What are the 5 top reasons that make a man ask a woman to dance? Beauty comes first?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Paula M, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. li

    li New Member

    Well, I've never chosen who to dance with on the basis of her shoes. The only people I ever talk about shoes with or hear talking about shoes are followers, so I doubt it's especially high on the average leader's list of criteria.

    Excessive bum wiggling (beyong the natural movement due to weight transfer) would definitely put me off asking somebody to dance.

    My criteria would be:
    1. Attitude - arrogant followers need not apply
    2. Motivation - cold followers who seem to be there to make shapes (however technically good) are far less desirable than those who are there to enjoy sharing a dance (however inexperienced)
    3. Posture - It's great if they can pivot without needing me for balance, although if they've got 1 and 2 right I'll care about this much less
    4. Technical ability
    5. Dress material - I don't enjoy the feel of artificial fibres. I remember one follower whose dress was commented on all evening by many other followers for looking especially good, but the multiple layers of artificial fibre rubbing against eachother as the embrace changed made for quite an unpleasant dance.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I kinda fuzzy on this hip wiggling thing... how much is too much? It may be distracting to feel her hips move, but isn't it equally, if not more, difficult to dance with someone whose muscles are not relaxed? If your pelvic and upper leg muscles are relaxed, your butt's gonna move. Having it very still usually indicates tension doesn't it?
  3. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Of course, that is why in my post I italicized the word "extraneous". ;)
  4. ant

    ant Member

    The way I choose is as follows:

    If I know them
    1 Because I enjoyed dancing with them previously
    2 I have always found them helpful and friendly in a class

    If I don't know them and I have seen them dancing
    3 They seem friendly abd approachable and seemed to dancing nicely with others

    If I don't know them and have not seen them dance
    4 The shape of and way they hold there body.
    5 I look at the shoes they wear. I reckon if someone has bought a pair of £100+ cif's then they have been dancing a while and take it seriously.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yup. Sometimes, it takes all kinds of analytical concentration to try and figure out just what he's trying to get me to do. Sometimes, things are just really not working out/are uncomfortable. Sometimes, there is outright annoyance (that move has failed the last three times you lead it, so will you please just skip that and lead something else!). Sometimes, the guy is talking, and you can't just be rude and not respond. As for looking around the room--sometimes you've got to for floorcraft reasons, sometimes your eyes wander kind of on autopilot--it doesn't always mean you aren't involved.

    This is so much of why, for women, a lot depends on what leader "shows you off" if you're new to a scene. Dance with a bad leader, you look bad, you don't get asked to dance much. And the reverse is true.

    ETA: That blissed-out state of tango euphoria is rare. I'd hate to think that how much I get asked to dance is dependent on me having/faking that look.
    AnnaN likes this.
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Eh. IME, it's kind of like the difference between floppy/no tone, having tone in your body, and being stiff. Hip wiggling, generally, falls in the comparable zone as toned. Not waggling all over the place (although fine when done deliberately, on occasion, as a bit of an accent or styling), but not without any movement at all. I find that when my technique is really good (some days it is, some days it really just IS NOT), my hips move a good bit more, just as a factor of walking. It's not that I swing my hips, but when I feel that looseness in my pelvic floor, and that fluidity in my body, the movement of walking feels like it starts up in my ribcage and goes all the way through to my feet. Letting my hips sway a bit, naturally, makes my walk feel more feminine and more powerful. What I'm careful not to do (again, unless it is very deliberate) is to let my weight sink into my hips.

    ...don't know how it feels. Never got dinged by my teacher when I was still taking lessons. Never had a complaint.
  7. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

    For the love of god that is one of the most annoying things on planet earth if you ask me. I can't stand people dancing like they're got a pneumatic drill up their bum. Keep it slow, groovy... like a rotisserie chicken turning on an open flame....

