Sometimes, I’m kind of sad when I look at the dance floor. I’m curious, why do you dance actually? Personally, I dance because I cannot sit when I hear good music. Because now I have a lot of friends who dance and I want to hang out with them. Also because of dance itself, of course, it’s fun and I like it. Actually, that’s the most important part: because of fun.
I miss that fun on the dance floor.
But I see a lot of other stuff which worries me.
Very often I see men on the dance floor who don’t care about other couples. You know, I thought I have a problem with orientation or something because I always crossed the way to some other couple. When I go to a salsa festival (= a place full of people with a passion for dance), it’s fine… Guys, you are not alone on the dance floor. Be careful where you are going and mostly to where you are sending your partner. Doing smaller steps also helps.
Another thing I see quite often is men coming to a lady (this point is mostly for more sensual dances like bachata or kizomba) and holding her in a very close position immediately even if they see each other for the first time. It’s not good. No one should ever do it and no lady should allow it! Treat the lady with respect. Make sure she enjoys it, pay attention to her response. Of course, this applies vice versa. I had several experiences that lady tried a lot to be in very close position and it was irritating.
I also see men who start dancing like crazy right away. It’s not a workout. You should respond to music and music almost never starts like crazy. And even if the music starts like that, you should first get to know each other. Just one cross body lead will tell you a lot about the abilities of a lady. Even if you have danced together before, it’s always a good idea to start slowly. Eddie Torres says that in all classes (well, at least all I attended) and I think every teacher should be mentioning it frequently.
Eddie also says you should be present with your partner. I know, it can be hard, because maybe you wanted to dance with somebody else. Well, then you should probably say no. If you say yes, then act like that. Once at Eddie’s class we had to wait until everybody would watch ladies eyes instead of hands, floor and other things around. It took a while!
Don’t be just present but positively present. No one enjoys sad faces. For example, this year in Ljubljana at the Magic festival close to the stage was a lot of great dancers, but almost all of them had a serious look. One friend expressed that brilliantly: dancing in that area felt like being at an interview. Not pleasant at all. Both of us much more enjoyed dancing with the less skilled dancers on the opposite side of the dance floor.
Which brings me to one important rule: do not correct your partner! If your partner wants to know that move, that’s fine. Go somewhere aside where you won’t block others. But do not correct your partner just because you think you are better. Actually, I heard a lot of stories from my lady friends that a beginner wanted to correct them but the problem was his miserable lead. Correct and improve your leading. Do not tell, lead.
I could say much more (and very probably I will) but for now I will keep it short: guys, just be a gentleman. If you can’t do that very well, then at least have some basic manners because you are not alone on the dance floor. Others will enjoy you more then.
And girls, don’t hesitate to say no to bad guys. If you need help to say it, read this blog post. By the way, it’s good to use heels protection. It doesn’t hurt much then. :-)