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Your First Dance Social: Do’s and Don’ts

So, you’ve worked up the courage to actually make it through the club doors (if you haven’t yet, click here), and are now faced with loud noise, crowded tables, and whirling bodies. How to make sense of this madness? Well, first…

Stake out your position

Before you wade in, watch the action. You’re looking for the ‘loading bays’ – where followers tend to cluster and leaders go to ask for dances. You also what to see how ‘traditional’ the space is – are the women primarily waiting to be asked to dance, and men doing the asking, or is there plenty of role reversal on both sides? Yes, I know this is an age of liberty, but at least until you’ve gotten to know the locals, it’s best the follow the ‘When in Rome’ rule (do as the Romans do).

About confidence

As with most things in life, confidence – or at least the appearance of confidence – is key. Start by making eye contact with other people and smiling. This establishes you as a friendly, outgoing person they might like to know better. Try and stay as relaxed as possible – have a drink if it helps (no more then one though). The social arena is nothing but a complex game of dress-up, with everyone hiding their own insecurities behind a nice outfit and witty banter – if you can come to recognize that, no one can intimidate you.

If you’re doing the asking

Keep it simple, keep it direct. Try and make eye contact with your prospect as you move towards them – if they hold your gaze, you’re good to go. Avoid obvious couples, but don’t hesitate to tap the shoulder of your target in a circle of friends. It’s easy to find reasons not to ask people, so try finding reasons why you should instead! What’s the worst that could happen? I’ve been told ‘no’ many times, and the world hasn’t ended yet.

When you’re close enough, keep your offer short and sweet; a ‘care to dance?’ paired with an offered arm leaves no room to confuse your intentions.

If waiting to be asked

Remember those places where all the leaders go to find partners? Position yourself there, or just stake out a place on the edge of the dance floor. Catch the eye of would-be partners as they circulate by, and put on your best smile. Also, keep the arms uncrossed, or you’ll look like you’re ready to berate the next dancer who walks up to you. Depending on what you see others do (and by ‘others’, I mean the ones who get called up to dance over and over) you might even let yourself dance a bit on the spot, or just sway to the music. All this helps you come across as someone who’s ready to accept a dance. It might feel strange and out of your comfort zone, but it will also score you far more dances then you would safely behind a table with your martini.

You now have the skills to get into the social scene and onto the dance floor. Now how do we keep from looking like a donkey once we get there? Tune in next time!

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