Ever had a one-night stand on the dance floor?
A gal finally gets asked by that hulking lead she’s been trying to attract, or a guy finally asks the sexy salsera that makes all the guys look great. They gaze into each other’s eyes for a complete song, feeling like maybe they're the chosen one.
Then…nothing. Complete radio silence. No flowers, no "Wow, that was amazing," no "I'll always love dancing with you..." He rarely asks again, or she almost ignores him the next time he's around, or worse, she avoids him and says "Oh... I'm too tired," or "I need a break," or “Sorry, I have a headache,” the next time he asks.
I'm stuck on the idea of doing it again and again, and my partner still wanting more.
If a guy seeks you out two weeks from now, or the lady puts herself in a position where you have to ask her again, that creates an amazing energy. Little compares to the energy of two partners who both want to dance together. (OK, maybe I can think of other things, but we're talking dancing here.)
Your goal is to tease your partner so they want to dance with you more in the future than they do today. Dancing because you ask is fine, but I don’t consider that success. Sure, it beats getting turned down, but the first “yes” is just the start in my book.
Progressive Success Signs
Watch for these signs as you progress with your favorite partners:
- A partner says yes without hesitation when you ask
- They have real fun when dancing with you (no faking it)
- They make an effort to get your attention in the club
- They ask you to dance even if you don't ask them
- They follow you home (ok, that's is a bit much, and way beyond my pay grade).
My male private students know their job is to become the lead women want to dance with, rather than someone who gets a “yes” out of obligation or habit. Sometimes a lady will even provide a couple "pity dances," dancing with you because you don't look like a stalker, and her policy is to assist less advanced leads moving up in the scene. You want to get out of this phase as quickly as possible, by taking classes or lessons and practicing regularly.
For the ladies, real success is being asked multiple times, and especially when the guy has multiple choices. Because guys ask most of the time, they primarily ask those they like. If they don’t ask you without prompting, you have an idea you didn’t leave the type of impression you wanted that last dance (assuming you want to dance with them again).
If you aren’t getting the repeat dances you want, you may need to upgrade your dancing a little, fine-tuning your attitude and/or your moves. Everybody can be better and if you are progressing, you should see more and more repeat dances over time.
Here’s another hint for improvers: Don’t ask the same partner more than, say, twice in one evening, even if they are kind and even encouraging. They don’t want to be mean, but most don’t want to do simplistic moves ad nauseum for more than a couple songs in one evening. I’ve even known some gals who were careful not to be too encouraging to a beginner because they didn’t want to dance with him multiple songs in one evening. They wanted him to stay in the game, but not become his unpaid instructor or guinea pig.
Do your homework; take your classes and private lessons and practice what you’ve learned on your own as much as possible so that your partners can see you’ve made progress when you dance together the next time. Then they will look forward to dancing with you because you’re making noticeable progress even when you aren’t yet up to their level.
Getting Down to the Details
If they say yes, without feeling as if they are doing you a favor, that’s a first level of success. If you are just starting, this is a great first sign. At least you have a chance to show you are respectful and fun. Note that fun will trump weaknesses in your dancing in the beginning, so keep it light, and have as much fun as possible. (Of course, there’s a balance here; the point is not to take yourself too seriously.)
Remember that making her feel good is your number one task, and everything follows that idea. Fun includes your pre and post dance socializing, so don’t think you have to be the best lead in the room for her to enjoy herself. A beginning lead doesn’t need to know a hundred turn patterns; the lady will sense you are beginning and your attitude and care are more important at the start.
Ideally she will notice you improving over time, as women are attracted to guys who make them feel better each dance. You’ll notice some partners complimenting you if they want you asking again.The next step is getting some fun happening and making that obvious on the outside.
Maybe you’ve heard the rumors that some women know how to fake it. They can pretend they love you, even when some of it is an act. When your partner smiles or giggles with you while dancing, and it's not an act, that is a step up the success ladder.
Guys want their partner to be having fun, enjoying herself and feeling safe enough to laugh during the dance. If you pay attention, you'll see it in her face and when it happens, that is positive progress. This generally happens when your lead gets strong enough that you focus on her rather than staying inside your head worrying about the next move or combination. As you progress and relax about your dancing, your partners feel your confidence and they feel safer. Ultimately, you want her feeling as though she can trust you to take care of her, and make it interesting and fun, all at the same time. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen the first few months you dance, it’s something most guys have to earn over time.
Again, you are closing in on ultimate dance success when previous partners either ask you to dance directly or put themselves in a position where you’ll feel rude if you go ask someone else. Then during the dance, it’s obvious your partner is feeling great about being with you.
It doesn’t count until it happens a few times, and your partner has other reasonable options. As you advance, this should happen more and more and it’s a major positive if your partners are at your level or above. After you’ve danced a few years, the beginning partners will probably enjoy dancing with you, but it may or may not mean you’re a great dancer.
Consider it a success when the stronger partners see you on the way into the club and just say “hi” or stop to give you a little hug as they walk by. More advanced dancers learn not to stop and chitchat with someone when they don’t want to dance later. It becomes rude to ignore that person later during dance time, so few do it. As a guy, having ladies dance with you because you ask is good, but having them want you to ask, and looking forward to your next dance is much better. You want both partners trying to make the dance great for the other, not just dancing because their policy is to never say no.
Most of this article is directed at the guys’ point of view, but women will find it interesting to see what we guys are thinking. Just because you know we want you to feel great, faking it beyond a reasonable smile is not great form. We may be slow, but we’ll figure it out over time.
When two partners are excited to dance with each other, the positive energy is far greater than any one-night stand or the pity dances from the more advanced partner. In addition, this is one game where monogamy is not expected. Watch for the signs and you’ll notice more and more waiting for you when you arrive at the club.
We don't know half of one millionth of 1 percent about anything.
-Thomas Alva Edison