Ballroom Dance > Why don't guys dance?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancin_feet, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member

    Learning Curve is why

    Learning Curve is why:

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  2. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Well, why would they want to dance just for the sake of it? Most males (and some of us females) need a purpose beyond "having fun" (whatever that means) to put effort into something that's potentially difficult, expensive, and embarrassing. Nebulous goals like having fun and potentially deceptive statements about getting girls aren't really giving them a concrete benefit worth getting past the embarrassment factor of learning something new that sometimes has an effeminate air. (And while I'm not as extreme as Wolfgang, who apparently only goes to dance venues full of inner-city teens into the gangsta look, I do think that dance ability alone is not going to get the girl automatically-personality, looks, and social aptitude are still important and selling it that way is a bit disingenuos. However, that would be part of my pitch to an uncomfortable FATHER who's worried about his son, as growing up dancing will improve your chances better than being an adult beginner....)
  3. davedove

    davedove Active Member

    Maybe if it's packaged with reference to potential physical benefits - focus on control of the body, flexibility, muscle tone, stuff like that. A lot of guys aren't particularly interested in social benefits and things of that nature. But, tell them about how it can help develop their body and they're interested.

    Getting to do that while holding onto a pretty lady makes it even more attractive, or at least it did for me.:cool:
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    If this is what a man needed to do to get some, then we'd all be dancing, at least until we got what we wanted. :p

    Nobody is going to be convinced to dance because of fitness, social goals, etc. Those can all be satisfied in other ways, and often much more effectively. If you tell me that dancing is a great way to get in shape and get body control, I will tell you that running, heavy lifting, and yoga will do the same more efficiently.

    People dance because they want to dance. If the main goal is something other than dancing, if there are other, easier or more efficient ways to get it, that's the way to go.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the men that I know who chose to dance chose to dance because they wanted to be able to move across a floor to music...seems to me that those who are in it for other reasons don't stay in least not for those reasons
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    exactly. so where women respond favorably with this as valued criteria over other men who don't dance, you can bet men will start equating dancing as something verrry positive, lolz. :)
  7. frotes

    frotes Member

    I heard people mentioning in another thread that it takes guys much longer to develop to the same level as girls. How true is that?

    As a guy that recently really got into ballroom dancing (started 7 months ago, did like 2 months of salsa before that and never dance ever before that), I would say it was mostly just not knowing about dancing and the social stigma around it for guys that prevented me from getting into it.

    Before college I had zero exposure to it, no one ever brought up the idea of dance classes even tho there were dance events at school. (which always seemed odd to me). I bet at this age, even if I knew about it, I would have been very reluctant to try it unless a lot of people I knew did due to the social stigma surrounding dancing for guys.

    Then college came around I had thought about taking some dance classes early on as a way of trying something new and meeting women but, again never got around to it because I didn't really know how accessible it and most guys/girls never talk about it outside of club dancing for some girls. So I ended up getting into other sports instead. I would have been willing to try dancing at this point but it was difficult for me to ask anyone about it to figure out how to start because I was very hesitant to let people know I was curious about it. Luckily we have the internet these days to look up whatever we are interested in.

    Even after starting ballroom, it was difficult because there seemed to be so much that the leader needed to know how to do. I had to worry about my own steps, the lead, interpreting what the follower was doing (both beginners), thinking of the next step, etc. And if the leader didn't know what they were doing, thing would happen since the follower would just be waiting. Also the classes didn't seem to have enough emphasis on lead/follow so outside of that class, it was difficult for me to reproduce what I had done in class. It was pretty overwhelming and it seemed like I would never get it.

    The thing that really made it stick for me now was when our studio introduced technique classes and I learned about the whole dancesport aspect of it. I loved technique because it gave me something I could work on myself and see improvement without worrying about if I did something wrong or if she did something wrong or what not. And being able to see progress and having goals, it really motivates me to keep on dancing because now I have a clearer path on how to be good at something I enjoy :)
  8. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    I don't see a lot of men doing yoga. Running and weight lifting can be done alone. Is being able to get into shape while doing so with a lady in your arms not a good incentive?
  9. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    Thank you frontes for sharing your experience. At least there are men out there who are interested in dancing but are just too shy to start. How can we target these men to get over the social stigma of dancing and try it?

