Ever wonder if someone new wants to dance with you? Maybe they're a friend of a friend, and you're not even sure if they dance. Or do you feel you should help a beginner get their feet wet on the floor?
Sometimes I use "half-dances" as an ice breaker. It's like doing coffee or lunch rather than having a dinner date. Lower commitment, less stress and you avoid the "oh no, this is going to be a loooong song" if your partner turns out to be a mismatch for you.
Rather than subject the new person to a 4-6 minute tune, sometimes I'll wait and ask them after the tune has started. I might say, "Hey, this song is half over, how about we finish it?"
Most of the time you'll get a positive response, and you dance for a couple minutes. If it turns out to be a magical dance, you can say, "That was way too short, how about also dancing the next song?"
If the dance turns out to be "just OK," you finish after a couple minutes and say, "Thanks... that was fun," and move on. You only asked for half a tune, so nobody feels like a loser if it didn't work out as you hoped.
It's not something I do regularly, but I've used this technique for years and it's helped, especially with potential partners that aren't too sure about me. More will take a chance since they aren't committing to a complete song. (I know 4-6 minutes isn't a huge commitment, but we've all figured out it can seem like forever with some partners.)
Again, I don't recommend you use this regularly, but I do it when I miss the first part of a song because I need water or a short break, then I don't want to sit out the rest of the song. It's a perfect time for a "random dance" or a "find a beginner and get her on the floor" dance. Ladies can ask guys too, and since they weren't dancing already, it seems to work great for everybody.
The half-dance makes it easy for both partners. Depending on how it goes, we can dance the next song, dance later or never dance again.
Try it out and let me know how it goes for you.