Ballroom Dance > Why don't guys dance?

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

  1. scotttocs

    scotttocs Member

    There's always the line/variants about "Well if you'd prefer your son to grow up and spend all his free time rolling in the dirt with other men, rather than holding a girl is his arms...." Aside from that as a throwaway line, if you are actually in a conversation - I think that is an easy discussion. It takes more strength to do something which might be a little different.

    Also on a percentage basis, I think dance athletes travel more than other sports. (The top in any discipline travel, I think that more levels of ballroom travel more than a lot of other sports, where there are huge competitive fields locally, at least that I've seen)

    In advertising I'd talk more about coordination, social and partnership, possibly all-seasons...

    Not sure where you are planning on starting this, but look at who has done DWTS (Ballando con le stelle ...) and point to them as role models as well.
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    You know, if you are going to push the "get the girls" aspect, any boy that buys that line would be best directed to ballet. It's 10-20 girls for every guy, and as far as I can tell at least half of those guys aren't interested in girls. And teenage ballerinas are just dying for pas de deux partners. A boy that could lift a girl, oh, my, he's worth his weight in gold in ballet schools.

    If you push the career aspect, you don't have to be an all-star to make a half million in the more popular professional sports. How many ballroom dancers are making that much?
  3. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Anyway, I have told my friends and colleagues, I have fun dancing, I meet lots of girls dancing, I have had a great deal more romantic success since I started dancing than I had before that. I have told this to guys that have regularly gone out to nightclubs for freestyle dancing, and to men that confide they aren't having much luck romantically. And do you know how many have tried partner dancing? Not a one that wasn't already dancing before I brought the topic up. Some of these guys would wear eye-liner and lace to go clubbing, so looking effeminate is not exactly an issue with them.

    Ballroom dancing is kind of a niche activity. The romantic aspect of it naturally attracts significantly more women than men. How many men do you see reading romance novels?
  4. PyroStock

    PyroStock New Member

    "In ((insert some sport)) he's follows a team, but when he dances with a lady in his arms then he's a leader." Every dad wants his son being raised as a leader. "Have you ever thought about raising your son to be a leader ((on the dance floor))?"

    Teens like hanging around others their age. Teenage group classes can be more successful long-term than having a teen boy come in alone and see no one else his age there.

    Burt Ramsey's book 'The Male Dancer: Bodies, Spectacle, Sexualities' discusses how men often become involved in dance, and the fact that it is usually only after seeing another male perform the same genre of dance. In the late 80s as a teenager, I saw Captain Von Trapp in "Sound of Music" as masculine and still associate any male in tails dancing as masculine. I've been complimented on how I look in my tails more times than I could ever had imagined, not just from women, but men, teenagers (girls & boys) and even once by a 7year old boy.

    Always defending dance can appear like you "protest too much." Sometimes a good defense is a good tactful offense...

    Soccer: "That's very... European." Wouldn't a dad want his son to be in a sport where it's not illegal for a guy to use his hands? In my neck of the woods, soccer was always seen as the girl's sport or European sport. American men watch American Football, Hockey or Basketball then overhear about how the US Women's Soccer team won at the Olympics.

    Hockey/Rugby: "You're not afraid of him losing his real teeth?" Google "Hockey Teeth" or "Rugby Teeth". A picture is worth a thousand words. The image of his kid looking ugly to women can be powerful. If he's thinking in stereotypes then this one isn't new.

    Basketball: "All those pro athletes are so tall, but maybe your son will get a huge growth spurt... your son is a perfect height for this girl I know."

    American Football: See scotttocs post. In a light-hearted joking way, "Your son may prefer to often have a lady in his arms rather than a guy in his arms ((tackling)) or be in another guy's arms ((being tackled)), not that there's anything wrong that." That sport invented the "good job" butt slap.

    Further, most sports for kids are not year-round so the kid is available some time to try it out.

    I haven't heard the term penguin and penguin suit very often, but when I have it was never in a negative connotation.

    Perhaps, but most men aren't short or shortwaisted (unless one claims 50% as shortwaisted & 50% as longwaisted, which is ridiculous). And for the men who feel so self-conscious believing they are too short for Standard & tails then they can dance American Smooth instead where tails are never required/expected. By a similar token, some women may feel they are too overweight/old/etc for a very revealing latin dress but that doesn't stop them from dancing... they just get a dress that looks better for them.

    For all the portly men who may look like The Penguin from Batman while wearing a tailsuit there are many more who will make it and themselves look great. Maybe if so many American men weren't sitting at work then going home to sit and watch TV then later sit playing video games (repeat) then maybe it would be less likely for those men to look like The Penguin from Batman. Maybe they should exercise or pick up a hobby that keeps them active, like dancing?
  5. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    You bring up some good points, PyroStock. I like your explanation concerning a tactful offense.
  6. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member

    1-Actually, not that many women dance, either. I bet the average woman may go to less than 5 functions a year where they can actually dance.

    2-Guys that are successful with women do not need to dance to be successful. While, yes, women would prefer a man who can dance to one who cannot. I would say it is not in the top 5 "must haves'" on most women's shopping list.
    3-Dancing alone will not turn a frog into a prince. While it might eventually help with confidence, men who need to go dancing just to "hold" women are not the kind of men that women want anyway.

    We should be enthusiastic about our dancing for the real reasons we enjoy it, be it exercise, moving expressively to music, a good social circle, enjoyment of competition, dressing up, etc.
  7. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Ah, men in tails. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways.
  8. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I dance plenty. I am portly.
    And you know, that tailsuit conversation is going to nosedive pretty quick when they find out it costs at least a cool grand. Costs a bit more than hockey gear.

