Ballroom Dance > Where should I place my hands?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ronalds, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    I had posted the following in the Salsa section, but realising that many ballroom dancers might not read it there, I am posting it here as well. It applies to all types of dance tho’ ….

    Do let me know what your thoughts are, if possible.

  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    shadow position is nice :).....beyond that, um...I am just not sure I understand exactly what it is that you are after...I think a great deal of what would be appropriate is fairly specific to situation
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    "Spark" is a quirk of biochemistry that has more to do with biology than dancing and can't be controlled by technique (though the appearance of it can be faked, like it always is in the movies, where they're, you know, ACTORS.) Hand position is 'wherever's necessary to lead the step as instructed by the teacher.' Unless you're dancing with someone with whom you're already intimate, best-case, attempts to be 'creative' in any way other than 'trying an interesting figure' will at best put you on a lady's 'do-not-dance' list, at worst get you a rather firm slap to somewhere sensitive.

    Honestly, the only people with whom I'm comfortable trying something 'sexy' are my pros, because all three of them are absolutely NOT interested and I can tell it's strictly business. A guy at a party tries something? He better be clearly in the off-the-market category, too (teacher, married, forty years older than me-who are often the best dancers there anyway) or I'd better already be there with him on a date.
  4. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    I think he's asking:

    • Where to put his hands beyond the usual locations that would make his partners' hearts flutter---instead of getting slapped in the face.
    • Tips on how to create an aura typically reserved for James Bond and Thomas Crown (both versions) when he's on the dance floor, and how to incorporate that in a social dancing situation.
    • And how to get more comfortable about where to put his hands---when it's not choreographed---and again, put them in places where he thinks the lady won't go "what do you think you're doing?", or worse, "eeeewwwwww".

    I could be mistaken, but that's how it came across...

    danceronice and freeageless like this.
  5. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Madmaximus, I agree with you. I think that is exactly what he is asking. I am sure that many men would like to know the answer to those questions: Where should the man put his hands to make his "partner's hearts flutter"? How does he creat a "James Bond aura?" How does he get comfortable putting his hands where the "lady thinks he won't go?" "Ah, that is the rub." I along with many men eagerly await your answers. ;)
  6. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    If I had a dollar for every time I'd been asked that question...


  7. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I'm with DOI here, especially if we're talking about ballroom socials rather than the salsa club scene, though personally I'd feel the same in both contexts. You're already getting unusual physical closeness to a person of the opposite sex through the fact of dancing together. The way to maximize the possibility of fluttering hearts is through a clear, comfortable lead, perhaps some fun steps, attentiveness to your partner, and overall pleasantness; even charm, if you can pull it off. The option of creative hand positions is a possible result of pre-existing intimacy, not a cause. Without that basis, I'm highly likely to interpret any hand positions beyond "what the hands do to lead this step, as taught" as an attempt to feel me up. And that's one of the very few ways to get on my do-not-dance list.
    ronalds and Miss Silly like this.
  8. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Well-Known Member

    As a follow, I agree 100% with the above.
  9. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    Well..... so much for creativity...... but can you tell me where would you allow a guys hands? Waist/hips should be alright, I think. Someone else mentioned that lower back is also alright. I had seen in my dance class one guy (with the girl standing by his side, both facing the same direction) he took the girls arm and put it around his neck. She never objected, so if that allowable, or does it really deffer from girl to girl
  10. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    How many dollars would you have :p
  11. ronalds

    ronalds Member

    Ok... so I'm guessing that for ladies the unusual physical closeness is more of an issue rather than for leaders. I really liked the answer you gave, really well written. The fun steps part was really nice, I shall think more about that, considering that Christmas dance night is coming up, it would be nice to take these small things into consideration.
  12. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Probably, just because women are more likely to have been felt up or otherwise had their personal space disrespected, whether on or off the dance floor, so we're more sensitized to later attempts. But I have known plenty of guys who also feel uncomfortable with the unaccustomed physical closeness of dancing when they first start.

