When everyone wants to give you their advice

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by AngularMomentum, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. AngularMomentum

    AngularMomentum Changui

    I've been dancing salsa for a year now as a follow and I'd like to get some advice concerning dance socials.

    I'm not the greatest dancer of all times. I'm still learning - it's no secret and I know it. But by learning I mean I spend on average 3h a week in a salsa class (= with instructors I chose, whose teaching style works for me, whose dancing skills and style I admire and aspire to).

    I fell in love with salsa music and dance so in addition to classes I also enjoy social dancing. I had some extra time on my hands last couple of weeks so started going out regularly. But to be honest the amount of advise I started getting is really discouraging.

    I don't mean situations when e.g. the lead sees I lost the beat for whatever reason and starts counting, I think it's helpful and I appreciate them trying to help me out. If someone I know tells me during the dance that they want to try/show me a new combination and briefly outlines what it is before, I think that's cool - hey we're friends.

    The kind of things that really take away fun from social dances for me are:
    • Lead gives me feedback after every move/combination (even if it's positive, hearing "good job" 15 times during a song makes me feel like during an exam and it's hard to relax when you know someone is constantly evaluating your performance. Also do I really seem so clueless???)
    • Lead tells me to do moves I don't know how to do and/or don't want to do (I'm not big on body rolls - I don't think I do them well enough to show it off in public (I practice at home though). I don't want to do a body roll during a social and that's why I don't do them. Trying to lead it 3 times and following by a lecture what that lead was supposed to mean is basically telling me you think I'm dumb :/ )
    • Lead imposes his personal style preference on me (last week a complete stranger told me "once I do this, you will go with your hand like this in a very sexy way" - you say sexy I say vulgar... It happened several times that someone shows me a move (sensual or not) I really don't think looks good and tells me to do it).
    Does anyone have a recommendation how to deal with those situations? Yes, my technique needs improvement, but at a social dance I want to just zoom out, enjoy the music and the dance... Not try to figure out how to politely tell someone I already have a dance instructor. Also, please note none of the people I mentioned here are professional dancers/instructors. They just danced longer than me.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  2. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    It's not on for a dancer to lecture you on anything during a social dance, unless you have asked for it.

    My advice is to be upfront and honest, and tell them whilst you appreciate their help, that you're out to simply dance and have a good time, and if you wanted a class, you'd pay for it. These dancers who feel the need to lecture others are in fact themselves insecure in their dancing and do it as a means of making themselves feel superior, simply because something (a lead for instance) isn't working, and they are reluctant to accept that their own dancing needs work.

    Talk to your instructor and let them know what's going on, and get the instructor to talk to other instructors, and they can then ensure they tell their students it's not cool to lecture on the dance floor, and to leave teaching to the teachers in the class. This needs to be done over and over again because it's surprising how many people who should know better don't actually know this.

    My GF imho (sure I'm probably being biased) is by far one of the best female salsa dancers in Canberra (for the NY on2 style - there are of course different styles dances in this city). She still occasionally gets lectured by dances who are in fact clueless, and think that because they are one of: 1. Male, 2. Latino, 3. Have danced ballroom, 4. Can dance tango, 5. Are bachata stars, etc, that they somehow know better. I shake my head at this - the phenomenon is real.

    You are free to avoid certain dancers if they make you feel uncomfortable. After a while they will get the hint, and hopefully change their ways.
    SnowDancer, wol and azana like this.
  3. AngularMomentum

    AngularMomentum Changui

    Thank you Jag75, it's a good idea to mention this to instructors and try to address the larger problem. My salsa community is relatively small and I am on friendly terms with most of the instructors here, they are all very nice people so I'm sure they'd hear me out.

    I try not to take this personally, but it's really making me self-conscious. I've been putting a lot of my heart into improving and I want to think at this point I can dance - not very well, not very advance, but nonetheless you can call it a dance not a spasm. Maybe dancing with me is not the most mindblowing experience for the leads, but I didn't notice anyone avoiding me, many do ask me for 2nd dances, I sometimes get complements after a dance, so I can't be the worst either, right? And then BAM I get someone commenting on my skills the whole dance, all my confidence is gone and I feel like a clown...
  4. Chris_Yannick

    Chris_Yannick Shine Officer

    holy crap.. I just had a conversation with a friend last night about a similar situation, but it was with a well known teacher who commented on her following throughout the dance, put through her very difficult patterns without giving any regard to her ability to perform them and laughed at her when she made a mistake (it wasn't a mutual feeling as she wasn't laughing).

    I don't believe anyone should be teaching while social dancing. If they persists and it becomes uncomfortable to the point where it takes away from your fun, I would let them know. If they dismiss your concerns and continue teaching on the dance floor, then I would refrain from dancing with them in the future.

    In my friend's case, it was with a well known instructor who she absolutely hates dancing with. I told her to do the same thing, but it is difficult because 1) he is a well known instructor 2) she is too nice. But he has ruined her dance night on more than 1 occasion including last night. It was so bad that we had to leave the club immediately after she danced with him and she is a good dancer!

    Don't let anyone ruin your fun! I don't care if they are a teacher, clueless beginner or arrogant know-it-all. You have a right to feel safe and have fun while social dancing. If that means having to stop mid-dance or black listing someone because they simply refuse to take a hint, they so be it.
    wol, Live2dance, vit and 1 other person like this.
  5. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    You should state it to THEM, that you don't want that advice.


