Ballroom Dance > Why don't guys dance?

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

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well....I don't find derek the least bit attractive either :) (sorry derek)....but that is besides the point...and doesn't have to do with his dancing...anyhow, that being said, I am sure that you are right, this is about how men view men, now about how women view men.....
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    There's the key marker, culturally. I love that line from "Dance with Me": "I'm Cuban, of course I can dance."
  3. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    Long time ago during the period of war, soliders will come home in their uniform and ask a girl to dance (ok, I'm a bit romantic). I don't think that that image of men are weak and emotional. Instead, shows bravery! What happened to that image? Do we only have an image of ladies in next to nothing latin costumes and men in sequenced outfits with "hip action"? Men in tailsuits and ladies in ball gown doesn't even get mentioned most of the time in these threads... I'm a standard dancer...

    Anyway, I was hoping to get the even younger age group 4-6. Not necessarily on competitive ballroom dancing but more like a class where they learn basic ballroom etiquette and having fun at the same time!
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Standard doesn't get mentioned because Latin has both an appeal factor (for better or worse, it's sexualized-yes, even Paso) and a repellant factor for men (the circular hip action and, while it's definitely gotten better, some VERY effeminate/unappealing costuming on the pros-sorry, but samba sleeves and brightly-colored shirts will NEVER be manly or indeed anything but ridiculous, end of story), but Standard reads as two things: snooty and OLD. You can find venues in which to sort of dance Latin where the median age is below 55. Not going to happen with ballroom/Modern/Standard. Plus the tailsuit look is, to the majority of men, a turn-off. (Besides, to be honest it takes a particular body type to carry off tails without looking like The Penguin and men know this.)
  5. Griffico

    Griffico Member

    Disagree... Despite our preference for function over form, we know that getting dressed up can easily give a classy, sophisticated look. It's a lot easier to get into the idea of "looking like James Bond" in a jacket/tailsuit than getting into a chest-bared shirt and feeling like the old/fat version of Sean Connery trying to hit on Ms. Moneypenny.

    Body types and age groups aside, the response of non-dancers to seeing a latin outfit vs. a standard tailsuit on you for the first time is fairly predictable:

    "Hey, you clean up pretty well after all!"

    "Whoa! That's different..." followed by varying opinions, but there's almost always that initial shock factor to get past.

    Agreed that there's a stigma on standard/smooth being old-fashioned in general, but I don't think that's necessarily related to the clothing. I think the women's shiny "Care Bear Vomit"-colored dresses actually deter the idea of it being old-fashioned to a small degree.
  6. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Maybe in the flyover states, but here in the NY / NJ / CT area, Standard is hot. Whole socials attract folks under 35 and of course that does not include all the college folks who swell the ranks even more wihen they get together... altho they do not get together at the weekly tea dance.

    Yes, the old time 'social' fearing the squared box waltz and seniors shuffling around does exist and yes younger folks do not patronize these but for other reasons - mainly, they don't want to be shuffled around and would prefer energy, technique and smiles. It's gonna be more and more divided as time goes by, as well, as both USA Dance (which sometimes reads like a senior dating service, with all their ads for dance cruises that attract virtually nobody under 50) and the major studio chains discourage mixing of competitive and younger dancers with the 'I never take lessons, I learn on the floor' crowd.
  7. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Actually, there are some women on the planet who will still find it unmanly.

    I showed a female friend, a non-dancer, two videos of Slavik, whom I absolutely worship as far as his own dancing goes. One was a jive, and the other was a rumba. She thought they were very gay (please accommodate inherent cultural homophobia).

    Slavik is one person who I respect partly because of how much movement he can generate in his hips, on steps as simple as cha cha lock steps, or time steps. I learned a lot by just watching him. But if I have to perform in front of an audience of non-dancers (and almost every audience is in these parts), then I consciously tone down my hip action, make it almost imperceptible, or bring it out only now and then in the routine, though I let the lady go all the way. Because if I go all out the way I know how, and the way I see my idols do it, people won't be wowed. They'll be grossed. Both male and female. So there's still that.

