Why don't guys dance?

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

  1. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Wow, this thread has taken on a life of it's own!

    From when I originally posted this, we have had quite a few new guys walk through the door at our studio, so it's getting much better for leads. Though I do tend to think that dTas has the main reason. Maybe women can get over this feeling quicker than guys and that's why they stick with it?

    Sure the learning curve is bigger for guys, having to learn the patterns and leads, but most women don't make them feel bad that they missed a lead (in my scene anyway). We only try to encourage so that they realise that this is a part of learning to dance.

    I still don't know why guys don't dance, but a couple of us have been teaching each other how to lead, so it's less of a problem as when I first posted this thread!! :D
  2. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Close, but I think it runs deeper than that. Dance is something that he's doing with a woman and for the woman's pleasure. If he can't do it right, then he's not pleasing her. It becomes a performance issue, kind of a fear of being exposed as being rhythmically impotent. Yeah, his ego's undoubtedly involved and feeling endangered, but by something worse than mere embarassment. It's being endangered by the inability to perform for a woman.

    Yes, I've always felt above such petty ego issues; after 28 years of marriage to "The Spanish Inquisition", what ego could I possibly have left. But my social dancing has been in a horrendous slump for the better part of this year and as best as I can track down the cause, it was the look of disappointment in my partners' faces that had shaken my confidence so profoundly (these were girls I had known for a long time from class and who had advanced considerably and could not understand why I had not also advanced). Fear of embarassment is trivial compared to the fear of disappointing.
  3. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I don't know if I see it that way. Sure, generally he leads, but it is not for his enjoyment as well? :?
  4. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Yes, he does, once he has progressed to that point. But we're talking about the guys who are just starting out or even have not quite yet started. If the newbies are being recruited by the implied promise of women or more directly by their girlfriend or wife, then women's (or that particular woman's) appraisal of and reaction to their dancing ability will be seen as being important.

    Of course after the guys start to enjoy the dancing itself, then his priorities can adjust accordingly.
  5. tacad

    tacad New Member

    I think DWise1 is onto something here. If we can perform for a woman we think we are studs. If we cannot perform for a woman we think we are wusses. Yes this has a very direct R-rated analogy. Ironically as we have courage and go for it we start having successes most likely after a bunch of failures, are able to perform for women, start thinking we are studs, and can't wait to get out there and perform some more.

    Ahem. :roll:
  6. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Ahhhh, understand you now!! I suppose with everything he has to learn, I guess it's not just for him, even if he has decided to learn of his own accord. I guess the trick is to keep them coming back during this "performance anxiety" time. A good looking female instructor or lighthearted feel to the lesson would help here I guess! :wink:
  7. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I dunno, a good looking female instructor would mean more pressure to perform, hence greater anxiety. BTW, did I ever mention that JLo was my salsa instructor; of course, that was John Lopez. [grin]

    But seriously, I think that encouragement and positive reinforcement would go a lot further. Plus letting them know that all beginners go through the same problems they're having and mistakes they're making. And that those really great guys out there on the dance floor have years of experience.

    As the song says, you can bet that he's doin' it for some doll. But there is a variety of detail in each guy's motivation. For example, there's one couple in my WCS classes (and formerly the Country classes) in which the guy's a beginner and having problems but he's really motivated. You see, this is his second marriage and his first wife kept telling him that he couldn't dance and could never learn to. So when she remarries, he is definitely going to dance at her wedding. Revenge is a dish best served in swing time!

    In my own case, my main reason was so that my wife and I would have something to do together. But I was also very motivated to prove her and everybody else wrong who for the previous 30 years had pounded it into my head that I have absolutely no sense of rhythm nor could ever learn to dance. In a way, I kind of won my vindication in a class a year ago when we were shown a new step and I picked it up right away, leading on of my partners to tell me that I'm a natural-born dancer.

    During that initial period, while proving everybody wrong was my motivation, I also went in with the attitude of laughing at myself, since I knew that I would make so many mistakes. By not taking myself too seriously, my ego was not at stake (what little was left of it). And since my background in aikido from years before gave me from the start both a sense of my own body position and movement and also a sense of connecting with my partner and affecting her body's movement, all my partners immediately gave me positive feedback on my strong and (relatively) smooth lead.

    It's only been much later, especially as my marriage has been disintegrating in the past year, that my attention and motivation has been redirected to the actual three-minute relationships, wherein I've started to experience the performance anxiety that the other guys are hit with from the beginner (and of which we had been speaking). Too bad there aren't any blue pills for enhancing one's dancing performance.
  8. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i love this last tangent that DWise1 has taken us on ! ! !

    now dance has evolved to the right of passage that men see as a means to procreate. to dance or not to dance... if i try it and fail then i will look like a fool in front of women and will not please her thus will not have the opportunity to spread my seed. :lol:

    (sorry it just hit me funny like that :lol: :lol: )
  9. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    We have a stunning female instructor at our studio just started taking on students and private lessons in the last six months. The increase in the number of guys started around that time.

    I'm not sure of her teaching methods as I've never taken a class with her, but from the outside looking in, she seems to keep it very lighthearted and pressure free. Dunno if it's that or the fact that she is an absolute stunner that keeps the guys coming back. I'm just thankful that she is there.

    Of course all the instructors keep the lessons lighthearted and fun, or they probably wouldn't be teaching at our studio. But the male student population only started to noticebly increase when she started to take on new students.

    Coincidence ....... maybe, maybe not!! :wink:
  10. DancePoet

    DancePoet New Member

    I just figured it was you, Dancin_feet, that was bringing them in. ;)
  11. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    You are so sweet, but no. Considering I started at the studio 12 months before she started to take on students, I think it has little to do with me!! Would be nice though ........ :lol:
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    perhaps you suddenly started making a difference. One day you are a person-in-the-corner kind of person, and the next everyone is noticing you....
  13. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Can I come and live with you guys????? :oops: :lol:
  14. DancePoet

    DancePoet New Member

    I'd say it just took awhile for the word to get around. ;)
  15. DancePoet

    DancePoet New Member

    I suggest a visit first. Then if you decide you like one of us, sure! Maybe I'll even visit you! ;)
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Ditto!! :)
  17. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    I've been ballroom dancing since August with a friend of mine, and I've noticed this: Guys our age (17) would laugh at the idea of ballroom dancing, and practically everyone would say it's all for homsexual chaps. You know how it goes: they think "hip movement, elaborate hand technique... it MUST be gay!"
    :p Does it sound as silly as it does to me?
    Now, about guys that are in univ., I've only seen some that are dragged by their girlfriends, and only a handful of some that are doing it just for the fun of it. Older men are almost always with their wives.
    There is an irritating portion of guys/men/boys/whatever who come because they want to get laid, and don't actually give a damn about dancing. Someone should tell them it's very bad form. :x
    Anyways, men are generally too protective of their masculinity, as dancing has always been connected with women, at some level. It's like you can't find many male ballet dancers: the taboos surrounding it are discouraging.
    My advice to all those male closet dancers out there: give it a try. Superstitions are challenges, and we must find the courage to fight them. And as a last resort, find a female friend of yours that's at the same level as you and go for it!

    Elena
  18. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Hi Twilight_Elena.

    It's a difficult stereotype to get over, but once the guys see how hot some of the women they get to be close to are, they won't laugh so much.
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    All reasons why some guys don't do it. Welcome to df Elena. :)
  20. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

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