- HE DOESN’T MAKE YOU SAFE
When you dance with a woman, she expects you to take care of her and not lead her into dangerous terrain or oncoming traffic. While she is not just a passenger on this trip, you as the leader are just as responsible for the “movements” as she is safe navigation through the jungle of the dancers. When you lead her to other people, you are not protecting them. Instead of enjoying the dance, she is on defense mode to protect herself you are not. This is an easy way to lose confidence. They can even make bystanders nervous if they are standing or dancing around you. If you’re the type of person who constantly (and without apology) bumps into other people or hurls your partner at anyone in their path, it’s just scary. The moral of the story here … watch out, protect it and manage your space!
- DRUNK DANCING
Just don’t do it folks. You’ll always be remembered as THE guy who was so hammered, couldn’t stand up, drooled over his partner and maybe even puked on her. Rough. We all know that heavy drinking doesn’t go well with salsa dancing. It’s difficult to keep a good balance even when you are 100% sober. But for many it is part of the dance experience. It’s social, takes the edge off, gives you fluid courage to invite women to dance, or helps you let go instead of being a $$$ on the dance floor. If you find that you stink of alcohol and are spiraling out of control (you might not be a good judge at this point – hopefully your friends will help you before you fool yourself), maybe it is time to just shine dance for the rest of the night if you insist to stay. 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 want to be treated like women. Let’s be explicit here … dealing with people is a BIG NO-NO. If you need to force a move, then something is wrong – maybe you, or your connection together. Forcing a move is a great way to show Lack of awareness. Big executives “listen” to their ability to react and then adapt to it spontaneously. If you feel a lot of resistance, take that as a sign. Don’t force it or make additional moves if she’s shaky and hasn’t recovered from the last move. Always with Tranquillity! In their defense, many leaders may not understand how “rough” their leadership can be. If you’re not sure, get feedback from a seasoned follower whose opinion and honesty you trust. Shoulder injuries are very common among salsa dancers. It doesn’t help that most of us hit the dance floor without stretching, so it’s partly our own fault. That being said, many executives don’t know their own strengths or have not yet learned how timing, elasticity, and frame can eliminate the painful technique of suddenly pulling a girl’s shoulder out of her pan (responsive followers here). By focusing on connecting with groove, timing, and frame, you can add musical dynamics, quick stops, and changes of direction without breaking her arm. Leading smoothly (even during a high-energy salsa) is a skill that takes time to develop and it starts with confidence.
LISTEN TO YOUR RESPONSIBILITY when you dance and you will stand out from the sea of fools who don’t.
- DIVA DANCING
Just like women, men can be divas … sometimes even worse than women. Let’s do a self-test. Here are some typical behaviors of male divas:
- Wear sunglasses at night: Unless you’ve forgotten your prescription glasses or lost a contact lens and only have your prescription glasses left, there is probably no reason for you to dance in a dark club with your sunglasses on. It builds a wall between you and your partner and can give the impression that you’re just too cool to show any expression. You actually could being cool but really cool guys know how to do that with their dancing and great attitude.
- Don’t smile / look bored: Nobody wants to feel like you’re doing them a favor by dancing with you. If you have a fun dance, why not put a smile on your face every now and then?
- No eye contact: Playful eye contact is a great way to connect and show interest in a dance. Looking away all the time can instill a sense of arrogance that you’d rather dance alone or can’t wait for that dance to end. If you are not a diva you know that this is one of the most common complaints so do check and correct yourself so people don’t get the wrong impression of you.
- Solo dancing: Salsa is generally a partner dance. We’ve all been there before – you’re in love with a song and just want to get down. If your partner can’t groove with you, choose to just break away so you can enjoy the dance for yourself. Don’t leave them stranded. Partner dance is a conversation, do you remember?
- Unsolicited corrections on the dance floor: Unless someone asks for feedback during a ballroom dance (which really isn’t the time or place, unless you agree to it), don’t teach on the dance floor. She may not be looking for a review and may even be more experienced than you. And that move where you keep trying to correct it? It could just be your vague guidance. So think twice before you give her unsolicited advice, whether to follow her or throw her dirty looks if your move isn’t working out.
- Never apologize for your mistakes: We all make mistakes on the dance floor. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s her, and sometimes it’s external factors like the drunk guy that you keep coming across. If it’s your fault, it’s nice to say “Oops, my bad!” to listen. to show the other person that you can recognize when you are making a mistake and not being infallible. Then you can laugh about it and say “don’t worry”! It keeps the dance light and shows a certain humility.
I know it seems like we’re complaining about no eye contact, and now we’re talking about the staring 👀. It’s all a fine balance. Dancing is interactive and there is so much energy, character and feeling in the eyes (another reason not to wear sunglasses in a club). Good eye contact can be sexy, flirtatious, playful, and fun 😜 BUT every now and then you have to look away. And do not forget flash. Staring and not blinking is creepy and a safe way for them not to look at you. If she is forced to break up because your stare makes her feel weird, you have just lost the connection. Put your eyes back in your eye socket and remember to blink. Be playful, not scary.
- OFF BEAT
This is a frustration that goes to followers who have good timing and who use that skill to connect with their partner. Without words, music is our common language. Not only does it inspire movement, but it also provides the basic elements of dance such as tempo, which in turn determines the rhythm and speed at which we move. Needless to say, music is crucial if you are trying Coordinate steps and turn patterns with another person. At least a predictable rhythm is required to coordinate 2 people. If your steps and rhythm are random, it’s like she’s on a wild goose hunt. She doesn’t have any tools to help her understand what you’re doing. It is psychologically painful. Avoid complicated movements until you m. to haveastered your basic timing and rhythm.
Some of the biggest complaints about male executives are BO (body odor), bad breath, or excessive sweating (this goes for women too!) Instead of chewing gum like a cow, you might use some colognes, but don’t overdo it. Don’t put your hand on the pool of sweat that collects on your neck or turn around like the Tasmanian Devil and spray sweat on them like a heavy duty sprinkler. The easy solution? Bring extra t-shirts and a towel and take a few breaks to dry off and freshen up 🙂
- OCTAPUS ARMS (UNINVENTED GROPING)
We know that most guys started learning salsa (or bachata or kizomba) in order to meet girls. #not judgments #just say. There aren’t many environments that make it acceptable to dance so close to a lot of girls in one night and think nothing of it. However, it is not in vain to feel them under the “robe” of “dancing”. While some women are brave enough to speak out about their discomfort, many women are not. Instead of saying something, they might just avoid you in the hope that you will get the hint. Nobody wants to have this awkward conversation that could hurt someone’s feelings. Respect their space and pay attention to their comfort. Be a gentleman. If she gives you a clear green light to come closer, then proceed at your own risk.
Folks, we hope this list gives you some useful insight! Great leaders are great not only because of their technical and artistic skills, but also because of their spatial awareness and their ability to communicate with their partners without being intrusive. And that very special something … they project and Attitude that is optimistic still warm, gracious and modest. This is a winning combination that women cannot resist. Let’s keep having great experiences on the dance floor!
A huge thank you to all of the ladies who contributed to this list 🙂 Did we miss something? Comment below!
8 reasons why he won’t ask you for a second dance
Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of iFreeStyle.ca