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Responding Appropriately to Poor Social Dance Etiquette


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Old 11th June 2017, 9:57 AM   #1
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Responding Appropriately to Poor Social Dance Etiquette

I have been a frequent (male) salsa dancer for several months now, and there is a phenomena I have been encountering lately of poor dance etiquette (with females).

Namely, I will ask a lady to dance, and she will say something like "let me just get a drink of water quickly..." or "I have to adjust my contacts..." or some variation of that which implies she'll be just a second, and then I wait for her and she shows up on the dance floor 20 seconds later with another man. At this point with the song going, all other dance partners are taken and I'm left sitting the dance out because I waited on someone who stood me up. Last night, a woman who I've had many good dances with in the past did this to me, and then would bump into me throughout the rest of the night and every time would initiate contact with me and say "just give me a couple of songs" or something like that, and then never come to me. I find this incredibly disrespectful and poor etiquette. If you say you're going to dance with someone, you should follow through with your word.

What I typically do in these scenarios is shrug it off and put the lady on my mental 'Do Not Ask to Dance With' list. Once I hear "no" I never ask again until she asks me. My question though is what to say to these women if and when they ask me to dance again at a future point, because I can imagine this happening, me dancing with them, and me telling them politely that if they agree to dance with me "in a second" in the future to please follow through on etiquette, and consequently some of them getting angry. It's my sense that some of these women feel that social grace doesn't apply to them, but I believe that courtesy has a place in the social dance scene. So I'd like to bring it up with women who I've experienced this with if in the future they approach me to dance again.

Basically, how am I supposed to respond to these women's request to dance in the future and address the poor etiquette while minimizing their potential for an anger response? I believe I can be mature about it and stand up for myself without putting them down, but I feel like it's inevitable many women I attempt this with will get all reactive.

Last edited by TunaInTheBrine; 11th June 2017 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 12th June 2017, 6:32 PM   #2
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Yes, I'd Love To!

Hi, Tuna!

How rude. To me what you describe is the social equivalent of walking away from someone while they're talking to you.

Where I come from, when a lady wishes to dance with the gentleman who has just asked her, she smiles, says, "Why, I'd love to!" stands up, and takes the arm he's offered. He escorts her to the dance floor, and they have their dance.

(Afterwards, of course, he escorts her back to her table.)

When she does not wish to dance with him, she smiles and politely refuses: "Thank you so much, but not right now," or "Oh, no, but thank you so much."

As far as getting your message across, as much as I appreciate the wish and feel the temptation, don't stoop to their level. Why would you want to involve yourself with such ill-bred women? They've demonstrated amply who and what they are, and they'll get your message loud and clear when they see you dancing with everybody else.
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Old 16th June 2017, 1:26 AM   #3
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Since this is happening often to you, I have to wonder if this is down to miscommunication, rather than all these different girls being really rude all the time.

When you ask them to dance, do they actually say "yes"? When they say, "I have to go get some water" or "I have to fix my contacts," is it possible that they're politely brushing you off? They might feel like the "no" is implied, and what they mean is "No, I have to get water" and you're taking it as "Yes, just hold on a minute."

And if a girl does say no to a dance the first time you ask her, do you accept it and leave her alone, or do you keep asking until she excuses herself with "Gotta go fix my contacts, bye."

Have you ever reacted poorly to a woman giving you a direct "no thank you"? That could result in girls letting you down more passive and gently than usual, because they're afraid of a negative reaction from you.

Just trying to offer possible scenarios because I find it improbable that quite a few girls have been so rude as to say yes and then blatantly blow you off.


