How to Get Noticed at a Social
Let’s be honest here: you probably could use a few more dances at the next social. Or at least better dance partners – you might be nice enough to dance with a stumbler or backslider the first time, but every dance? Really??
The problem is the good dancers always dance with – well, the other good dancers. So if you are going to break into that crowd, you need to stand out. And for that, you need a strategy.
Strategy 1: The Inside Job
Quick question: do you prefer dancing with people you know, or strangers? If you answered the latter, you’re in the minority. We like dancing with people we know, partly because they aren’t psychopaths, and also because they won’t do something unexpected that could hurt us.
This strategy can take awhile, because it requires you to spend some time getting to know the locals, either by visiting the same club regularly, or taking group classes with them. The latter is much easier if you’re infiltration a studio social – just make sure the class isn’t too advanced, or you’ll be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Strategy 2: Working Your Way to The Top
This is my personal favourite for Latin clubs in Toronto, but it doesn’t work everywhere, and you’ll need a little dance experience. The key is to ask (or make yourself available to) someone who dances just a little better than your average partner.
Connect to this guy or gal, and dance your sweet heart out. Even if they only know a few steps, make it the best dance they’ve ever had. And don’t forget to add a bit of arm and body styling… IN MODERATION… To catch the eye of other dancers out there.
Why go through all this trouble? Because when you make an average dancer look good, someone who’s even further along will start taking notice… And if you handle yourself well with them, even the top-level dancers will pay attention. I’ve managed to get some amazing dances from people I’ve never met this way.
Strategy 3: Now You Speak My Language
If dance is a language, then the partners you’re after are the master wordsmiths, able to convey subtle leads without looking like they’ve done anything at all. And they are always on the lookout for others who speak their language.
When we talk about capturing the ‘look of a dancer’, this is usually what we’re talking about: Having a look that says ‘yeah, I make this look easy’. This strategy is the hardest, because it can take months, even years worth of lessons to nail this down. But once you have it, you will never lack for partners – they will find you.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.