The implications of dancing consecutive times with the same person during a night of dancing

#1
So I was just thinking about this. Is dancing multiple consecutive times (think tanda in Tango) better than dancing just once with the same person?

Which is actually better for the scene?
Which is better for improving in general?

Where I learned Salsa, I was taught that we should only dance once and move on to the next partner. It was ingrained in me from the very beginning that it was pretty bad to hog dance partners. Even couples in class who refused to rotate were seen as lepers.

Some things that were said by my dance teachers and peers over the first few years were:

"Don't be a creep"
"Don't force someone to dance with you"
"Observe proper dance etiquette"
"Dance once with someone and move on"

..and so on. I stuck to those rules like gospel. I found the above rules separated Salsa dancing from ordinary night club dancing, which I found refreshing.

Then when I changed scenes and moved to Europe, the rules changed. It was common to dance consecutive times with the same person. I thought it was strange at first, but eventually I came around to the idea and I started to enjoy it. I was able to connect more to my partner and gauge her ability, adjust myself to her and create even more connection.

The only problem - if you can even call it a problem - was getting overly attached to the same person. Often I saw guys/girls just cling to the same people not just for that night, but every night thereafter. The partnership seemed more like a relationship. This happened to me as well.

Now that I've spent an equal time dancing in both North America & Europe, I can make a few conclusions about my own dancing, but I'm also curious what other people had to say about this.

Basically, I think that I've improved more over the last 5 years with the multiple dance rule in effect. I feel like a more complete dancer and I have an overall better understanding of dance connection. However, I think this gives beginners a false impression of the dance and creates more of a sleazy, club type atmosphere.

The single dance rule made dancing Salsa feel more "safe", but also made it feel a bit more sterile. Sometimes after having danced an amazing dance with someone, I didn't want to let that person go, but because of the "1 dance rule" which we both observed, I had no choice but to let that person go. I didn't get to explore the nuances of the connection and I was often left feeling frustrated.

On an emotional level, I feel that dancing multiple times with the same person can be dangerous as you can often develop feelings for someone this way. Even if people say it's just "dancing"...it really isn't.

If you are able to separate yourself completely from the emotional connection and just think of it as "dancing" without getting in too deep, then I admire you. But I think it's a natural human reaction to develop real feelings for someone this way, especially the longer you spend dancing with them in one night.

For growing a scene, I definitely think the "1 dance rule" is better overall as it implies that you came to dance and nothing else is more important than that aim. In the end, I think by adhering to this rule, the scene produces much better dancers. However, I find many "1 of" dances to be more dis-connected.

I love dancing multiple times with the same person as I can explore the connection, but that to me is a personal feeling that goes much further beyond just dancing.

This also applies to other dances like Zouk, Kizomba and Bachata, which I believe is more skewed towards multiple dances, as they are danced closer and it is implied that "dance connection" can only be achieved the longer you dance with someone.

I also dabbed a little bit in Argentine Tango and the connection in that dance completely blows all of the above out of the water, especially when you dance with someone who knows what they are doing.

I'm curious what other people think? What has been your experience?
 
#2
I do not like the idea "one dance rule." It does not work for me at all. But sometimes I do not want several dances on a raw. Every leader is different, and for me as a follower, I should adapt to every leader and do it fast. Some leaders are quite difficult to adapt to...it takes time. It takes several songs. I do not follow this rule. If my partner and I feel like we want more dances together, we do it. One song is like an exam. Leaders and followers judge each other but that is not a right thing to do. In order to build a good dance connection and start to create together, I need time. I cannot do it for one song. It is just my personal opinion.
 
#3
I like the 1 dance rule, it makes it much easier for me to ask people to dance.. if its not working out I just say thank you and move on, if it works out, I go back to her later and get my second dance. In a multible dance rule , if I leave after 1 dance its often taken as a insult...
 
#5
It is a good topic... the one dance general "rule" does give flexibility to move on to other dance partner, especially if you have someone in mind for next song that starts playing. Or it may be confusing for someone that happens to be waiting for you next round. But one dance rule of course doesn't preclude the opportunity of a consecutive dance when you both have the wow-that-was-a-great first dance reaction.

Personally, I will max 2 dances with my favorite partners with exceptions of last song and there's nobody left, etc. Because I'm projecting that people come to socials to get a chance to dance with many people. I do have issues with people asking 3-4+ times a night, consecutive nights. Creep vibe if I don't know them, slight irritation if I do. I have used the power of no at times but I wonder if it might be more helpful to just say explicitly I haven't danced with others yet tonight...
 
#6
One dance custom means that good salsa dancers learn to establish good connection quickly.

But of course it is not the rule. I sometimes dance more than one in a row with same partner, but really good dances are so intense and deep, that switch feels good and relaxing. I even take a break for a song.

If kizomba is like dry humping that lasts forever, salsa is where where you want to rest a bit and recover.
 
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#8
I like 1 dance. Ask for more and you're walking the fine line of thirst.

It can also be rude. What if your partner didn't like the dance?

I think it's a MAJOR compliment when someone asks you for a second dance after a little break. If the desire to connect still remains even after a few songs with other people, then that connection is worth exploring.

Finally, skilled dancers are good at "connecting" very strongly pretty quickly. Some people then misattribute that connection to some sort of ineffable personal connection with the actual dancer, when in fact that skilled dancer is frequently reaching that depth of connection with multiple partners. Especially in a place where there are just a handful or even less "good" dancers, It's selfish to keep a good dancer to yourself, especially if they don't have the heart to just say "no."
 