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Originally Posted by TunaInTheBrine View Post
...and me telling them politely that if they agree to dance with me "in a second" in the future to please follow through on etiquette,
No, don't do this. You should never try to lecture another grown adult about their manners. If you don't want to hang out with someone because they have bad manners, then just don't hang out with them. It's really not your place to try to educate them, and they'll probably resent it if you try.
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Old 16th June 2017, 12:51 PM   #4
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IME, some women tend to not be direct communicators very often - especially with rejection. I don't get why they just can't say something like I promised this dance to someone else though.
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Old 16th June 2017, 12:54 PM   #5
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This is rude, I agree. I think I'd say that I'm sorry but Im waiting for another lady who agreed to dance. *hint hint hint*
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Old 16th June 2017, 1:09 PM   #6
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I salsa and people do do that kind of thing and it sucks. I dont think youre doing something wrong or misunderstanding. Theyre being passive and kinda jerky. I make sure to never be vague about it myself and if I say no, I wont say yes to someone else for that song. If I say no because I already have a partner lined up, I say that so the guy doesnt think Ive just found someone better.

Ive had the vague thing happen a couple of times but more often its that someone says no and then I see theyre dancing with someone else 20 seconds later. I understand that not everyone I ask is required to dance with me but there are ways to smooth it over without being rude.

The worst is, I swear to god, Ive had a couple of guys tell me, "no thanks, I dont know how to salsa," and then seen them doing it a few minutes later. I know this must make me sound like some kind of leper, but Im actually quite a good salsa dancer and a fun person to be around. lol. But I do think theres a pretty snotty element in the salsa scene. Its very clique-y. Plus theres a lot of guys just dying to hook up. Im not the typical salsa girl -- Im very serious about my dancing, dont drink while im doing it, dont dress up and wear high heels and tons of make up and have long flowy hair to whip around. And there're a lot of guys who just plain wont dance with me bc of that. The people that are there because they love to dance like to dance with me though.

ETA: As for your question, if it really drives you crazy, you could say something when it happens but I dont think its a good idea. The woman is never gonna take it well and shes very likely to tell her friends and then theyre not gonna wanna dance with you. Definitely dont bring it up weeks into the future. That will just make you seem overly butthurt and grudgy.

One way to avoid it in the future is if you think its happening, before she turns to get her drink or what ever, say, "ok, how about I catch you later." If you do ask later and she does the same again, dont keep asking her.

Last edited by grays; 16th June 2017 at 1:16 PM..
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Old 16th June 2017, 1:49 PM   #7
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TITB you need to find another way to meet women.
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Old 16th June 2017, 2:02 PM   #8
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poor form.....if you dont have a dance lined up and someone offers you a dance you take it regardless....a dance is not a marriage proposal.....its a dance.....i dance with guys who dont get to dance normally...never said no unless it was because my feet were about to drop off...and if that is the case i tell them give me some breathing time and i will find you.....and i go find that guywhen i am ready....if i had a dance lined up i would say so....

you say salsa dancing ...is it a professional rig.....because if that is the case soem women will pick out strong partners they knows to dance with so they look good....)..fickle huh.....next time notice the guys who dance really strong and they are almost always out there on the floor........i dont mind a laugh while dancing ...if i misttep or my partner does i think its actually part of the beauty of dance is to have a good time....and just be yourself....and dance your feet off....smilin...love your dance ..have fun..the right women will say yes..and you can save your best moves...for them......the wrong women.....meh.....let them be them...dont waste your energy thinking about their poor form..keep dancin......deb
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:33 PM   #9
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I don't intend to be rude, I don't know you at all, i'd ask this question if anyone... but is there something about you that's putting all of these women off? Poor hygiene? Bad breath? Excessively sweaty without mopping up?
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Old 26th June 2017, 1:33 PM   #10
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There's nothing wrong with it if they need a second to go get a drink or whatever. What's wrong with it is if they then never come back. So don't jump down their throat for just saying they need something to drink first.

These women who don't come back have their eye on some other guy or guys there and not you, so although I know you need a partner, I think you may need to ask some of the ones who aren't quite so popular or attractive or whatever because they can dance with who they want and you're kind of wasting time with them if they have zero interest in dancing with you even.

Ask the girl no one else is asking. You don't have to be more than a partner with her or let her monopolize you.
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