Ladies ! Read for
He Won't Ask You
for Second Dance
Gentlemen! See Below for
She Won't Want You
to Ask Her
LADIES… so you think you had a super fun dance with a great dancer. But you wonder why he never asks you for a second dance. Most guys won’t tell you why, but here are some common reasons…
Unfortunately, leaders are subject to the dreaded “finger squeeze” by women supporting their weight and balance by squeezing their partner’s fingers like they’re milking a cow. If you’re a finger squeezer, you’re a potential source of injury for your partner. Make it a priority to improve your balance and own your steps to avoid benching him. Injured men means fewer dances for the rest of us and we don’t want that!
MAC TRUCK & INVISIBLE FOLLOWING
This is not about weight, rather about tension/tone. Achieving a nice, fluid, comfortable connection with your partner is needed to let expression flow freely. When it feels like the leader is basically dancing FOR you (physically dragging you everywhere, keeping your time and balance), it’s a workout. You could be 90 pounds but could be the heaviest follower on the Dance Floor. Leaders don’t want to dance FOR you, they want to dance WITH you. Listen to the music, stay on time, and manage your own balance. Imagine if you had to carry him while he was dancing…for 2-3 minutes. On the other hand, when a follower is too light, she can feel invisible. He feels like he’s chasing you. Kind of like dancing with a ghost... he can see you but he can't feel your presence enough to lead you. (This is not the same as back leading). Whether a Waltz, Cha Cha or Swing, there’s a certain level of elasticity needed in your connection for a true lead and follow to happen. When you find that right level of elasticity, you’ll feel like you’re actually dancing together and isn't that what it's all about?
Trying to guess what a leader is going to do defeats the purpose of following. And it can ruin the connection you have with your partner. Great followers are awesome at responding to the leader’s….well, lead. Women are often afraid of being behind or missing the lead, but sometimes we think too far ahead and anticipate what’s about to happen. In doing so, you’ll likely miss the lead, interrupt his flow, mess up timing, and ruin your connection. It takes skill to wait for that lead and have that right level of responsiveness. That skill can set apart good followers from awesome followers. Your first job as a follower is to follow. There can be only one driver :) So try not to “guess” what’s going to happen because you’re going to miss the fun of “feeling” what he’s going to do in the moment and where he’s going to take the dance.
Hijackers take back leading to another level. In the hijacker bucket include:
Over-stylers who take every opportunity to ram in every styling element they know in one count of eight, for the whole song whether or not it matches music.
Social performers who use excessive energy (often taking down her partner) as they eyeball the crowd and potential onlookers.
Self-dippers who propel themselves into dips without a lead from her partner. This is an accident waiting to happen. And can injure your unsuspecting leader.
Over-spinners who always try to squeeze in extra turns... just cause. He leads 2, she does 3. He leads 3, she tries to do 6 as he chases her wobbly unspotted spins across the dance floor, ready to catch her totally off beat and unmusical fall.
Don’t be a hijacker. Leaders don’t like dancing with them.
THE WILD HORSE
The wild horse follower usually doesn’t have a good command of timing, musicality or following technique, so she steps randomly with no particular connection to the music or what her partner is leading. She might be completely oblivious to this, having a blast in all the randomness, OR possibly freaking out because she doesn’t really understand how to follow (yet). The wild horse is one of the most difficult types to lead because you just can’t control her. Her lack of frame means you can’t even help her stay on time unless you put her in a hold and lock her down. Ladies, if you’re new to dancing, keep it simple and don’t be “extra”.
Tip: practice your timing on your own, take some classes, learn shines, listen to music, get feedback from a trusted instructor and keep it simple. If you’re experienced, know your #1 job – to follow, and you’ll build a connection that will allow for more controlled “extra”. While there’s tons of freedom to play with in certain dances, there are rules that help make it flow, and help your leader know where your weight is. If you’re taking extra steps, missing steps or breaking back, you’re making your poor leader suffer in confusion. Moral of the story, don’t be a wild horse.
This includes, but is not limited to:
Never making eye contact to show interest in the dance
Looking bored / looking around at other dancers
Lazy stepping/following like you’re too good for this dance
Giving negative energy
Giving looks of disgust when a move doesn’t work/blaming him for everything that doesn’t work
Outside of technique, your attitude could be a turn ON or a turn OFF. Men like confidence, an easy going vibe, a sexy attitude.. but not an “I’m too good for you” attitude. Sometimes it’s simply bad taste, however it's possible that some women don’t know they're doing it. Be a friend and let your best gal friend know if she’s a dancing diva. Whether you’re dancing with a beginner or someone you consider a superstar, it’s good etiquette to give him a positive, happy vibe :)
It may seem like women are the ones complaining about bad breath or BO, but it goes both ways. Keep some mints handy (avoid the potential choking from gum chewing), a change of clothes, deodorant and body wipes. Don't make hygiene the reason he doesn't come back for more.
