This blog, originally published November 2007, is dedicated to an iFreeStyle student and friend who, like many shy middle school salsa, bachata, and cha-cha dancers, wanted to know how to “crack the code” for more Get dances … This one is for you! Have fun my friends and I hope it helps!

If you’re PROTECTING or NEW to the Latin dance community in your town, asking complete strangers to dance can be scary. Maybe you’re a beginner (stay tuned to find out more) or you’ve been dancing for a while and don’t understand why experienced dancers don’t ask you to dance. We all have some insecurities and fears of rejection, but you know that … rejection happened to EVERYONE. The best of the best dancers out there were obviously NOT the best when they started out. You are not alone. And there are ways to get out of the barren dance experience.

It’s partly a numbers game … The nature of partner dancing requires an explicit or implicit invitation to dance. Many times in one night. Sometimes the answer is “yes”, sometimes “no” or sometimes “later”. We put ourselves out there and rejection is a real possibility. The frequency of this invitation also invites more “no” opportunities and yes, that may not sound very encouraging. If you want to be a dancing machine instead of a wallflower, prepare to show yourself off. It takes some courage and expertise to maneuver yourself on your path to success, but chances are you’ll get results pretty quick if you try these tips.

These 10 tips on how to get more dances (applies to both men and women 🙂

  1. Smile 🙂 This seems pretty easy, but a lot of people don’t realize that they may have pathetic expressions on their faces – frowning, angry, bored, blank … someone who wants a fun dance is looking for someone who looks happy and funny. Check your misery, diva attitude and stress at the door and get ready to have a good time!
  2. Show inviting body language. Cross your arms, look at the dance floor, watch out, get up, put your drink down … As with number 1, your body language can either say, “I love to dance!” Or “stay away from me.” Be yourself and show your happy, fun-loving personality – we are drawn to people with a positive attitude and mood!
  3. Easy access (i.e. to the dance floor). Be near the dance floor (not ON the dance floor unless you want to get a punch in the head or irritate the dancers). If you’re not a top dancer, most people won’t go across a room, behind the plant, or reach across a table to ask you to dance, especially if the person is shy or afraid to say, “No.” ” come. So make yourself available. Easy access is a good thing in this case.
  4. Dance on the sidelines: If you aren’t dancing with a partner, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance or enjoy the music. Many experienced dancers look for people on the sidelines who show a good sense of rhythm and enjoy the music. So why not do some advertising? Move to the music and show them you can groove!
  5. Be gracious while you dance. Many people choose their next dance not only based on their dancing skills, but also their attitude and the way they watch the people treating their partner on the dance floor. I’ve seen a lot of AWESOME leaders on the dance floor making their partner feel like inferior and this is a BIG CHANGE. Plus, women are notorious for giving that dreaded “boring” look. That’s a man’s worst fear. Remember that maybe people are watching and a bad attitude towards other people could lose your ticket to a dance with someone who is great and worse with all of their friends.
  6. Thank you partner after every dance. It’s just common to thank your partner for dancing together for 3-5 minutes. They are likely to be more memorable and may be invited to dance again later.
  7. Put your best together. Okay, a lot of you are not going to like this one because it looks flat. Hear me out … when you put together a great outfit, shoes that look and feel good, nice hair, smell good … you will probably feel more confident. And people are naturally more drawn to self-confidence. That doesn’t mean you look slutty or that in a nightclub you need a million dollar outfit with dark shades to look cool. Just showcase the best you can. And if you can back that up with confident dancing, you are on your way to super dancing machine status.
  8. Go dancing more often. When dancers see you regularly, they recognize you as someone in the community. People connect naturally with people who like similar things. With every new dance you get to know new people and even develop a “favorites” list! These people know people who know people. It’s networking. Soon you will have a new group of dance buddies to dance with on a regular basis. Success !!
  9. Compar. When out with your friends, it is important to share your favorite dancers with each other. You will receive confirmation from your friend that you will likely enjoy the dance. And it helps expand your network of people to dance with.
  10. **** Be proactive and just ask. This is by far the easiest and fastest way to turn this barren dance experience into an oasis full of dance nights. If you want to dance with someone, ask. Simple. Take control of the situation and ask her yourself (nice, of course). And ladies, it’s equal opportunity in the dance world. Gone are the days when men all ask questions (although it’s still nice when he does). So if you don’t enjoy watching all night long, learn to get over it and just ask!

These tips are doable, right? Ultimately, proactive people get more out of life. So don’t wait Ask. Try some or all of these tips and see how it goes. Take control of your night and you may find yourself kicking your ass for indulging in so many danceless nights … Come on, get them. Have fun!


Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of

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