dancing etiquette

#1
back In my late teens and early 20's in Dominican Rep. I don't recall many men going to dance clubs alone and expec to dance (except for drinks and see what happens) but for the most part if you wanted to dance you would bring women with you. Even if you were not dating any of those women, if a another guy wanted to dance with one of them it would go like this:

Random guy: "do you mind if I dance with her?" :)
me: "Np, up to her" :)
her: :)
they go dancing

Sometimes women would say no.

any other way would likely be considered disrespectful.

in my case, if I had seen couple of women in another table and I wanted to dance with one of them, I would give her and smile and ask her to dance from distance with body language, if she gave me positive body language response, then I pick her up. Honestly, I sort of miss these playful games.

here in Canada. Teaches tell students to just approach the person and ask them to dance. very simple if the person is alone (which is very common here) and for the most part you rarely get rejected. in my case, I don't recall even been rejected in Canada.

but something I see often is Men asking women directly to dance when her guy is not around ......lol

for instance, If I go the bathroom is very likely my woman gets pulled or when she is returning from bathroom. LMAO

very few ask a woman to dance when her guy is around (this has only happened to me once in several years and the guy totally ignored me , which I did not mind lol). it's like no balls.

women tend to tell my woman as soon as we arrive to the party: "you have to let me dance one song with him later" :) then later she pulls me.


close friends tend to pull each other
to dance often np.

How is done in your scene?
 

David

Administrator
Staff member
#2
For me I try to work with eye contact. If maybe I’m walking across the dance floor and I don’t want to start a new dance, I will keep my eyes down and avoid making I contact contact with others. And it goes the same way with people that I might like to dance with. If they seem to be avoiding making eye contact with me, I don’t try to push matters.

There are some exceptions that I make sometimes. Maybe someone hasn’t seen me for a long time and they came running up, or maybe there is a group of ladies in the corner chatting and I know it would be good if they got up and started dancing because maybe there are not enough ladies, then I might try to shake things up a bit.

And maybe if no one is making eye contact, I might strategically choose where to sit down. I’ll go sit or stand next to some people that are not dancing and see if I can at least get involved in the conversation with them.

I’m a pretty social person so I feel pretty comfortable talking to people or asking them to dance, but above all I just try to be thoughtful and polite and have a good spirit about things.

If someone rejects me, For whatever reason, I don’t know when I’ll bet to bother me.
 
#4
The social etiquette in Canada is more defined, that's for sure. When I arrived to Europe, I was shocked at how often people were dancing more than 1 song together consecutively.

In home scenes where you are known, you don't even need to ask anymore. I have home scenes in Toronto (not so much now), Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. I am known in all of them.

In scenes where I am unknown, my approach is quite simple. Ask people who look like they are having a good time. Energy is contagious. There is no secret strategy that I use. If people like dancing with you, they will tell their friends about you. People already know who they will ask when they see someone dancing. So the answer is the dance often! Usually do it earlier in the night so you are seen before the home crew crowds up the dance floor with their shenanigans.
 
#5
Hmmmmmm... women aren’t anyone’s property.
I keep hearing this line again and again. It depends on a perspective and context. The dynamic only arises because a man has to do the asking. If the roles were reversed and the women had to do the asking the etiquette still would be similar. Then would you say man is not anyone's property. Whether man or woman, when you are asking someone who is part of group or pair, it is simply respectful to acknowledge the other person/people.
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#6
I keep hearing this line again and again. It depends on a perspective and context. The dynamic only arises because a man has to do the asking. If the roles were reversed and the women had to do the asking the etiquette still would be similar. Then would you say man is not anyone's property. Whether man or woman, when you are asking someone who is part of group or pair, it is simply respectful to acknowledge the other person/people.
Sorry but you don't need anyone's permission to ask someone to dance. Just ask the person, keep it simple.
 

vit

Son Montuno
#7
Well, it was definitively a norm in my venue in BR social dancing events at least ... salsa venue is different, most people come solo anyway ...
 
