Women asking men to dance.

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Spitfire, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Hi Shoe Kitty. I think as a female, it can be all to easy to be in the "old fashioned way" ie not asking a guy to dance. I didn't always ask a guy to dance. It was something I "learnt" to do because my desire to dance was stronger than my desire to be a wall flower :? AND I also travelled a bit therefore would be seeking out salsa and wanting to dance, where I knew NO ONE.

    Some of the guys I first asked to dance, we became salsa friends and I give thanks that I found the courage to ask them to dance otherwise some of experiences I have had would not have happened. :banana:

    You didn't mention what form of dance you were doing. For me, I don't feel any pressure in salsa because I know there are different styles and different ways of leading etc. Therefore, I see it as a challenge more than as a hinderance trying to keep up :wink:
     
  2. blue

    blue New Member

    Re: Women asking men to dance

    I agree with Pacion. Asking is kind of hard. You do take a risk. Not asking is making it easier for yourself in a way - if you still get all the dancing you want. If the lady in question really is a very good dancer, then her statement possibly could be read as pride in not having to ask anymore.

    As a extreme wet-behind-the-ears-beginner, I got so tired of asking - and sometimes the leaders showed me I was not so fun to dance with - that I decided I would not ask anymore. So for a while I didn't. Then some people started asking me, and after a while we came to the stage of looking at each other and no one really had to ask. And after that - I was not afraid of asking any more, and joined MacMoto's "always ask a stranger to dance"-game.
     
  3. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    :applause: good for you blue!

    Something else I equate with this is a woman (or a guy even) going out to a restaurant and dining by herself. You tend to see more guys doing this than women. BUT again, if you are forced to step outside of your comfort zone (travelling due to work or you really want to go somewhere and your friends don't want to) then what is the alternative? To dine in your room and watch the news? Or, grab a book/magazine and go and sample the food/atmosphere at the restaurant?

    As with anything, it takes a while for the nerves to settle down but as the saying/book title says: "Feel the fear and do it anyway".

    (PS. "Fear" is a good defence mechanism and can keep you safe, as it could be your intuition/gut feeling at work. However, if you "look" at your fear and work out that the reason that you are afraid is because it is "for fear of rejection", then it may be time to start looking at that "fear".)
     
  4. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    There is this guy in our scene who is perceived as very arrogant. He started a fight with me once over an innocent joke of mine and ever since he has not been talking to me. This has gone on for 2 years. And we had been on very good terms before that.
    About a year ago, I went over and invited him to dance. He refused me flat. I didn't say anything, shrugged and invited someone else.
    I invited him again last night... and guess what... he said yes! :)
    I am sure his saying yes also had to do with the fact that I am friends now with one of his best friends, a woman whose judgment he appreciates (if she likes me, this means I am not "that bad"...). Also, I have been pointing out to her that I do not hate or despise him, and that I would like to at least be civil to each other. :). I don't like "grudges" and even though the guy tried to offend me (said he is so much better than I was and he had nothing to learn from me, therefore he wouldn't dance with me) I didn't let him. I don't intend to be his friend, but we can say hi and maybe dance with one another once in a blue moon... :)
    So inviting guys to dance can be pretty hard... all you need is to understand they are no better than you, just your equals... :)
     
  5. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Well, in my local scene, there are an increasing number of ladies who ask men to dance. I´m all for it and beleive it´s very healthy for the dance atmosphere.

    I must admit I got surprised after reading item b) of shoe kitty´s post. I can´t imagine why a follow would even think such a thing. :shock: A good lead after doing the basic step and maybe one or two other moves can easily discover at what level she´s at and accomodate his lead accordingly. Dancing is not about being able to follow everything the lead dishes out.

    Actually here, most of the beginner/intermediate followers prefer to invite the advanced leads. Why? Because the good leads never ask them.

    Regarding groping, I´d have to agree with Blue on this. If the lead is there to grope, he´ll prefer to choose/select his victims. :wink:
     
  6. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    When I first started dancing, I felt very uncomfortable asking a man to dance. I also cried A LOT. I'd tear myself to pieces after every milonga -- what was wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Was I too fat? Was I not sexy enough? Why did girls who couldn't dance as well as me get dance after dance, while I sat out the entire evening? Some nights, I would go home literally ready to slit my wrists (I am not exagerating) I was so upset and angry and hurt.

    Then one day, I don't remember how or when, I realized that I was measuring my worth and value as a woman and as a person by whether or not I was being asked to dance, and this was why I was so hurt when men would pass me by. I reasoned that if I were only a better person, a prettier/thinner woman, a better dancer I would get lots of dances and since I wasn't, there was something hideously wrong with me that no one had enough compassion to tell me, and therefore, I was not worthy of life.

    Well, somehow, I managed to see through the error in that logic, and I realized that I had three choices if no one was asking me to dance. 1) Sit and enjoy the music, look at the fabulous gowns and shoes on the other dancers and study their moves; 2) Go home; or 3) Go ask someone to dance with me.

    Once I stopped measuring my worth as a human being and a woman by how many dance invitations I got, and realized that I was a modern, liberated 21st Century woman living in Los Angeles (not Buenos Aires), and I had as much right to ask a man to dance as he had to ask me -- as long as I was willing to accept the refusals with the same good grace that men have learned to exhibit, then all was fair in love, war, and tango.