    OK, so I could've given a better example but it's true! Beyonce has a LOT to answer for. /and relax.
    AnnaN likes this.
  8. li

    li New Member

    Yes, I was meaning relaxed weight transfer. Followers who are trying not to allow any hip movement at all are usually working really hard to maintain posture and balance, so they're fine to dance with. When they get the hang of it, their muscles can stay more relaxed and so there will be a little more hip movement occurring naturally in the weight transfer process - even better to dance with. Actively using the muscles to make the bum wiggle in addition to this is just distracting and spoils the comfort of the embrace for me. Even more so when the follower also wants to go for a shoulder wiggle too (thankfully this is much rarer!).
  9. li

    li New Member

    I rarely consider the look of a follower with other leaders - my expectation is that the relationship will be different anyway with different music and dance partner, so the only element of this which interests me is whether or not she is interested in the dance. Either extreme - 'faking it' or being really interested in everything else but the dance is bad news. Just being aware of the environment is cool - this is social dancing after all! If we were just seeking moments of bliss where the rest of the world no longer exists, then somebody would need to invent some kind of tango isolation tank! And going to milongas would be counter-productive...
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    yeah! What she said....

    :notworth:
  11. Laurie

    Laurie New Member

    It is interesting to see that the Top 5 can very so much from person to person. When I look at the times that I get asked to dance the most, for men who have never danced with me before I think that appearance is a factor (usually not necessarily what I am wearing, but perhaps sometimes). Along with a friendly disposition and an obvious interest in dancing (such as not shrinking into a corner or chatting on the cellphone a lot).

    If they have already met me, then I get asked in part because there is a familiarity. A gentleman has danced with me before, hopefully had a nice dance, and knows that I will not turn down his request for a dance. If he is newer, that is helpful, as he may be still a bit shy with the "crowd" at the venue until as the weeks pass he has made more dance friends. When he is first starting, it's comforting for him to see that I am there.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    There are actually AT followers who do this?

    I know sometimes in the Latin dances, followers overdo the hips because they see natural hip movement in others and think they have to "do it" consciously. But I would have thought that the nature of tango instruction would be discouraging of this right from the beginning. I would expect that followers would be more likely to be too stiff because they've been advised to keep their body "still".
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    and that sublime look is no different than one of boredom....
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I have to admit that I am totally appalled at how many responses talk of shoes as a factor worth mentioning or even considering.

    Guys.. some words of caution...

    Some people have more money than others. The fanciest LOOKING shoes are often simply out of the price range of many women and the unusually patterned or colored stilettos are the most expensive. Basic black shoes run the gamut, but shoes being sold at a milonga by a vendor can easily cost $175-$200 or MORE! Do you guys spend $200 on your shoes? Do you want to be turned down by followers because you didn't? :rolleyes:

    Some people would rather spend their money on quality instruction than on overpriced footwear. You can get several privates from excellent teachers for the price of ONE pair of CIF's which, based on their color or pattern, may only go with one or two of your dresses. Which improves a follower's dance better... one pair of CIF's or 2 lessons with the likes of Jorge Torres, Mariana Galassi, etc?

    Some people dance MUCH better in a 1.5 or 2" heel than a 4" heel. In fact, the people who can dance significantly better in a 4+ inch heel are in the minority. Walking FORWARD in a stiletto requires high arches and amazingly pointed feet, which is about anatomy not ability. Some divine followers will NEVER have those feet. Get over it.

    Some people spend a lot of money up front for a new activity. Haven't you ever seen women who won't go to the gym until they get some "outfits" so they don't look like newbies? Or people who invest in the best ski equipment (or receive it as a gift) before they get their 1st beginner lesson? Or the folks who want to take up photography so they buy a very expensive camera thinking that they will take better pictures with it even though they have no idea how to use any of the features? There are plenty of followers who go out and buy expensive shoes in their first few months thinking that they need those shoes to dance tango, and that other shoes will either hold them back or make them look like beginners. Apparently they are right... to some of you, basic shoes are the hallmark of a beginner. :rolleyes:

    In Buenos Aires, you can't really see anyone's feet while they are on the dance floor and you can't see them when they are seated at a table either. Yet somehow the leaders figure out who to dance with.

    If someone shows up in flip flops or other shoes that are clearly unsuitable for any kind of dancing, then maybe there's some validity to checking out the shoes. Beyond that, it's misleading at best.