#10
One dance custom means that good salsa dancers learn to establish good connection quickly.
A lot of great dancers are great because most of them have one or several constant partners. I think it is crucial. It brings you to an absolutely new level of dancing. You cannot become great if you dance only socially and all you have is just one song. It is like you are always in a rush..next..next...next. Quantity does not improve your connection skills." I definitely prefer quality. :)
 
#11
A lot of great dancers are great because most of them have one or several constant partners. I think it is crucial. It brings you to an absolutely new level of dancing. You cannot become great if you dance only socially and all you have is just one song. It is like you are always in a rush..next..next...next. Quantity does not improve your connection skills." I definitely prefer quality. :)
How is having a constant partner crucial to improve skill of establishing a dance connection with a stranger?

In my observation people who lack in this area are exactly married couples who hog their partners or performancers who train coreos with same partners. And they become better at social dancing once they let go of their training wheels.
 
#13
I have a strict 1 dance rule (with very, very few exceptions, like dance started in a middle of song, next dance is completely different - bachata, cha after salsa, etc and I know the current partner). My main reasons:
1. I need to know the song, before I choose a partner.
2. If I always dance only one song, asking beginners is no big deal. I do not feel guilty not to dance second dance.
3. I like asking follows who are not asked much ( older, not frequent in a scene, beginners). Their emotional involvement in a dance is way better than popular follows, which are usually over danced. But often there is a reason, why they are not that popular, dance often is challenging and I often would not want stay for the second one :)
4. If the first dance was great, I need a bit time to process it. Second one can spoil the first impression (for example bad song - too fast, too complicated, too plain, etc). I need a bit of (non-dancing) time to analyze what just happened both after very good and bad dances :)
5. I am much older, then most of the follows, married and usually attending the party together with my wife. Do you really think it would be a good idea to hog some nice follower for 10 dances in a row to build great connection? :D :D
6. And no, I do not dance many dances in a row with my wife either. We always pick a song we really like. Or dance we haven't danced that night yet.
 
#14
A lot of great dancers are great because most of them have one or several constant partners. I think it is crucial. It brings you to an absolutely new level of dancing. You cannot become great if you dance only socially and all you have is just one song. It is like you are always in a rush..next..next...next. Quantity does not improve your connection skills." I definitely prefer quality.

I understand this sentiment completely, but only after having danced many years in a "multi-dance scene". At first I thought the idea was trashy.

Having many dance partners that you share a really good connection with does increase dance connection IQ. I feel the "one and done" crowd miss out on that as did I when I was in Toronto. I was always feeling the dancing to be soulless.... but to each their own.

Not sure how you can dance consecutive times in Toronto when it is primarily a one-dance scene. I wouldn't know how to initiate it without being seen as creepy.
 
#15
On a different note:

In a lead heavy scene dancing multiple consecutive times and hogging partners could lead to new syndrome called dance-rage and someone could get killed :D
 
#16
I understand this sentiment completely, but only after having danced many years in a "multi-dance scene". At first I thought the idea was trashy.

Having many dance partners that you share a really good connection with does increase dance connection IQ. I feel the "one and done" crowd miss out on that as did I when I was in Toronto. I was always feeling the dancing to be soulless.... but to each their own.

Not sure how you can dance consecutive times in Toronto when it is primarily a one-dance scene. I wouldn't know how to initiate it without being seen as creepy.
I dance with every leader more than just one song. It could be 2 on a raw, or he comes back to me a little bit later. Usually, We dance three songs, with some leaders I dance 4 and even 5. For me the more I dance with a particular leader, the better I dance with him. I just let guys know that our dance was enjoyable and I am open to dance with them more. I do not ask. I just say it would be nice to dance with you again if I feel this way. What I like about my approach I allow myself to try new things and sometimes screw up before I master it. I let my partners do the same...I want to create a safe environment for both of us to go beyond the stuff we already know.
 
#17
"Don't be a creep"
"Don't force someone to dance with you"
"Observe proper dance etiquette"
"Dance once with someone and move on"
this is only true if the other person does not want to dance with you.

in other words, if you are not interested in the person in a romantic way, you can dance with that person all the time you want as long as the other person wants to dance with you but if you want something more, just dance one song, get the other person number and move on.
 
#18
I dance with every leader more than just one song. It could be 2 on a raw, or he comes back to me a little bit later. Usually, We dance three songs, with some leaders I dance 4 and even 5. For me the more I dance with a particular leader, the better I dance with him. I just let guys know that our dance was enjoyable and I am open to dance with them more. I do not ask. I just say it would be nice to dance with you again if I feel this way. What I like about my approach I allow myself to try new things and sometimes screw up before I master it. I let my partners do the same...I want to create a safe environment for both of us to go beyond the stuff we already know.

I hear this line all the time... "I hope we get to dance again..."

We rarely do as people are constantly rotating and so am I. In a multi-dance scene, you just don't stop dancing... or you just say "again?" and off you go. Also being in a scene where I don't speak the language means I can't say complicated sentences in English, so I have to rely on the other person's body language and if she's open to dancing again, no words need to be spoken.

As a matter of fact, I think another aspect of my dancing that has improved is interpreting body language cues due to the multi-dance phenomenon.
 
#20
I hear this line all the time... "I hope we get to dance again..."

We rarely do as people are constantly rotating and so am I. In a multi-dance scene, you just don't stop dancing... or you just say "again?" and off you go. Also being in a scene where I don't speak the language means I can't say complicated sentences in English, so I have to rely on the other person's body language and if she's open to dancing again, no words need to be spoken.

As a matter of fact, I think another aspect of my dancing that has improved is interpreting body language cues due to the multi-dance phenomenon.
I love this word "again:)"espessialy when both partners say it almost at the same time:)
 

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