    And don't even get me started on arm styling...
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member


    and the place i go for salsa lessons always has more men than women. in NJ, men *dance*. and it's cross-cultural -- white, black, latino, asian, european. it's awesome.
  9. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    was taken aback for a sec there, cuz i think of paso as the most sexualized of all the latin dances. it's just not danced socially, and we don't really tend to "get" the spirit or point of paso as an everyday sort of dance. but that's potentially some sexy stuff, and maximally macho.

    i remember some years back, a very "white-bread", team-sport-playing young guy in his 20s took up ballroom with my former pro & his partner...and at one showcase he did a paso routine. wow. did that unhinge something within him, in a good way.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well...I could see how jive might look a little unmasculine....but I will never be able to wrap my mind around how slavik doing rumba could be construed as unmasculine, but I do, as an undergrad sociology major, have a full appreciation for cultural differences....

    as to paso being sexual...hmmm...well....I guess that depends upon alot of things
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Actually I find a lot of the Eastern European men more "effeminate" in style. Has to do with upper-body use, not the hips, though...

    I actually find paso, well-done, very sexy for the mam, as there's not much sexier than a powerful, aggressive, male, but I think in a lot of people's minds, it gets caught up in the 'playacting' bullfighter/cape aspect. (And you can hardly call what's done on DWTS 'paso.')

    And PS, James Bond never wore a tailcoat. ;) Always a tux, which is easier for most men to carry off. If a tailcoat is the wrong length (back or front), it hacks the upper body off across the waist. If you're shortwaisted, it's hard to pull off at all. This is one piece of traditionally-male attire where I have actual direct experience, from shadbellies (tail coat with integrated waistcoat) from the equestrian world. Short-bodied or just SHORT men (and women) don't carry them well.
  12. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I'm from the same cultural background as he is (eastern europe), and I do find him somewhat unmasculine, period.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    not saying people from his culture neccessarily find him concurring that I can appreciate that other cultures certainly might not....
  14. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    what i hear the male paso dancer speaking as he finds the spirit of the dance moving through him is far too explicit for DF, lolz. about as sexually primal as it gets, IMV.

    and i mean the spirit of what he is embodying, not the kind of foreplay that is the lambada or club bachata.
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    And the musical selections don't exactly help display the character of the dance. ;)
    I'm sure you're aware that there are significant differences between the street/social tailsuit (and I'm sure your shadbelly, too) and the ballroom tailsuit.
  16. Griffico

    Griffico Member

    I'm aware, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard the analogy made over and over by fellow soon-to-be-penguins. :)
  17. scotttocs

    scotttocs Member

    I think at 4-6 you don't have to convince the students, but the parents.

    after about 12 I think you are more apt to have the students opinion count, and the "manliness" come into play directly.

    That is a very different sale I believe. You can much more sell it as a mixed socializing/exercise/etiquette to the parents, where you need to change the pitch if you are attracting new students of other age categories.

    You also need different communication paths to reach parents of 4-6 than to reach parents & students 11-15
  18. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    I totally agree with you! But then if dancing in general is viewed by man as femmine, how can I convince a Dad to enroll his son in ballroom dance classes? Can I possible make a sale without using the word "Dance"? I've asked a few of my friends who are already moms. The moms answer is "why not?". The dads answer is soccer, hockey are just more manly sports! What to do now?

    I think that 4-6 is a great age group because children are not yet bound by certain social stigmas such as refusing to touch the opposite sex. If I can convince the Dads that ballroom dancing is a great skill to learn, then I'm off to a great start. Question is always how to convince Dads or men in general that dancing is not only for sissies or the emotionally weak?
  19. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    Children are very good at creating their own 'social stigmas', and they very frequently resemble the same social stigmas adults create.
    I am, however, not sure this has anything to do with dancing.
    A normally developing boy will start to figure out that girls are not just useless carriers of cooties around age 7-8 or so, girls mature faster, so they're often pretty clued in by the time they're 5 or 6.
    I can't recall anyone seeing dancing as 'feminine' (except maybe ballet) or 'gay' when I was a kid, but that may have something with the culture and the times.
    'Gay' wasn't a term often heard in Austria in the 70's.
    With boys older than 7, you could always use that old herring of 'The Guy Who Can Dance Gets The Girl'.
    Which is a bunch of crap, but they don't know that yet, do they........
  20. Griffico

    Griffico Member

    Anecdote: My brother and I were watching my sister's ballet recital when we were little... he was probably 3ish. At one point a male teacher comes on stage with the usual performance attire, and my brother practically yells, "Boys don't wear tights!" There were several audible snickers that followed.

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