#8
I keep hearing this line again and again. It depends on a perspective and context. The dynamic only arises because a man has to do the asking. If the roles were reversed and the women had to do the asking the etiquette still would be similar. Then would you say man is not anyone's property. Whether man or woman, when you are asking someone who is part of group or pair, it is simply respectful to acknowledge the other person/people.
I really don't have faith in other people acknowledging both in a pair. In fact, it almost never happens that a man (or woman) tips their cap to you before asking your other half to dance. The onus should be on the couple (if they are a couple) to make sure people know they are together and that it is disrespectful to just grab the girl away from her bf/husband/partner. I know some couples who make it clear they came together and people know better than to just grab and drag.

I think boundaries should be created if you are such a couple. Such boundaries will be respected by just about everyone. But then again, there are plenty of couples who don't act like couples when they go out dancing and that's fine too if both are cool with being asked by anyone (including potential interested suitors).
 
#11
Sorry but you don't need anyone's permission to ask someone to dance. Just ask the person, keep it simple.
I could make a Long post explaining many seasons as to why let the guy know.

however, my question is more in the sense if all teachers say to así the girl. why yoiu have to wait when she goes to the bathroom or when the guy goes to the bathroom?

I find it funny the moment they pick. lol
 
#12
I could make a Long post explaining many seasons as to why let the guy know.

however, my question is more in the sense if all teachers say to así the girl. why yoiu have to wait when she goes to the bathroom or when the guy goes to the bathroom?

I find it funny the moment they pick. lol
Yup I found it funny too.
I actually don't think about it at all, whether she is with a guy or not, just go straight ask if you want to dance with her, at least in Canada or in Europe.

In Latin America it is different , as dancing is not really so academic like salsa parties here. I was told that when I was in Colombia. Asking a woman without talking to the guy can be seen as trying to stealing his woman. and can put you into trouble.
 
#14
The approach to ask the guy if you are allowed to dance with his girl is seen as "charmingly anachronistic" to "archaic sexist" here. I sometimes encountered it in Spain. (Also in the version, that men ask me, if I would be willed to dance with their wifes/girls.)
We have one (younger) Latino here who does it, when I bring a female friend. He is a very good and respectful dancer, so it doesn't seem sexist.
Other situations when I see it, is with guys who actually want to pick up that girl - checking if she is free and also a sign of disrespect against her - and with the toys/assistants of advanced dancers/teachers. Well, in both cases I see it as anachronistic and sexist.

You ask the person who you want to dance with, and only that person.
Everything else shows, that you accept some kind of ownership right, which has no place in modern society.

If the person makes / reacts to eye contact it is ok to ask her (with a little gesture and over distance for example), no matter what else she is doing right now.

I see it as very unfriendly to ask a person who makes herself unapproachable, specially when she is dug into a talk with someone. This is specially true if it seems to be a (possible) significant other. And I see it as important to for example teach beginners, that if she allows the guy to position himself in front of her and she is holding eye contact to him, that actually tells all (respectful) guys, that she does not want to be asked to dance right now. (And thus has no right to complain, that she was left alone with that creepy/slimy/macho guy all night.)
But I know scenes where the women are actually trained (by common usage and behavior of the alphas) to not make eye contact / look out for dances themselves and the guys simply move into the circle and interrupt them. Although the chance of refusal if you are unknown is insanely high there and it mostly is a sign of an intense clique behavior. (No wonder that these scenes tend to be less healthy than those, where the women are taking part in the asking process by searching for eye contact or asking themselves.)
(Also simply asking a woman who is not making herself approachable is a common trait of the creep faction. We got a few guys here who have a reputation for being the reason, why pretty beginners quickly leave. But they are the only ones actually asking a girl who is talking intensely with her three friends in a closed circle or at a table.)


Generally if you go to a Salsa venue here, you go to dance.
For drinking and picking up, you choose other places. (In Latino-Disco settings the line fades.)
So it is expected that anyone is there for dancing.
 
#15
The approach to ask the guy if you are allowed to dance with his girl is seen as "charmingly anachronistic" to "archaic sexist" here. I sometimes encountered it in Spain. (Also in the version, that men ask me, if I would be willed to dance with their wifes/girls.)
We have one (younger) Latino here who does it, when I bring a female friend. He is a very good and respectful dancer, so it doesn't seem sexist.
Other situations when I see it, is with guys who actually want to pick up that girl - checking if she is free and also a sign of disrespect against her - and with the toys/assistants of advanced dancers/teachers. Well, in both cases I see it as anachronistic and sexist.