    Questions parents with boys again: Does Ballroom dancing have the same social stigma as ballet? What makes people think that ballroom dancing is too feminine?
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can't answer for anyone but myself...and our family is not typical as no one in this house has issues with having their sexuality questioned...but I think that is at the heart of it...and until that doesn't matter, men won't be free
  11. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I think the learning curve idea is a better answer for "why don't men who start learning to dance stick with it?"* than for "why don't men give dancing a try in the first place?" But both of the questions are relevant to the percentage of men vs. women in classes and at dances.

    * Of course, lots of beginners of both genders don't stick with it, for many individually-applicable reasons, but to the degree that there's a gender gap there, the front-loading of things for leaders to learn is a plausible partial explanation.
  12. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    Sadly, inner-city teens are by no means the only ones into the 'gangsta' look....
    Realistically speaking, dancing skills, personality, social aptitude, etc. are all well and good but STAND NO CHANCE against height, looks, youth and money.
    No in the real world, anyway.
    Learning anything is very definitely easier at an early age than later in life, but if the father wants to make sure his son gets dates, he's better off learning to play an instrument or a sport or becoming a real estate shark .
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Not the way I explain it, dear, but I think that goes beyond the rating of this message board. Suffice to say some skills transfer.

    (Seriously, I know no females who go for the gangsta look who aren't...of a certain sort themselves. And they don't frequent ballroom venues.)
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Except that if they don't need dancing to get it, why do it? This line of reasoning has not been fruitful in my experience.
  15. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Obviously not good enough for most. ;-)
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    And honestly, if it's pure fitness, running and weight-lifting will be much more effective much faster. I don't actually know many partner dancers who don't have to engage in other forms of cardio or strength-training to keep in shape, even when they're dancing at very high competitive levels.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    meh...dunno...I know quite a few who do scarecly nothing but's much more a matter of what they eat
  18. Leon Theou

    Leon Theou Active Member

    It's not just ballet that is culturally marked as "feminine" (oh [insert deity of your choice here], the anthropologist in me is coming out) it's dance in general. I actually have a suspicion that for some guys, competitive dance could be a more effective gateway than social dance. Guys are supposed to be tough and competitive, and people perceive dance as being weak and emotional. Take, for example, the situation in which guys are most likely to do any sort of dancing. In a nightclub setting, both guys and girls dance, but there is a very different dynamic in play for each gender. Girls dance to attract guys, and guys dance to "win". By turning dancing into a competition, we may be able to attract some of these guys who society has taught to be hyper-competitive. Yeah, they still have to get over the glitter tight pants, but if they can get their foot in the door, they will be hooked by the time they have to worry about that.

    That being said, partner dance has its own things working against it, too. The perception is that Ballroom is slow and boring and why would anyone want to dance a waltz? Then, Latin dances show up, with their hip action, which is seen as thoroughly unmanly. The other issue if we try to market dance to boys, and we don't get them while they are young, we run into established preconceptions. We are not likely to get the 6-12 year-old bracket, who are already ingrained in the "girls are gross" mindset, then you get the teenage segment where guys are preoccupied with looking cool, and dancing around in a shirt and tie or with their hips shaking doesn't really do that. For them to buy into dancing, they have to see just how cool it can look. Once guys are in college, you hit a second golden opportunity, as many colleges have ballroom dance clubs and teams, and college students can always use something to distract them from their homework, not to mention the prospect of meeting girls. After graduation, men are likely to decide that they simply don't have the time to dedicate to learning to dance. And, you know, don't you have to start dancing when you are like 4 to ever be good at it?
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    ya know, I will never get that whole "moving the hips that way is unmanly" fact, I am really not buying it...particularly in the post dwts era...but even prior to that I think it is more about "I am afraid I will look unmanly doing that, or doing it badly looks unmanly" because (from where I stand and what I get to see, literally) when a guy can do that sort of thing no woman on the planet is going to find it "unmanly"...
  20. davedove

    davedove Active Member

    Ah, but you see, it's the man's perception not the woman's that matters. It takes a lot to overcome the locker room mentality where when men think of hip action, it's attached to a female's backside. A lot of what's considered manly to men is characters like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. I know a lot of ladies like Max on DWTS; but while men may think he's attractive enough, it's not who they want to emulate. I can't even begin to explain how "pretty boys" like Derek are not the manly archtype to men.

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