    It was really an eye-opening experience. Putting myself on the other side of the equation really taught me that my wall-flower experience had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME AS A PERSON. I discovered that a lot of men were really, REALLY shy about asking a woman to dance whom they didn't know. If I'd come regularly to a milonga and make the effort to engage some of the fellows in conversation that they started asking me to dance, and once they got to know me as a person and experienced my ability, they became my regulars. I also discovered that men often feel just as insecure about their ability as I do, and that not all men feel comfortable dancing all kinds of tango. Some only like the slow tangos. Others only like to dance the quick, club-style tangos. Some can't dance milonga. Others will ONLY dance milonga. And that adorable guy across the room who is studiously avoiding your eyes, turns out cannot seem to get Vals Cruzada to save his life!! Still others have wives/dates, and their companion for the evening would probably slit their throats if they give even a nanosecond of attention to another woman. And the biggest surprise of all, more than one man admitted that he was scared to ask me because I was such a good dancer!! (And I was beating myself up for being too inept!! Wow!! That was a surprise.)

    Now, I cheerfully "pounce" whenever I don't feel like sitting. But there are a few "rules." 1) Accept with grace when a man refuses and don't take it personally, and take it for granted he has a valid reason -- number one reason? He just finished a really vigorous milonga, is sweating like a horse, and wants to rest for a few numbers. Accept his refusal graciously and move on. 2) Respect it when a man is engaged in a conversation and/or seems to be with a woman. Keep an eye on him, though. If he's asking other woman besides his date, or someone "swipes" her, then go ask him. 3) If you spot a beginner, go ask him. If you're an advanced dancer, he'll dance better with you than with another beginner, and it'll be a huge boost to his confidence. And remember, you were once a beginner, and someone danced with you. And besides, he'll worship you forever like a goddess for having asked him when he was too shy and awkward to dare asking anyone else. 4) If you see an out of town visitor, ask him. Get them out on the dance floor, and point out few of your friends who are good dancers and who would be glad to dance with him. It's called "hospitality." Again, he'll adore you forever. 5) If a guy refuses, but says, "later," then take him at his word. It's not a brush off. He usually means it, so go back after a few numbers and find him.

    You'll find, ladies, that men find it just as flattering to be asked as we do, and that after a while, you'll have made so many friends, and have so many regulars, you don't need to "pounce" anymore. And the bonus is, that if you get confident and poised about it, the next time some visiting dignitary or "demi-god" from Argentina is in town, you'll have the nerve to go up and ask him to dance. He'll be surprised as all get out, but he'll probably accept, and our confident forthrightness is something that Latin men actually admire in American women.

    Renee
     
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Cool! So if I ever come to So. California I know there will be at leats one person gracious enough to dance AT with a fumbling awkward newbie. :banana:
     
  8. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    1) Unless you're asking someone to dance on your hands and knees, how are you begging? All they can say is 'no', then move on to the next person. It's not that big a deal.

    2) If you've never danced with someone before, how could you possibly follow everything that's led? Each lead is unique in their pressure, footwork, improvisation, etc.

    Not knowing who this is at all, but knowing people with this same attitude - it sounds like she thinks she's too good to dance with certain people, and in some way it's beneath her to ask anyone to dance. I think that's a pretty sour attitute, esp. if we're talking about social dancing. If the point of being there is to have fun, then there should be very little 'pressure' to follow everything, etc. etc.

    Also, one thing I have found is that my mood/facial expression/etc. has a lot to do with whether I'm being asked to dance or not. If you're tucked away in a corner, arms crossed, with a frown on your face, not very many men are going to be brave enough to ask for a dance. If you look like you're having fun, it will be contagious and lots of leads will want to be around you.
     
  9. tj

    tj New Member

    What a lovely post! Well written!
    :applause: :notworth:
     
  10. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    "Cool! So if I ever come to So. California I know there will be at leats one person gracious enough to dance AT with a fumbling awkward newbie."

    Yes, Sagitta, if you ever come to SoCal, I will be very happy to dance with you. After all, a "fumbling awkward newbie" can learn a great deal from an experienced woman . . . . As the French know so very well.

    Renee
     
  11. blue

    blue New Member

    Oh yes. As a consequence, if you feel "no one here will want to dance with me" you feel bad, you don't look like you want to be invited - and nobody will. In a way, social dancing is a cruel school regarding some basic facts in basic social interacion.
     
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Gracie. :D I'm ready to learn "everything" that you can impart to this "young'un" :)
     
  13. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    Well, Sagitta, I'm in LA, and you're only 3,000 miles and a continent away. I suggest you get on travelocity and do something about that . . . .

    Renee
     
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I'm working with few vacation days available to spend. :( :cry:
     
  15. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Actually, there´re some girls who get a little carried away... I´ve had this beginner ask me 7 times on the same night. :shock:
     
  16. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    Dear Sagitta:

    Same here. I start a new job next Monday, so it'll be a long time before I have any vacation accrued, either. And I have to somehow persuade my new employer to let me have two days off the first week of February so I can go to San Diego for a Tango Competition that I've already entered and paid for. Boy, does Dionysus ask a lot from His disciples.

    Well, someday, when the time is right, we'll meet on the dance floor. Until then, we can tease and dance with words. As you MIGHT have noticed, I have some facility with the written word . . . .

    Renee
     
  17. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    Dear Maple Leaf Salcero:

    In the immortal words of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as plagerized by Nancy Reagan, "Just say, 'No'."

    Renee
     
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    The written word?!! Alas! :( Another arena where I'm still in remedial class, not yet allowed to go out and perform. One of these days, however
     
  19. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Well, I only kept saying yes because of her cleavage... :bouncy: 8)

    Are you from French origin?
     
  20. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    Dear Maple Leaf Salcero:

    tsk, tsk, tsk. You'll have to discuss that with Aphrodite, though she has a soft spot for men who helplessly admire women . . . .

    No, I am not French in origin. Dutch and English if you go back 200 to 400 years. Pure American, otherwise. I took four years of French in High School, I love French philosophy, French music, French food, French jazz, and French farce films. I hate Frog Film Noir. And French "auteur" directors who haven't yet learned that it is the WRITER who is God in the filmmaking process, not the director.

    Renee
     

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