You ask the person who you want to dance with, and only that person.
Everything else shows, that you accept some kind of ownership right, which has no place in modern society.

If the person makes / reacts to eye contact it is ok to ask her (with a little gesture and over distance for example), no matter what else she is doing right now.

I see it as very unfriendly to ask a person who makes herself unapproachable, specially when she is dug into a talk with someone. This is specially true if it seems to be a (possible) significant other. And I see it as important to for example teach beginners, that if she allows the guy to position himself in front of her and she is holding eye contact to him, that actually tells all (respectful) guys, that she does not want to be asked to dance right now. (And thus has no right to complain, that she was left alone with that creepy/slimy/macho guy all night.)
But I know scenes where the women are actually trained (by common usage and behavior of the alphas) to not make eye contact / look out for dances themselves and the guys simply move into the circle and interrupt them. Although the chance of refusal if you are unknown is insanely high there and it mostly is a sign of an intense clique behavior. (No wonder that these scenes tend to be less healthy than those, where the women are taking part in the asking process by searching for eye contact or asking themselves.)
(Also simply asking a woman who is not making herself approachable is a common trait of the creep faction. We got a few guys here who have a reputation for being the reason, why pretty beginners quickly leave. But they are the only ones actually asking a girl who is talking intensely with her three friends in a closed circle or at a table.)


Generally if you go to a Salsa venue here, you go to dance.
For drinking and picking up, you choose other places. (In Latino-Disco settings the line fades.)
So it is expected that anyone is there for dancing.
hey you can't go to India and start killing cows just because they are food to you. In some places these are sacred.

you can't to to Saudi Arabia as a woman and do whatever women do in North America.

however, this particular. im inquiring as of to why guys wait for women to go to the bathroom to ask them to dance (if they came with someone) or wait for the guy that came with her to go to the bathroom or something like that.

I personally don't mind my gf dancing with other men (without asking me permission or not).
I just find very funny the way they do it.
 
#16
however, this particular. im inquiring as of to why guys wait for women to go to the bathroom to ask them to dance (if they came with someone) or wait for the guy that came with her to go to the bathroom or something like that.
While you are with her she probably is focusing you to some extend, and thus showing that she does not want to be approached. Once you are gone the guys can ask her without the need to interrupt you two.
If she is not reacting to eye contact etc I would think of it to be unfriendly to ask her, while you are nearby. Not because of you, but because she is not signaling, that she is up for being asked right now.

And yes, simply the presence of a guy who seems to belong to the woman is enough for many guys to loose interest.
 
#17
Not 99% or 99.9%?? No room for error ? :) communication is 10% verbal and 90% non verbal. Therefore I don't think we can write it off as being simple only because everyone is there to dance.

The thread is about etiquettes. Let's take the man and women out equation to put it in proper perspective. If two women are in a conversation, then most people would agree that it is a little rude to go interrupt and ask (with caveats of course) for a dance. Though you can use eye contact, etc, which is more subtle. There can be other situations too.

If we are talking about two people who are in a relationship there are different dynamics depending on the situation (you know both or one of them, they want to spend most time dancing with each other, etc). From the body language you can tell a lot (though not accurately). There are some couples who when they want to dance with others won't stand together. That is just one example.

Another example when you arrive together for dancing with a friend. In my experience 90% of the time, people will not ask her till we finish the dancing to the first song. 90% of my friends, when asked before we had opportunity to dance the first song, ask the guy to wait since they want to dance that one with me. Some might kind of ask me if it is okay. These things happen automatically and have happened at multiple places. No one is following any written rule or prior agreements.

In short, it is definitely not simple :) we need to stop looking at everything from the lens of man/woman power and gender dynamics all the time. If I were standing chatting with a woman, and another woman comes ask me to dance totally ignoring the lady I am with, I won't like it. I will at least try to make her aware of it by making an introduction.
 
#19
It seems this code of conduct was recently published. Mission city swing is the only weekly WCS social dancing event in San Francisco city. It has become fairly popular in past three years.

https://missioncityswing.com/about/coc/

It is a bit long but interesting read. It is refreshing to see organizer step up and articulate what is acceptable and not acceptable. As well as explain the etiquettes.
 

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