This category is more about awareness and has nothing to do with actual dance technique, but it’s worth mentioning.
Sharp jewelry: Rings with sharp stones / edges or flying necklaces can leave your partner feeling like they've been on a battlefield. Similar to the "jump" test we do with our outfits to ensure there aren't any unwanted surprises, test your jewelry on yourself and see how it feels when you scratch yourself with it. If you see blood or scratch marks, maybe better to find less dangerous options.
Braided ponytail weapons: If you’re planning on dancing where there could be some spinning involved, high braided pony-tails can be considered a weapon. Imagine a stiff, tightly wrapped rope whipping you in the face with every turn.
So Ladies, let's do a self-check every now and then, and make some adjustments as needed. Let your dancing speak for itself and make him want to come back for more! Happy dancing!
GENTLEMEN! Turnabout is fair play so here's 8 REASONS SHE HOPES YOU WON'T ASK FOR A SECOND DANCE
We’ve all heard the saying “the follower is at the mercy of the leader”, and to a great extent it’s true. We’re supposed to follow his choice of moves, how and when he wants to do it. And when it feels good, it’s oh sooo good – it flows effortlessly, it’s musical, it’s playful and she can’t wait for the next dance. As followers, we seek those leaders who we connect with, who adapt to our skill level but can challenge us, those who share a similar groove, taste for musical style and enjoys interacting with us, not just dancing AT us. Every follower has her own special mix of traits that has her craving for more. It’s not necessarily about being the fanciest, it’s about creating an experience. Hopefully it’s a good experience, but sometimes it’s not. Fellas, there’s some really basic things that will turn off a woman, so pay attention and steer clear of the “Top 8 Reasons She Hopes You Won’t Ask Her for a Second Dance”.
HE DOESN’T MAKE HER FEEL SAFE
When you dance with a woman, she expects you to take care of her and not lead her into dangerous territory or oncoming traffic. While she’s not simply a passenger on this ride, as the leader, you’re in charge of the “moves” as well as her safe navigation through the jungle of dancers. When you lead her into other people, you’re not protecting her. So instead of enjoying the dance, she’s in defense mode, protecting herself since you aren’t. This is one easy way to lose her trust. You can even make bystanders nervous when they ance near you. If you’re that guy who constantly (and unapologetically) bumps into other people or sling shots your partner into everyone in her path, that’s just scary. The moral of the story here… pay attention, protect her and manage your space!
Just don’t do it guys. You’ll always be remembered as THAT guy who was so hammered, couldn’t stand up straight, slobbered all over his partner and maybe even puked on her. Gross. We all know that heavy drinking doesn’t mix well with dancing. Maintaining good balance is tough even when you’re 100% sober. But for many, it’s part of the dance experience. It’s social, takes the edge off, gives you some liquid courage to ask women to dance or helps you to let go. If you find that you reek of alcohol and are out of control (maybe you aren’t a good judge at that point – so hopefully your friends will help you before you make a fool of yourself), it may be time to just dance shines for the rest of the night if you insist on staying. Remember, friends don’t let friends dance drunk.
IT HURTS TO DANCE WITH HIM
It’s the 21st century and as women we may be independent, but most of us still like to be treated like a lady. Let’s be explicit here…man-handling is a BIG NO-NO. If you have to force a move, then something isn’t right – might be her, you or your connection together. Forcing a move is a great way to show a LACK of awareness. Great leaders “listen” to her level of responsiveness and then adapt to it on the fly. If you feel a lot of resistance, take that as a sign. Don’t force it or pile on more moves if she's wobbly and hasn't recovered from the last move. To their defense, many leaders may not realize how “rough” their lead can be. If you’re not sure, get feedback from an experienced follower whose opinions and honesty you trust. Shoulder injuries are extremely common. It doesn't help that most of us hit the dance floor without stretching, so it’s partly our own fault. Outside of that, many leaders do not know their own strength, or haven’t yet learned how timing, elasticity and frame can eliminate the painful technique of suddenly yanking a girl’s shoulder out of her socket (let’s assume that we’re talking about responsive followers here). If you focus on connecting with her by using groove, timing and frame you’ll be able to add musical dynamic, quick stops, direction changes all without breaking her arm. Leading smoothly, even through high energy dances, is a skill that takes time to develop and it starts with self-awareness. Listen to her responsiveness when you dance, and you’ll stand out among the sea of schmucks who don’t.
