Posted by Epiphany
If you read 8 Ways to Get Asked Dance and people are still skirting around you and focusing on blank walls when they see you, consider the 9th and most powerful way to get people to sweep you onto the dance floor.
#9. Take a private lesson. Stay with me. I know you think you don’t need it. Maybe you’ve been dancing since you were 10. Maybe you’ve had years of training. You might even be working with a pro now. If you aren’t getting the dances you REALLY want, you probably need to change something.
Without regular coaching, we all get a little sloppy over time. Or maybe it’s something more problematic… like technique that got missed or weird habits. Whatever it is, we all need an instructor who has the guts to be honest with how we really feel to our partners.
Right now, people in every community are praying that someone they know would learn they are:
1. Totally unaware of how to stay on balance.
2. Rendering their partner’s hand unusable for the next dance.
3. Gouging out their partner’s kidneys.
4. Oblivious to timing and how music is actually structured.
5. Unaware of how to touch a human they are not assaulting.
6. Facing the wrong direction.
7. Molesting partners by connecting in the wrong places.
8. Impersonating a noodle.
9. Single-handedly destroying their partner’s back.
When you work with a great instructor, people will say great things behind your back instead of, “How the hell is she walking unassisted without falling over right now?”
And if you’ve worked with a beloved instructor and you aren’t happy with how your nights are going, then it’s time to face reality. Find a pro who has the courage to teach you what you need, not what you want.
If you are a social dancer who is feeling unfulfilled or frustrated, get a pro who is a master at teaching social dancing technique.
Having the right instructor is transforming the experience I have at milongas. Instead of ping-ponging around to every pro in town, I committed myself to one master level instructor to get my fundamentals totally cleaned up and developed. I’m still in the middle of my process, but this has been the most impactful thing I have done thus far for my dancing.
And sure enough… it’s starting to magnetically draw the better dancers to me so I finally have the kind of nights I really desire.
Posted by Epiphany
We all know the “Not Quite Social” dancer. They show up to a social dance and basically spend all night dancing with one person. It’s understandable if they are on a date. But sometimes it’s a rockstar dancer who just doesn’t want to dance with anyone else because… well, no one else is “worth dancing with.”
I have been that dancer. I have often heard “I don’t want to dance with anyone else here” muttered in my ear – and it’s always based on the skill level in the room. But then I realized what message we were sending to the rest of the community by shutting everyone else out.
I sensed that the message I was sending was: I don’t want to be part of the very community that made me the dancer I am today.
We are all dependent on good social dancing to practice and develop our skills. We get better by dancing with people of ALL skill levels (even beginners). Right now, there are a lot of people feeling frustrated and stuck in Intermediate Land. They don’t get to work toward their true potential because the more skilled dancers barely make eye contact with them.
This is creating a barrier to growth – both for dancers and venues. Dancers who aren’t challenged, don’t grow. They eventually drop out, give up or move on to other things. And it’s usually the high potential ones who do this.
Rockstar dancers, please remember this: There was a time when no one wanted to dance with you. A time when people gave you dances even though there were better partners in the room. A time when others secretly wished you would get some serious help with your dancing. And yet, people danced with you anyway – even when they didn’t have to or want to.
Let this be an invitation to the “Not Quite Social” dancers to return to the very community that created you. Come to the practicas and actively participate. Get to know the people in the room. Socialize a bit – especially at smaller dances. Dance with someone you haven’t met yet. Figure out who the high potential people are and help them along a bit – just as someone likely did for you.
Sadly, it’s a little creepy having people at a dance who think no one there is good enough to dance with (or who mock everyone else in the room). We need scene leaders who are active and positive contributors. Dance is all about connection… and it’s worth staying connected to the very community that built you.