want to give the impression that they are all like her, but she is pretty interesting. Just to give you a taste (and my favorite interaction of ours so far), she had been going to instructor training for about 2 months (which the same amount of time that she has been dancing) and one night she said to me "I have almost learned everything in the bronze syllabus, so I will be moving into silver soon. Once I'm dancing silver, I can teach bronze students with no problems". I couldn't help myself and said "I've been dancing for several years and still compete in bronze". I didn't bother explaining that the important achievement is the technique with which you execute those bronze steps. I am confident it wouldn't have made sense to her.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...I have to remind myself constantly not to react to new instructors who would like to help me dance.....I try to remind myself of times when I thought I knew something about a particular thing and discovered later that I didn't even begin to know what I was talking about...I try to remember when I was new at dance and couldn't have told you there was a diff betwn the most recent 6 week wonder and the 15 year accomplished pro....there was a time
    chomsky and j_alexandra like this.
  10. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I've been suspected of being an instructor, based on the way I moved my body and not my mouth. I say their thinking that says more about the state of their own dance ability than it does about mine.
    SwayWithMe likes this.
  11. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    In regards to why I asked her for another dance, I've made the same mistake in the past of forgetting past bad behavior and then keep trying to get on someone's good side. I keep a little black book now about who NOT to ask for a dance based on how they treated me in the past. My mutual friend was oblivious to her rude behavior but she looked put out when she realized the woman had left without saying goodbye. I think that boorish behavior goes hand in hand with insecurity and this woman was a Russian immigrant who is probably doubly insecure but since dancing is in her blood (she thinks) and she was a decent dancer way back when (as a tyke) she is still qualified to teach.
    chomsky likes this.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    a)I think if you have to keep a black book on it, it probably wasn't a big enough deal to be worth remembering...and if there are that many, well, the problem might not be all on them
    b)let me try to put this delicately...being of eastern european descent...and having spent a considerable amount of time among dancers of the same is not always a strong suit there....candor is usually not personal, even if by most folks standards it happens to seem rude...not excusing it...just noting my experience
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
    stash likes this.
  13. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Alas, that is true... after all, our own dance teachers used to beat us up with the stick, and none of us thought much of it back then. :)
    dncergrl likes this.
  14. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    We've had discussions about our personal "do-not-dance-with" lists before. I try not to harp on it much because it's an unpleasant subject. But at this time there are only two on that list. And, getting back to the topic of this thread, one is there because she is an extremely unpleasant person and hyper-critical of her dance partners. The other is someone I'm unlikely to ever see again, so I don't worry about that one.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...I think we all have a few people who send us runnning for the powder room....but I cannot imagine literally having a book...that would signal something different to me
  16. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I don't think her being Russian has anything to do with her being "rude".

    vulgar language removed
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2014
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    maybe, maybe not...sometimes what one culture percieves as rude is what another culture percieves as being honest...neither of us were there...I am only stating that it is a possibility...shrug...
  18. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    I have danced cha cha socially a thousand times and go through basically the same routine with everyone. I start with the basic step, then go to cross side breaks. If that goes poorly the dance goes bust and I'm forced to go back to the basic, maybe do forward and backward steps with forced enthusiasm (never getting to fun stuff like the "chase,") try side breaks again for variety and hope to lead her through everything. At that point, I may see that she has a wonderful personality to make me forget her dancing deficiencies. If not, and she's a sourpuss with an attitude, I've wasted my time. There are some cha cha leaders whose technique is bad but they lead their partners in exciting turns and make them happy. I do the basic bronze steps and if my partner does not know them as well, my bag of tricks is empty. And if she does take offense to my dancing, it's not a good thing if she's going to be sitting next to me all night with one of my regular social dancing partners on the other side of her. Is she intentionally taking me down a few pegs as her way of saying to our mutual friend: "See? Is that who you like dancing with? Can't you do better?" I may end up seeing her around a lot, because the social dance scene here is not that big. And believe me, I feel very lucky to have a pro instructor (who often reminds me now to stretch my leg out first before putting weight on it.)
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would like to suggest, just as an experiement, that you focus on keeping your elbow fixed (connected to your shoulder and connected to your center) to see if perhaps you are letting that elbow go behind you on those is my experience that often, if followers miss that lead, it is because of that...not always-- but often...that is not to say that, if you were doing that, it would justify to what she might be saying to your mutual friend; well, that woman is either going to ignore her or change her mind about you...either way, you win
    twnkltoz likes this.
  20. Rodrk352

    Rodrk352 New Member

    You're psychic. That has been the focus lately of my cha cha lessons. (elbow)

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