    Quick... without thinking... tell me what type of shoes Geraldine was wearing in the last video you watched.... hello?... anyone there?
    Watch the truly GREAT followers, both young and old, new and traditional, dancing socially or in a show. They are almost NEVER wearing fancy shoes. They are often wearing basic black in traditional simple styles.
    AnnaN likes this.
  15. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Well yes but ...

    I find shoes are a useful additional indicator. Not the main one. But to ignore them completely is silly. If you have fancy shoes it does suggest you take your dancing seriously.

    I'm not bothered what the height of heel is. Yes CIFs are overpriced. Anyway FWIW I cant tell the difference between them and similar shoes (Neotango, GretaFlora etc etc).

    Oh and the only men's shoes that are over $200 are the 2*2s (to my knowledge). The only thing these say is that the guy in question has probably been to Argentina to buy them. If I were a lady, I would probably be impressed by that!
  16. ant

    ant Member

    If you go to a milonga and have never danced with the followers that are available and you have not seen them dance either, how do you decide who to dance with? Remember they may be your partner for the next 10 minutes or so and in many Milongas this is not a problem that the followers have.

    The only critereria I can think of are the way they look either facially and/or figure wise, the way they dress, their general body language or the shoes they wear. OR not dance with anybody.

    And you should look at the shoes some followers wear to a Milonga, winklepickers, sandals, flipflops, trainers, well the list goes on. If you look at the shoes you may as well choose the best ones, at least it is a tangiable way of choosing.

    If you can give me any better ideas, it would be appreciated.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    First of all, I did say in my post that noting whether or not the person is wearing shoes that are inappropriate for dancing is a separate issue.

    Second, why haven't you seen them dance? If you go to a new milonga and haven't danced with the followers, what's wrong with just observing for awhile? Or chatting with someone who isn't dancing to getting an idea of their "background"?

    Ask someone to dance after the tanda is 2/3 over and you won't be "stuck" with her for so long. If it's someone who never seems to be dancing, maybe she sucks, or maybe she's new to the scene as well and really needs a chance to dance with someone to show that she can.

    If you are new, there's a good chance that you can't be as picky as you might at home. Look at it from the other side... Why would the best followers in an unfamiliar scene make themselves available to YOU? So while you are considering whether someone is good enough for you when you don't know anyone, consider that maybe that attitude is backwards, and it is the new person who needs to prove themself by being approachable and available without judgement? Just a thought.

    Followers have to figure out who to dance with all the time without relying on footwear as an indicator. Leaders can do it too.

    My mother told me a story once of how she and her college friends would get dressed up in their expensive tennis outfits and "name brand" rackets and go to the courts to meet guys. They couldn't play hardly at all, but the courts were always full with a long wait, so they never had to play. Until that one day when to their dismay, a couple of guys who were next up asked them to join for doubles. And their ruse went out the window and never fooled anyone again.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    If you don't care about heel height, and you can't tell the difference between the most expensive brands and some of the others, what ARE you noticing about shoes? What's the definition of "fancy" in that case?

    Can you tell the difference between a pair of strappy-sandal street shoes and strappy dance shoes? Can you tell the difference between the $50 black ballroom closed toe pump-with-a-strap shoes and the $200 black closed toe "made specially for tango" shoes?

    What exactly are you seeing in the shoes to judge that they are "fancy" or an indication of anything beyond just that they can be danced in? :confused:
  19. spectator

    spectator Member

    another take that might not be very popular is that some of the young things in mini skirts are actually a. older than they look from a distance or b. have been dancing since they were really young or c. have previous dance experience that means they are starting from a higher ability range. They might actually be pretty good dancers, but like dressing up in fashionable outfits when they go out.

    it takes a long time to integrate into a scene, if you arrange to meet people from your classes at a milonga you will get to dance, socialise and over time be noticed and recognised through familiarity. and 40s is not "old" for goodness' sake.
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Valid possibilities, and certainly there are dancers out there who fall into that category...but I've also seen far too many girls who can barely take the first step, yet are wearing some sexy clothing, be asked to dance continually. (Continuously? Whatever.) And I've seen it far too many times for it to just be an anomaly.

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