Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If You Like Them - Tell Them!

This article was originally published in April 2007. It's had a few minor updates and I still do this today, both in clubs and in classes. 

When you see a couple looking great on the floor, what do you do when they finish?

Before you turn, walk away, and ask someone else to dance, try going over to them and saying something like the following:
  • "Wow, you two look great together!"
  • "You two really inspire me!"
  • "It's great to see someone having fun and you two looked great."
  • "It's nice to see a couple dancing to the music and looking so sexy."
  • "I loved how you danced to the music."
  • (Something else in the same spirit, finding something specific about their dancing.)
Here's the Idea:
You're taking a break and this couple is just tearing it up on the floor. As soon as the song ends, try to get them while they are still a couple and let them know you enjoyed watching their dance. They appreciate it, they feel good because someone actually noticed, and it costs you nothing.

I especially do this with the people who are NOT pros, as these dancers don't get as much feedback. In a perfect world tell them both while they are still together. Sometimes one has walked away, but telling the remaining partner is still a win, and if you see the other later, just say, "Wow, I saw you dancing earlier with that guy in black, and you two were amazing." (OK, pick your own line, something that is appropriate based on what you liked and noticed.)

Why tell them anything?
First: Don't say anything unless you mean it. (In LA it's easy to find great dancers in the clubs.)
Second: It has some strange and interesting side effects that where never intended.

  • That couple will forever remember me. Few people say anything to a couple unless they are pros (and they already think they are great).
  • While I never ask the woman to dance immediately, if later that night or next week I ask the woman I don't remember being turned down. (This is one of the unintended side effects.)
  • I've had cases where the guy immediately asked me to dance with his partner and basically handed her off to me. (I didn't intend that either.)
  • When I see them later, either individually or as a couple, they often say hi to me, and I've had great side conversations with these people later when our paths cross.
Next time you're in a club, find a couple that others aren't noticing and tell them what you liked! They will greatly appreciate it, and you'll build another set of friends. The more people who know you in your favorite club, the better time you'll have while you grow as a dancer.
Let me know what you do when you see a great couple!
Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.
-Pablo Picasso

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Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero