Close to giving up.


Well-Known Member
Doug I commend you for your persistence. Just FYI, when I go to a social dance, and I rarely do anymore, I expect to dance maybe once or twice in the whole evening. Apparently I terrify the masses. LOL.

So yes, part of it has to do with expectations. Dancing three or four times during an evening social (that I am attending un-escorted) is a successful evening for me.
Gorme, body language helps a lot. I know that it's up to me to ask, still, I do have a hard time with that when it looks like they're waiting at the dentists office. I danced with someone from that area, and she looked uncomfortable the entire time. On the other hand, I danced with a beginner who thought the dance was salsa when it was actually cha-cha. It didn't matter. She had a nice personality, and it was fun.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
I went tonight and danced maybe 7 times in two hours.
This is about what my night was like on Thursday, and I've been going to the same place since at least 1999. It was just one of those nights. One gal I really like dancing with had an injured wrist (saw her with a support thing last week, and she was hoping it wasn't sprained, this week I saw here massaging it a few times) Other people I dance with always seemed to be out on the floor already or busy talking with someone when something came on that I really wanted to dance to.

I'm hoping tonight is a better night.


Well-Known Member
I'll just expect to dance less during the two hours I'm there. Hardly a dance was sat out at AM. I guess it's crazy talk to actually want to be dancing most of the time I'm at an independent studio party.
It's not crazy talk to want to dance every dance, but it's unrealistic to expect it. The socials here are massively unbalanced -- sometimes as much as 8 ladies per man. I can want all I want, but I'm going to be sitting some out.

I'm not especially great at walking up to people I don't know, especially if they're in a group. One thing that has worked for me is to pay attention to who took the beginner group before the party, and snag that poor nervous newbie for the dance they just learnt. They'll be more nervous than you are, you get to practice dancing your own dance regardless of the partner, and you're making an investment in future dances. Some of those people will become regulars, and they'll be happy to dance with you because you were so kind to them when they were just starting out.


Active Member
I don't know if this has anything to do with the topic at hand but just reading some of the responses so far makes me think of some of my times trying to break thru my awkwardnesses ... so if we don't mind I just feel like sharing a little bit of me ...

I used to not relate with women .... AT ALL. Trying to learn to dance and interact with ladies was very awkward. When I first began I remember a couple of instances with trying to dance with ladies that just really freaked me out to the point of almost quiting. one of those times was with one lady with whom I had danced a Rumba before (like my 2nd or 3rd social night). The way she stepped and used Cuban motion was like turning on a light for me. I enjoyed dancing that dance with her because it was like I suddenly understood how Rumba was supposed to be. Skipping to lady B: a couple of weeks later I am in one of the group classes (which preceeds the practice party) and while trying to practice the step being taught, Lady B and I are having trouble with the steps and our "dancing" was very clumsy. After a few minutes of attempting the moves she really freakes out on me, backs away saying she just needed to watch other people do the steps, and then she wouldn't have anything else to do with me that night. Of course I really took it personally and thought she was upset with me and was just getting away from me. Well going into the practice party Lady A shows up and a Rumba comes on. So I approach Lady A and ask her to dance .... she also freaks out on me and starts giving me this flurry of excuses why she can't/won't dance with me. After I scurry away with my mind reeling the owner of the studio/main instructor comes up and asks her to dance and she follows him onto the floor. .... Really?!?
That night was just miserable for me and I felt it was my horribleness was coming out and making it impossible for me to relate to women. It took my all ready existing fear and anxiety and made it that much worse. I remember staying after the party that night and asking a couple of the lady instructors about the situation(I don't remember now exactly was each of us said), but they were able to calm me down to the point I was able to make it to the next practice.
The Studio/Ballroom etiquette of "not refusing a dance" really helped me as far as approaching women to ask them. A really big turning point was a period of time when this Brazilian girl started taking lessons. She was HOT! Intimidatingly HOT. and what I percieved as her "being Brazilian so she was all ready good with the Latin dances" made her even more intimidating. In my mind I was telling myself, "Man you have to really be on the ball to be able to dance with her!" To make it even worse the only ones I saw dancing with her was the male instructors and she was really good. But at one of the socials I saw her looking at me like she would like to dance with me. It took me a few more dances to get the nerve to approach her, and it just happened to be a Foxtrot. It was a stroke of luck because she hadn't been learning any smooth dances so even though she was reluctant to accept the dance she did inform me that she didn't know Foxtrot. I led her onto the floor and was able to go over some of the basic steps with her. It totally broke the ice between us, pumped up my ego, and led to us dancing alot more often. It was really because of her that I learned women really want to dance, it doesn't matter so much with who (unless they are rude and/or rough) just as long as they can get on the floor. Very theraputic! This totally hot woman became very friendly with me to the point she got along better with me than anyone at the studio. Nice !! Of course being able to relate with her helped me as far as approaching any attractive ladies who might otherwise seem intimidating because of their attractiveness.

so I say all of that to say this ... there are ups and down emotionally in dancing. High points and low points. I am a different person now because of the social aspect. Lady B did appraoch me after a few weeks to appologize about that night and explain that she was going through a few rough things in her own life which is why she flipped out. Lady A seemed to warm up to me in time and now on the rare occasion that I see her it is a joyous meeting. So I encouage Doug to stay with it. There are some mind battles to fight through but it is well worth the fight!