    It seems as if you're still looking for a list of body parts that it's always OK to touch, and there's no such list. There is of course the list of never-touch-outside-the-bedroom. But for the remainder, okay or not depends on the dance, the specific step, the context (e.g., club or studio), the personal relationship between partners, how experienced the dancers are, and probably other things I'm forgetting. So, for example, the head loops that you describe are a conventional part of salsa, taught in classes and commonly used in social dancing. And they're a convenient way to change hands. So I'm not going to blink if someone I'm salsa dancing with does head loops, though if they're overly frequent or the guy really gets in my face in the process, I may start to wonder. (And if the guy's neck is all sweaty yucky, the head loops are not particularly conducive to building sensuality.) But if someone starts putting head loops in some other non-club dance, I'm going to wonder why and start getting suspicious of the guy.

    Similarly, the conventional position for advanced standard dancing involves a lot of body contact, potentially anywhere from thighs to ribs. So I'm going to expect that contact if I'm dancing standard with an experienced dancer, even if I've never met him before. And it won't bother me, because it's just a part of the dance. But if I'm dancing some other style that conventionally has more space in the hold, and the guy pulls me into that kind of contact, I'm going to assume he's out for something other than a pleasant dance and add him to the creep list.

    There exist steps that call for the leader's hands to be on the follower's hipbones. So if you're dong that step, it's fine to put your hands there. But that doesn't mean that you can put your hands on your partner's hips any time you feel like it, even within that dance.

    Overall -- learn the conventions for each dance and step that you're doing, and follow them. If you want to keep your eye out for particular steps that seem sensual to you, that's fine. But be aware that wandering hands beyond those conventions are a fast track to a creep label -- not worth the risk for a well-meaning guy, I wouldn't think.
  13. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Here's a simple rule I tell the men who ask me the same question:

    Dance with (or imagine you're dancing with) your mother, and you'll understand very quickly where you should put your hands.

    The level of respect and personal space you accord your mom, should not be any different from anyone you dance with--particularly particularly particularly, those you want to attract.

    The beginning point of attracting a lady isn't during the dance--that is the end point.

    Most ladies who are looking to "get to know someone" will typically notice you as early as when you walk in the door--they will note how you're dressed, how you smell, how you look, how you behave alone and around others, whether you're genial, charming, good-looking, how you've danced with others, and where you placed your hands dancing with those others...

    You need to build your aura, from the time you walk in the door to the time you ask her to dance---and not after, because dancing's the time to be charming, be a good & considerate lead, and not come off as a sleaze.

    Not something that's easy to fake, because it is built from your character.

    ronalds, latingal, bia and 7 others like this.
  14. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Quote from Madmaximus: "Dance with (or imagine you're dancing with) your mother, and you'll understand very quickly where you should put your hands."

    In general, M I agree with your quote above. That is a very conservative, safe approach. However, one wonders what fruits and gifts one might have received from his luscious, nubile dancer partner, if he had been more assertive by venturing somewhat out of that conservative, safe zone. After all as the old saying goes: "nothing ventured, nothing gained."
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you are missing out on the fact that women would rather long for it than have a man take liberties too soon...
    dbk and GGinrhinestones like this.
  16. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    LOL... I was wondering how soon somebody would come up with the "conservative" label.

    But I disagree with you freageless (respectfully, of course).

    I would rather label it as "practical".

    One can approach a lady in any number of ways: as a gentleman, as a cad (jerk, sleaze, piece-of-xxxxxxx) , as a player (use-and-dump), as a gigolo(pay-to-play), as Clint Eastwood (strong, silent, brooding type), or James Bond (mischievous, charming, and assertive), etcetera ad nauseam.

    Ronalds is clearly not Clint nor James (no offense meant, R), and probably wouldn't want to come off as a player, a gigolo, or a cad---and we can explore those approaches and examine their technique, if you want.

    That leaves us with: Gentleman, which---from all indications from the ladies here and from personal experience--- is the preferred approach anyway (so why fight it?).

    Fascination makes a beautiful point that I think men should take to heart (I learned this early in my teens): show her you have self-control, and you will find that she'll lose hers quite willingly.

    debmc, vit, Gorme and 1 other person like this.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, we won't all lose ours:cool: ...because some of us have learned...but, at least for me, that approach is far more attractive ...and tempting...than most least initially
  18. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    haha, quite right fasc. --- not all, only those interested, of course.

  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    only those available :)
  20. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    Perchance, one could say only those available and interested. ;)
    danceronice likes this.

Share This Page