In addition to my dance classes, as my goal is to get my students to dance, I host "field trips" wherein I take my students out to various bistros, ballrooms and jazz clubs, thereby allowing them the chance to practice the moves I taught them...and grant me an excuse to write off my booze for the evening. This last Saturday I went to a Latin joint for my Latin and Salsa dance students, and though lightly attended, we all had a good time.
However, while sipping away at my Rumpleminze and talking with some of my students, I witnessed out of the corner of my eye a phenomenon that is all too common and must be eradicated immediately. An immigrant invariably of Hispanic descent, was sheepishly standing by a support column, visually trying to assess his chances of getting a group of girls sitting at a table to his right to dance with him. Inevitably he got enough courage to approach the table and as far as I could tell, didn't identify any one particular girl he'd like to dance with, but more or less just threw the option out on the table to see if ANYBODY would dance with him.
Unfortunately I knew what was coming for I had been there a million times before.
The girls looked at each other, pointed at one another, giggled and then tried to foist the "chore" of dancing with this man on their friends, all the while utterly insulting him there as he waited patiently for a grown up to arise from the group and say, "yes I would like to dance."
He had more patience than I did, as he sat there a painful 30 seconds while the little girls giggled amongst themselves and pointed at one another, but inevitably he turned away and left the girls to themselves.
Now ladies, I know it is not fashionable to provide women advice on...well...anything. And I know that because of the political climate in the US anything meant as constructive criticism is construed as misogyny. But, out of the benefit of advancing society and perhaps finding you a future love, tough. This is for your own good.
First, this is the primary reason you "can't find a man." Oh sure, you'll let Chip McWinthrop buy you a drink at the local sports bar on daddy's dime, you'll sign up for utterly pointless online dating services such as Match and E-Harmony, but when Pablo comes up to you and asks you to dance, oh, no. That's just outlandish now isn't it?! Let me explain to you how you are shooting yourselves in the foot. It doesn't get any more Cary Grant than a man who not only has the gall to approach a table of girls, but has the skill to back it up on the dance floor. A man that knows how to dance is like an automatic screener. If he has taken the time to learn a skill such as dance, chances are he is a bit more refined, intelligent, not a drug dealer, not living at home or whatever else was your ex-boyfriend in the past.
Second, I don't give a damn if you do or do not know how to dance. Sit there and wish all you want, you will never look like Ginger Rogers sitting, sipping your cosmopolitans and opining about how you'd LIKE to dance watching Dancing with the Stars, unless you get off your ass and dance. That's why men "LEAD" in dancing. About your only responsibility in dancing is to not fall down, otherwise a good lead will be able to make you look like a million bucks on the floor. Of course you can continue to sit there and look like a dime-a-dozen with your eleven other friends sipping your mojitos, but that's just me.
Third, out of pure simple courtesy, you needn't dance with us, but by god, if you dare do the giggly girl sh!t, pointing at each other saying, "no you dance with him! No YOU dance with him! Hee hee hee!! No, she really wants to dance with you!" while a true gentleman is standing in your presence, you earn the right to be perpetually single for the rest of your days. Be true grown up women, and afford these men the simplest of etiquette. This has not only happened to me, and "Pablo," but practically every male friend I know. And you know what the consequences are? When you finally do decide you're ready to dance or perhaps go to a fancy place and meet a refined Antonio Banderas, too bad. All the good guys quit and either don't show up or don't bother expending the calories of energy to go up and ask you to dance anymore. This is of no concern when you're 25 as 25 year old men still have it in them. But if you're 35 and you're constantly wondering "where are all the good 30 something/40 something/50 something men?" Yeah, that WAS us. We're enjoying some X-Box 360 and a scotch with our buddies over a poker game...might even invite Pablo.
Fourth. Understood. You just want to enjoy some jazz. You just want to listen to some serious Latin. You just want to hang out with your girlfriends and be left alone. Fine, we get that and can appreciate that. Then don't sit near the dance floor, while dolled up in some kind of alluring dancing attire as you gyrate to the music in your seat looking like a puppy dog begging for a bit of ice cream to fall off your cone. And for the love of Pete, don't take the token dance lesson at the beginning of the evening. It's called false advertising. Not that the men are stalking, but they do pay attention to who is taking the lessons or is exuding the body language that they'd like to dance. This way (well, in theory anyway) we only ask the girls who want to dance to dance and leave the others be in peace.
Fifth, it is a dance. That is all it is. Oh sure, we might angle to ask you out later, based on how much you try to commandeer the lead away from us. We wouldn't have asked you to dance if we didn't find you at least a little bit attractive, but it's not a proposal of marriage. It's not an indecent proposal. It's not even a date or even a compliment on your hair. It's a dance. It's about 3-5 minutes of moving around on the floor. Heck, the music is so loud, it's impossible to get to know you. So don't worry, we have no "aims" on you. We (shocking as it may be) just genuinely want to dance.
Sixth, take it from me. I've been teaching dance 10 years. And when it comes to dance ladies, the men ARE GONE when you get older. The vast majority of people in my dance classes without partners are women. The men just don't dance, especially the older they get. I have had classes so lopsided that there were 6 women for every man. And beg and plead as much as I do with my male friends to show up and pinch hit, very few of them do. Ergo, if you ever want to be the girl that is the center of attention on the dance floor, or (the ultimate coup de tat) be that girl who steals all the attention at the reception away from the bride and onto you, then by all that is Metal-Gear-Solid-sacred you do not turn down a man who is asking you to dance.