Just like women, men can be divas…sometimes even worse than women. Let’s do a self-check. Here’s some typical male diva behaviors:
Wearing sunglasses at night: Unless you forgot your prescription glasses, or lost a contact lens and all you have are your prescription shades, there’s probably no reason for you to dance with sunglasses on in a dark club. It puts up a wall between you and your partner and can give the impression that you're just too cool to show any expression. You might actually be cool, but really cool guys know how to do this with their dancing and their awesome attitude.
Not smiling/looking bored out of your mind: No one wants to feel like you’re doing them a favor by dancing with you. If you’re having a fun dance, why not crack a smile every now and then?
Not making eye contact: Making playful eye contact is a great way to create connection and show interest in a dance. Looking away the whole time can project a sense of arrogance, that you’d rather be dancing on your own, or that you can’t wait for this dance to be over. If you’re not a diva, know that this is one of the most common complaints, so check yourself and correct yourself so people don’t get the wrong impression about you.
Solo dancing: We’ve all been there before – you're in love with a song and you just want to get down. If your partner can’t groove with you, you decide to just disengage so you can enjoy the dance for yourself. Don't leave her stranded. Partner dancing is a conversation, remember?
Unsolicited corrections on the dance floor: Unless someone is asking for feedback during a social dance (which really isn't the time or place unless everyone's okay with it), DON'T TEACH ON THE DANCE FLOOR. She may not be looking for an assessment and may actually be more experienced than you. And that move that you keep trying to correct her on? It might just be your lousy lead. So think twice before giving her some unsolicited advice about her following or giving her dirty looks when your move doesn't work.
Never apologizing for your errors: We all make mistakes on dance floor. Sometimes it's you, sometimes it's her, and sometimes it's external factors like that other guy that keeps bumping into you. If it's your mistake, it's nice to hear an "oops, my bad!" to help the other person know that you can recognize when you make a mistake and aren't infallible. Then you can laugh about it and say "no worries"! It keeps the dance light and shows a level of humility.
I know it seems like we complain about no eye contact, and now we’re here talking about staring. It’s all a fine balance. Dancing is interactive and there’s so much energy, character and feeling in one’s eyes (yet another reason not to wear sunglasses on the dance floor ). Good eye contact can be sexy, flirty, playful and fun BUT every now and then fellas, you need to look away. And don’t forget to blink. Staring and not blinking is creepy, and is one sure way for her to avoid looking at you. When she’s forced to disengage because your staring is making her feel weird, you’ve just lost connection. Put your eyes back in your socket, remember to blink. Be playful, not creepy.
DANCING OFF BEAT
This is a frustration that applies to followers who have good timing, and use that skill to connect with their partner. In the absence of words, music is our common language. Not only does it inspire movement, it provides the very basic elements of the dance like the pace, which in turn dictates the rhythm and speed at which we move. Needless to say, music is crucial when you’re trying to coordinate steps and turn patterns with another person. At the very least, a predictable rhythm is needed to coordinate two people. When your steps and rhythm are random, it’s like she's on a wild goose chase. She has no tools to help her understand what you're doing. This is mentally painful. Avoid complicated moves until you have mastered your basic timing and rhythm.
Some of the biggest complaints about male leaders are BO (body odor), bad breath or over-the-top sweatiness (this applies to women too!) We all know the drill.... shower, use deodorant, bring extra t-shirts, use mints instead of chewing gum like a cow, maybe use some cologne but don’t overdo it. Don't place her hand on that pool of sweat collecting on your neck, or spin like the Tasmanian Devil, spraying sweat on her like high powered sprinkler. The easy fix? Bring extra t-shirts and a towel, and take some breaks to dry yourself off and freshen up :)
OCTOPUS ARMS (UNSOLICITED GROPING)
We know that most guys start to learn to dance to meet girls. #nojudgements #justsayin'. There aren’t many environments that make it acceptable to be so close with a ton of girls in one night and not think anything of it. Having said that it’s not a free-for-all to grope her under the “guise” of “dancing”. While some women are brave enough to be vocal about their discomfort, many women are not. Instead of saying something, they may just avoid you with the hopes that you’ll get the hint. No one wants to have that uncomfortable conversation which might hurt someone’s feelings. Respect her space and pay attention to her comfort level. Be a gentleman. If she gives you a clear green light to get closer, then proceed at your own risk.
Gentlemen, we hope that this list gives you some useful insight! Great leaders are awesome not just because of their technical and artistic ability, but also their spacial awareness and their talent for communicating with their partners without being forceful. And that extra special something....they project an attitude that is confident yet warm, gracious and humble. This is a winning combo that women cannot resist. Let's keep making great experiences on the dance floor!
Author: Caryl Cuizon, iFreeStyle.ca Co-founder.