Well-Known Member
Seven dances in two hours seems like a typical night for me. I've almost always been at dances where there are more women than men. If I want to dance more, I have to get more assertive.


Well-Known Member
so I say all of that to say this ... there are ups and down emotionally in dancing. High points and low points. I am a different person now because of the social aspect. Lady B did appraoch me after a few weeks to appologize about that night and explain that she was going through a few rough things in her own life which is why she flipped out. Lady A seemed to warm up to me in time and now on the rare occasion that I see her it is a joyous meeting. So I encouage Doug to stay with it. There are some mind battles to fight through but it is well worth the fight!
This is a key point that a lot of us acutely self-conscious people have to learn and re-learn on a regular basis, that it's not always about us (and our supposed shortcomings) and that the people we (want to) ask to dance have their own interior lives and struggles that don't have anything to do with us.


Active Member

Perhaps you might consider changing your goal? Right now, it seems that your goal is to dance every song of the night. Instead, why don't you make it your goal to ask someone to dance at least every 3rd song? Verbally ask, 'would you like to dance?'. Actually dancing every third song should not be your goal. You will find some ladies. Who are not interested in dancing with anyone but their friends/significant other. You will find some who don't know or don't like the dance you ask them to dance with you. Just make your goal to ask.

If every third song doesn't work for you, make your goal every 5th song or every 10th or whatever you think is achievable.

It's common for people to try and solve the whole problem all at once. Sometimes it's better to try and solve a little bit at a time.


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Staff member
I's the thing; even when you are hosting a party or a wedding, you can expect that only 1/2 to 2/3 of the people you invite will if you ask less you are going to dance less....I would (again) simply alter expetations/change attitude...ask someone on every dance that you know but expect that it is going to be enjoyable about 1/2 to 1/4 of the time


Well-Known Member
  • I am facing the same problem three years now, but it's the other side of the coin. There's only follows and we are all relying on a few pros that are at socials the percentage being 20 gals 1 pro or 1 lead (and most if not all of the times a beginer lead).So, as all of you know, you have to deal with this feeling of rejection, of not being asked to dance all night long. So, instead of waiting to be asked I became a lead and now dance both ways. If a lead ever asks me then he has to hurry up before I ask a follow in the sense that I don't wait for the dance to end before I do! And it's such a relief! In my case too, there have been times when I am afraid follows will refuse me as I am just a woman afterall and not as good as a man. Still, little by little I built myself a good reputation, so there you go! Tenacity, tenacity, tenacity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just never give up Doug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Active Member
I haven't said anything in this conversation so far, mainly because I don't know the area Doug lives in. I'm several thousand miles away and I didn't think that I had a great deal to add to the excellent advice, you've had already. However, I'd like to add a bit now.

A while back I used to attend a social dance regularly, two three times a month. It was local and most of the people who went there lived in the area. the result was that there were a lot of people there who knew each other and would meet up there. I went to dance, certainly, but (and I think this is important) I also went to socialise. Typically I'd go along with my husband, instructor and a bunch of people, some of them other students with my teacher, some people we knew. The thing is, the socialising was at least as important as the dancing. It was a chance to catch up with people, find out what was going on in their lives while we all had a good time sharing a common interest. I didn't always dance every dance, in fact I usually wanted to sit a few dances out chatting. Looking back I can imagine that our group we might have seemed a bit intimidating to people who didn't know us - a bunch of people who clearly knew each other well and often danced together. We didn't mean it that way, but I can see how it might have come across. but that's life and it happens in lots of social situations, not just dancing.

However, if a man I didn't know, or didn't know very well asked me, I'd usually dance with him and so would most of my friends. Heck he was new! Exciting! I didn't (and don't) care about how a good/experienced a leader a man is when I'm dancing socially, I care more about whether we have a good time. That might include pleasant conversation, it might include giggling about mistakes we make, it might just be pleasure at moving around the floor together. Doug, you said that you danced with a lady who thought the cha cha was a salsa, but it didn't matter because you had fun. I'll bet you did, I'll bet it was a hoot! That's great, having fun is the point of social dancing (for me anyway).

So, I'm going on a bit, but I think what I'm saying is don't be intimidated. Even a group look like they're together, it doesn't necessarily mean that the ladies aren't interested in dancing with a new guy. Remember that for some people the socialising is as important as the dancing and join in with that, chat a bit after a dance if you get on with somebody. Set yourself achievable goals - I'm going to ask two or three ladies I haven't danced with before to dance tonight and see what happens. And, no matter what, have fun. If you're having fun dancing, believe me plenty of women will be happy to dance with you. :)

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