In the ongoing battle between the sexes and social dynamics that exist in our Latin dance community, I’ve noticed something that I’m 100% not cool with. Well, lot’s of things I’m not cool with that I’ve mused about in this very blog. These days when I can make it out to a nightclub or social dance event, I enjoy sitting and watching the scene and the talent that exists in our community. As I watch and chat with friends and students, I am allowed a unique perspective on some of the things that are going on between people on the dance floor as well as the latest happenings in the scene. Thankfully, there are so many unique interactions between men and women that I can write about these things for days!
One thing that bites my ass is when I see the following: men teaching women on the dance floor or at the weekly studio social. There are countless reasons why this is a douchebag thing to do but I’d like to touch on a couple right now. You see, the social dance floor / club is not a place of learning, despite what some might think. Many times guys will take it upon themselves to start instructing a girl while they’re dancing as if they were teaching a private lesson. Now, I’ve given plenty of classes at clubs before the night starts but, once the social dancing starts, instruction is gone. Point number 1: the night club/ social dance setting is not a place to teach someone.
Why exactly do these people think it’s okay to offer unsolicited advice? Who knows but I do know that it’s not cool. If you really think about it, it’s extremely rude. I thought about this from the point of view of the many men who do this and I can only think that they are trying to impress the follow that they’re dancing with. What ends up happening, is that a newer follow who come into the scene and is looking to have fun is often made to feel bad as if they didn’t know how to dance. So, if the point is to impress, it’s not working. Point number 2: No one asked for your damn advice.
As a dance educator, of course I’m going to promote that people should take proper dance classes in order to learn. You know, somewhere like Mixed Motion Art. Ahem. Any good teacher would never try and teach someone on the spot in the middle of a dance, it’s just poor etiquette. If you are a teacher and use this as a tactic, I would recommend another approach. It’s one thing to establish yourself as an authority, but it’s another thing to earn that respect. Most leaders I know, don’t talk about themselves, they talk about helping others. Point number 3: It’s a douchey way to solicit students.
Nine times out of ten, the non teachers who offer their unsolicited advice have no earthly clue as to what the hell they’re doing. It’s funny, they actually sit there and try to instruct women on how to follow THEIR specific move. Never mind the fact they are usually off time and dancing in a slot, then a circle, then a slot then a circle etc… The only appropriate comparison that I can think of off the top of my head is that if that someone was mumbling and then getting pissed at you for not being able to decipher their gibberish. And yes, what I usually see these guys leading is, in fact, gibberish. I would suggest to focus their attention back on themselves so they know what they are doing. If they learn to lead, guess what? It’s easy to follow! Point number 4: Work on yourself first, kthanks.
Ladies, if you ever dance with a guy like this I would implore you to politely finished the dance and then put him on your blacklist. If you don’t have a blacklist you should start to develop one. Women, having the ability to remember almost anything at will can likely spot a man on her blacklist from a mile away. If for whatever reason you can’t remember that well then I would encourage you to physically get a little black book or app on your smartphone which will help you remember jerks at the club. Maybe I should make a blacklist app….. Gentlemen, can you actually imagine something worse in your social dancing adventures than being put on someone else’s list of people to avoid like the plague? Think about it for a moment. Someone is taking the time out of their day to write down your name or a description of you. Most often the descriptions are written in an unflattering way that warns them never to interact with you again.
“Greasy creeper guy”
“Bad breathe guy”
“Herky jerky jerk”
Need I go on? From any perspective, that sucks. Why would you willingly do this? Why would you be so pompous as to think it’s okay to instruct women on the dance floor? More often than not, you come off as a douchebag. So, if your intention is to actually meet / impress women and that you interact with at the club, I suggest you start being polite and try to have a good dance. Point number 5: Stay off people’s blacklist!
In a perfect world, some of those guys actually come and take a class and actually learn to have a good dance. Believe it or not, learning to be a good lead can go a long way towards having good interactions with people. Learning to not be an ass about knowing more than someone else helps as well. As you get better, know that you still have more to learn and handle yourself with dignity and grace. Most times, “knowitalls” don’t know too much at all.
Yes, I did spit a little venom today but it’s because I find the whole situation unacceptable. Women, don’t put up with that crap and certainly don’t dance with a person like this a second time. Gentlemen, if you do this then I shouldn’t even call you gentlemen I just call you guys DB’s from now on. So DB’s, start being cool and have people see you in a positive light, ok?
Ladies, have you experienced this in the past? How did you handle it?
Gentlemen, have you ever done this and learned your lesson? What changed your mind?
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, please share it and like and all that other good social media stuff. It makes me happy!
Until next time, to your dancing….