    The best thing you can do to get someone, male or female, to want to try dancing is to have them see you having a ton of fun doing it, and making them feel like they are missing out.
  9. PyroStock

    PyroStock New Member

    If you didn't dance or do something to keep active then you would be even more portly. You're also evidence to danceronice that being portly isn't a good reason to avoid dancing.

    They can dance standard their whole life without ever needing to buy a tailsuit. They don't need a tailsuit anymore than they need to go to xyz competition. Some people cannot afford Super Bowl tickets & season tickets for their favorite team and instead watch it at home on TV/internet. Some people cannot afford comps/tailsuits/dresses and just attend group classes and social dances. That's fine.

    On the hockey topic, I was addressing fayeh's question because the fact is many won't go to see it, as someone else mentioned earlier, some guys would rather put eyeliner on & go to a club instead. "You should see me have fun" is not going to get that dad to bring his son there as that wasn't his reason to reject it.
  10. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    For the extremely little bit it's worth, the stereotype locally is that ladies desperately want to reach open so they can wear their sparkly Latin dresses and guys desperately want to reach open so they can wear their tailsuit. It's a heavily usadance dominated area, so some of that is about it as a status symbol, but if there are any guys who were really looking forward to starting a spangly Latin shirt, I've never heard them admit it.
  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Not "you should see me have fun". That goes as far as "you should like what I like". You do it, and you have fun, and if they are friends are family, they will see that you have a lot of fun doing it, without having to rub their noses in it.
  12. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    I can pretty much guarantee you that a hockey/football/rugby/basketball player (with or without teeth) will be seen as MUCH more of a 'leader' and be 10 times more attrcative to girls than any dancer, regardless what level, regardless how 'masculine', tailsuit or flip-flops.

    Yeah, sign your son up for ballet.
    Might want to sign him up for kung fu, too, he'll need it during recess.

    There are indeed a lot more girls in ballet than boys.
    There are also a lot more girls in figure skating than boys, to the tune of about 100:1.
    And according to my observations, there's about a 50/50 chance that that 1 boy is gay.
    Also according to my observations, figure skater girls tend to like hockey players, football players, rugby players, lawyers, movie producers......
    See the pattern?

    Soccer as a girl's game is a uniquely American phenomenon.
    Elsewhere, it is a blood sport.
    In Europe, soccer is the modern replacement for religious warfare.
    Instead of Catholics, Huguenots, Calvinists, etc. crucifying each other and setting each other's homes on fire (with the family inside), we have cross-town/national/international rivalries.
    We have chants with phrases like 'knee deep in Fenian blood'.
    We have riot police with helmets, shields, batons, water cannons and tear gas on subways, street cars, buses and strategic street corners when rival teams (and their fans, armed with chains, switchblades, broken bottles and other lovelies) meet in a league match.
    We have suicides, homicides, spousal/child/pet abuse of epic proportions when the local (or national) team loses a major match.

    I played soccer in school - just about every halfway normal boy grows up with a soccer ball surgically attached to their foot in Europe - and did not see a grass pitch until I was 15.
    Hurts to get fouled on asphalt. Especially the broken kind with gravel and glass everywhere.
    Definitely not a girls' game.

    Check out the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of some of the stars of the 'Euro 2012' tournament.
    Then compare that to ballerinas.
  13. fayeh

    fayeh Member

    From reading everyone's replies, it seems like there is no solution to making ballroom dancing attractice to boys/men except luck! Such a bleak future...
  14. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    It sure seems that way, but there's always that minute sense of hope. Don't lose it. :)
  15. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Don't see what much of this has to do with the topic. I boils down to the fact that nothing is going to convince a boy to dance unless he perceives it as something fun to do. All of the other motivations proposed besides fun, well, there are other, easier ways to achieve all those ends.
  16. anametuer

    anametuer Member

    Wait! There may be a million reasons for guys not to dance, and it has been depicted and discussed fairly well here as far as the thread objective goes, true. Finding solutions to the problem is outside the ambit of this thread, so just hinting,... it can by way of value creation in the mind of students, the change can happen. One should be convinced about the cost- benefits also. An in depth and apt approach imbibing the needs, benefits and aspirational values is not happening really other than mere ‘soft’ or’ hard’ selling of time, I believe. There may be easier ways to have fun, but it is also about seeing the big picture! It is also a matter of getting used to a particular hobby or disciple that makes it a habit, like what happened in my case. The task is for the professional marketers to design ways to reach out to them….

    There could also be innovation in the teaching, duration, frequency of time, tools to make it more digestible, enjoyable and shorten the beginners hell experience, a reason for quitting...

    Agree, ballroom dancing may remain for a niche segment, but it is still an untapped one and there are more talented or deserving users sitting out side the fence, watching or never heard of ballroom dancing in their life time.
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think that what instills a desire in anyone to do anything, is a combination of personal inclination and external inspiration....
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    To make it attractive, no, I don't think that issue can be forced. What you can do is give it more exposure so that more men and boys that might be so inclined see it.

    There are two aspects to marketing. One side is getting people to want something that they wouldn't think of otherwise. The other side is making those people that would want your product aware that it exists, and aware of how to get it.

    So what I'm saying, rather than trying to change the tastes of the boys and men you know, find the boys and men who think it might be fun.
  19. anametuer

    anametuer Member

  20. anametuer

    anametuer Member

    Sound and practical approach TT :).

    Many (or most ?) of us regret not being told about ballroom years back and it is better to seek ways to reach out to such guys.

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