You spend hours picking out the perfect outfit. You stand in the mirror for God knows how long making sure no hair is out of place. Shoes and purse… fierce. Make-up… completely flawless. You’ve been taking dance classes for the past few weeks and in fact you just finished a 6 week beginners Salsa course. You have the look…you have the moves… but you will soon find out you’re missing one important piece… the attitude.
You ride along with your friends, dancetokyotama with the music blasting expecting a fun night. You arrive at the club and you hear the beat of the conga. You watch as smooth gentleman whisk women away to the dance floor and the ladies gracefully move to the beat. “Wow” you think to yourself…”everyone is just so good!” Before you know it you’re in the back of the room with clammy hands avoiding eye contact. You’ve gone from hoping for a night of dancing and great times to feeling like your back at your 6th grade Sadie Hawkins dance. In an effort to maybe meet someone or bring a bit of attention to yourself you move to the bar. No one says anything to you and certainly no one asks you to dance. You think to yourself… “Maybe I should buy a drink to loosen up”. You get the drink… and feel a little better… but no one comes over to you. Your friends have already spread out. The ones who had no intention to dance are hovering near you while the brave are out on the floor.
What went wrong? If you’re like most women especially women who don’t get out much… within the first 20 minutes of being out you started to doubt yourself. Women, we are our own worst enemy. We tear ourselves down before we give anyone else a chance too. I have taught countless dance classes where I have heard the following…
I don’t go out because no one will dance with me… I’m overweight.
No one will dance with me because I’m ugly.
No one will dance with me because I don’t have nice clothes.
No one will dance with me because I’m not that good.
No one will dance with me because I’m not sexy.
No one will dance with me because I’m not thin enough.
The list goes on. What I am here to tell you and what I have told many of my students is that NONE of that is true. I have given the following advice to countless women who after following my simple tips would find that not only were they being asked to dance, but they could barely get off the dance floor!
I wrote this quick guide to getting on the dance floor to help women everywhere get out… get moving and feel better about themselves.
Realize there is NOTHING wrong with you. When you feel insecure you act insecure. Sometimes insecurity or shyness comes across as unfriendliness. So first thing is first… realize there is nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful. You are smart. You’re entertaining and you are worth someone’s undivided attention. Remember self esteem is what one thinks of them self. It comes from within. You decide how you view you. So from this point on see yourself as the gorgeous and sexy vixen you are!
Tip: Want instant weight loss? Stand up straight! Just by paying attention to your posture and standing up straight you will appear thinner and more confident.
Smiling does wonders not only for your face but others perception of you. People who smile often appear to be friendlier. What women often fail to realize is that asking someone to dance is a nerve racking experience for men. Just like they were in the 8th grade…they’re often still a little afraid of the other sex. No one likes rejection. You might be thinking no one is talking to me because I’m not pretty but it might be the exact opposite. There might be tons of men in the room that think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world and are just too afraid to say something to you…let alone ask you to dance with them. Now imagine if you’re unconsciously scowling. No one is going to come within 10 feet of you.
Now you might be thinking…”smiling sounds nice and all…but what the heck am I supposed to smile at?” Yes staring off into space and smiling will in fact make you look like a lunatic. You don’t want to go that far. What you want to do is look for reasons to smile…such as people or things to smile at. Personally I like to go places where there is a live band. When I am watching a live band it’s hard for me not to smile and bounce to the beat. Another easy way to slip in some smiles is to spot a couple on the dance floor who is either having a great time or are phenomenal dancers or both. As you enjoy their dancing smile!
The easiest way to smile…find someone hot…make eye contact and smile at him. He just might smile back!
Once you’re on the dance floor, keep the smile on your face. Smiling really softens you and it will appear to your partner and to those watching that you’re actually having fun!
Get near the dance floor.
One of the first mistakes women make is to head straight for the bar or to find a seat. It’s OK to find a place to set your jacket down…but if you want to dance don’t sit. You have to make it a point to stand and to stand near the dance floor. Men tend to assume that women who are sitting don’t want to dance and women who are near the bar are getting a drink and will not want to dance. You want a fast track to the dance floor…stand next to it and bounce to the music. I guarantee someone will swoop you up in an instant. I have heard guys refer to women who stand near the dance floor as an “easy target” because they can tell they’re ready to dance. Don’t forget to smile!
If you’re studying a specific type of dance and you’re out for practice and to have a good time then dress the part. If you’re learning Latin dance, invest in a good pair of Latin style ballroom shoes. If you’re learning general ballroom, same thing get a good pair of closed toe ballroom shoes. There are appropriate types of shoes for almost every dance. If you’re serious about learning the dance or could see yourself going out to dance that style often, invest in the shoes.
Firstly men who are out dancing and want to dance will often scout out the scene and find the ladies who have the correct footwear. They target the ones with appropriate shoes because they assume they know how to dance and they rightly assume that the women wearing the proper shoes want to dance. Second you’ll be more comfortable. When I first started dancing socially I wore regular high heels and could not understand why after one hour I was sore and wanted to go home. One night a lady was nice enough to clue me in on her secret which was ballroom shoes. Shortly after I bought my first pair and never looked back.
You also want to make sure that you’re not dressing too skimpy. A lot of women feel like they have to show all of their body parts in order to get some attention. This simply just isn’t true. While wearing a super short mini dress and platforms will get you attention…chances are it will be the wrong kind of attention. I mean if you’re looking for that kind of attention more power to ya sista…otherwise be sexy, but not slutty. Just like there are different types of shoes for every dance there are typically different types of dress that go along with each style. Observe what is most appropriate for the style of dance you’re interested in and try to stay in that realm. If you’re into Latin dance like me, you will soon discover that there are many ways to be sexy yet classy, which I will discuss in my next guide.
Be a Kind and Gracious Dance Partner.
Once you get on the dance floor, be nice! Some women go from being on the sidelines to turning into an instant snob once they hit the dance floor. Be kind to your partner. Also don’t shy away from the ones you believe to be poor dancers. If they are there to learn be kind enough to let them practice with you. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if they are terrible (in your eyes)…smile. If they are off beat…be off beat with them. Dancing with a partner is about lead and follow…it’s not always about doing the dance correctly according to the “textbook”. Let him lead. There is nothing worse than watching a woman with a back-lead that is so strong that it looks like she and her partner are doing karate instead of dancing. Believe it or not…if you’re in tandem most people won’t even realize you’re doing it wrong or off beat. Just smile and have a great time. And unless you’re insulted, injured or there is a fear of injury never just leave your partner on the dance floor. Finish the song and allow your partner to escort you off the dance floor.
Not only will your partner thank you for your patience, but other men are watching you. They will take note of your kind and gracious behavior.
You don’t have to dance with a poor dancer all night, but make sure you try and dance with everyone at least once. There is something that can be learned from everyone. You should make an effort to dance with people of all skill levels.
Be sure to always thank your partner at the end of a dance. It will make him more likely to want to dance with you again.
Now get up…get out and get dancing!
Johnnya Burruss (Center) is a Los Angeles based lover of Latin music and an avid Salsa Dancer/ Instructor and Zumba instructor. She is the Creator and Editor in Chief of http://www.SalsaSouthBay.com.
She has dedicated her free time to spreading the love of Salsa and Dance fitness to the South Bay area of LA County via her website.
By day she works in television, radio and PR…holding a BA in Broadcasting and by night she hits the dance floor to the hottest Latin beats. She enjoys helping others enjoy music and dance as much as she does. For more information contact Johnnya directly