Ask someone to dance…mmm…easier said than done! Right leaders?
But what can we do..?
Holiday Milongas and Galas are up and coming, are you still feeling overwhelmed in a milonga environment?
Does even talking about this, make you dread agreeing to all these facebook invites?
Do you still need to give yourself the “TALK”…? You know the one I am talking about…
Where you remind yourself that: “You got this!” and that this year you have spent so many hours on your Tango, that you deserve to hear more “yes”s than “no”s. And if a follower doesn’t see that..it is “OK!”
Firstly, keep in mind that you are NOT alone!
Nobody likes to go out knowing that they will end up secretly hoping that they could just disappear.
Secondly, you are in luck because I have a list for you. A worst-to-best list on ways of asking someone to dance–Christmas edition!
Here are a few quick tips on “how to ask for a dance..” that you can take into consideration in the next milonga!
Equivalent to: Grabbing your desired partner’s arm as they pass by…
Leaders, I know that, you are feeling uncomfortable and that you want to play cool, BUT…NO! Just not this way…please!
Don’t grab people’s arms as they pass by to go to the bar…unless they are a good friend.
(it has happened to me…never went back to the place…)
Also, tapping on their shoulder, if they are not looking your way..? BAD idea! If they are not a good friend of yours…they are probably ignoring you.
You get the idea..? Anything threatening, will not do!
Leader: How are you?
Follower: (smiles) I…
Leaders: Lets dance!
(it has happened to me…I laughed…the first time)
If you don’t care, don’t ask!
Ok! I am joking…I think.
Of course, you care..!
And, I am sure, you are in fact very nice people BUT when the stress, or discomfort, or awkwardness…or all of the above… take over, then this is the outcome.
Socially dancing with someone, means sharing 12mins together, that doesn’t mean it is a dance-only experience.
Chatting is allowed and often times required!
And “How are you?” is in fact a good opening line. Simple, straightforward, perfect to break the ice. Just wait to hear the response!
Equivalent to: Playing too cool, before or while dancing…
Commenting on other people’s dance level/ abilities.
Making fun of other people’s way of dancing.
(it has happened to me…not funny)
Sharing either personal or private information…SO personal that the follower has NO COMMENT to make.
(it has happened to me. I smiled awkwardly and I avoid him ever since)
Commenting on your partner’s dance abilities while dancing. Even if the feedback is good and/or helpful it can be disturbing. Instead, wait for the dance to end and then proceed with caution!
Equivalent to: Sharing your bio before or while dancing!
My guess is that, you are trying to get off to a better start by showing how much you have accomplished in Tango. How many classes you have taken, to how many festivals you have been, how many privates you have taken and how many compliments you received from your teachers…
I am sorry to tell you but NOBODY CARES!
This is not a job interview.
Ask without presenting the reasons why they should accept!
Equivalent to: Ask and then start apologizing for 12mins straight…
Is this a milonga..? Ah! Sorry… I don’t know many moves.
I am sorry, I am beginner.
Damn, sorry I didn’t lead this right.
Sorry, this didn’t really work out.
Did I step on you again…? Sorry!
So here is how you can fix this…
Before you ask someone to dance, wait for the first song of the tanda. This way you can make sure, it is something you can and like to dance to.
Choose your partner wisely. Find someone at your level, not someone that you will feel uncomfortable or inferior dancing with.
On another note, mistakes can be “interesting surprises” (by a friend) happening during your dance. They don’t matter. Don’t make a big fuss. Just keep going! And lastly…
Apologize, only if you step on your partner OR if you collide with another couple!
Equivalent to: The perfect leader!
The perfect leader is the one who has good dance skills and a nice personality.
One who is comfortable enough to chat, with confidence and who actually cares to connect with the other person.
Take your time, enjoy every second of the milonga either by chatting or by dancing!
When the time comes to dance, make sure you are very clear with what you want…like young Spencer in the letter above.
He doesn’t want just any truck…no no no…he wants a remote control GMC truck!
Keep it simple, clear and straightforward especially while dancing with someone for the first time, they will appreciate it!
So to sum it up. When you ask someone to dance, you:
- Wait for the song to start
- Choose your partner wisely
- Show confidence but NOT arrogance
- Bring in a sociable, relaxed personality
- Before you dance, spend a few seconds chatting
(Maybe something like: Hi! How are you? Wanna dance?)
- Concluding, during the dance: Keep it simple and clear and don’t comment on or make fun of other people
Now if you need more help on the social etiquette and the cabeceo…
Subscribe to get the Ultimate guide on Tango training for leaders and followers, we cover all that in Part 8..!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Hit the holiday milongas with no fear!