    Some women have great problem with men mansplaining them all the time, some non.
    What is the major difference?
    The first group tends to see themselves in the roll of the weaker, the victim and they behave like that. They are passive and let the man do. And while the man is standing there and mansplaining, they are smiling, nodding, sometimes even flirting. While she thinks this makes him stop hurting her, the guy thinks she likes it.
    The second group sees themselves as communicative equal - they are emancipated. They simply counter their approaches and do not invite it. And when a man really insists on that behavior, they leave him, instead of playing nice.

    Ok, I could write you a pages long essay, about how that system works. But there is one key word: emancipation.
    Your technique does not need improvement.
    Your skirt does not need to become shorter.
    Your boyfriend does not need to look grimmer.
    Your confidence simply needs a boost.
    Leave the roll of the weak beginner, of the victim, of the traditional, passive female. Stand up for yourself! If necessary with allies, you picked yourself!

    Don't let your night be ruined by others, make it great yourself.
    @Chris_Yannick 's friend is a good example of what happens, when you play nice and let the man do. And the whole scene is supporting that teacher as nobody dares to speak against him - aside from those strangers and outsiders (far away from the DJ booth) who, if you look closely, actually are the better dancers.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    Chris_Yannick and vit like this.
  6. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    1) Ask them to show by example. Let them get someone to lead them and show how it's done. If they can do it - watch and learn and take notes. :D
    2) You're probably too good looking and submissive person to dance with them. See posts above.
    3) There is still a chance people are trying to help. Don't close yourself to such opportunities. They'll get more rare the better dancer you become.
    wol and vit like this.
  7. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Problems 1 and 2 are connected with how salsa is being taugt by most instructors, which mostly sell moves, without much point on other things making a good dancer. And people actually want that. So quality of the dancer is judged by the number of moves they can lead/follow or how cool they look by most. So these problems are hard to avoid no matter which level you are. Just make it clear what you actually want from dancing and find people you can dance with that way
    terence and Winston like this.
  8. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    I also had "teachers" on the dance floor. But I liked it, and I like it now. I do not overthink, if he wants to show me something....ok...let's do that. He has only one or two songs, why not? Honestly, I really learn how to dance not in the class room but interacting with different dancers. It is a lot of fun to be open for new experience. It feels so good when you release control. Also, I do not expect anything from my dance partner; I am just listening and folloving. Now I almost do not have teachers on the dance floor...
    Winston and vit like this.
  9. Chris_Yannick

    Chris_Yannick Shine Officer

    There is a high chance my friend will recover from this incident and will become a better dancer because of it, but it was traumatizing and there shouldn't be any traumatizing things happening in salsa.

    Dancers/teachers who force followers to dance when they don't want to, put them through difficult patterns beyond their skill level and who don't adapt at all to their partners should go back to "basics" in both dancing and etiquette.

    I think being challenged and being given constructive criticism is good, but should be done in moderate amounts.
    Of course, I don't have the full picture and am missing parts of the story, but there is no excuse for a teacher to excessively critique or ignore social cues that often during a social dance... maybe I could have sympathy for him if my friend was a bad follower, but she isn't.
    vit likes this.
  10. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    Salsa dancers bring their personality on the dance floor. It is ocean and not a swimming pool. You cannot protect your friend from everithing because you cannot control everything. For seven years I have not had a bad experience. Perhaps I am lucky:) When I was a beginner, I let my partner know about it. Hi, I am a beginner dancer, so I am not ready yet for advanced combinations. But if you want to try something, I am open. Try it:). In this case, he becomes responsible, not you because you mentioned that you are new. :) I was afraid of deeps; I asked my partner not to do it or do it gently:). All my partners were respectful and gentle. Salsa is all about communication.
    wol, Winston and vit like this.
  11. Winston

    Winston Descarga

    I agree that this is an important cause. But I don't think that a lead should ever give advise without being asked.
    A lead should work with what the follow gives him. So, if she can only do a basic step with me, I will dance the whole song only basic step. And I will challenge myself to make us both look nice.

    If i want to dance like a cool pattern monkey I will ask a lady that can handle all those turns coming after each other. Probably one of my regular partners.

    I can't tell if this is the case here, but it could be that Angular Momentum is a young hot sexy lady who doesn't dance very well yet. And than you always have "certain type" of guys who want to "help" her become better.
  12. Marisha

    Marisha Descarga

    I have several friends; they are beginner leaders. So, they told me a lot of strange stories how ladies treat them. Ladies teach them, count, behave as an "equal partners.":D I told them one phrase that they can use in this case, and it works. If a lady starts to teach them, they can tell her something like this: "You want to lead me, dear?" :D:rolleyes:
    vit and Smejmoon like this.
  13. granrey

    granrey Sonero

    Just don't dance again with people you don't want to.
    wol, DJ Yuca, vit and 2 others like this.
  14. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I will break the norm but this is not to be the laywer of these guys. Straight forwardly I would dance again with number 1, but not number 2 and 3.

    I sometimes do the number 1 to give confidence to the lady. It might be 15 times but only if needed. It usually happens with ladies that undervalue themselves. So, if I ask a lady to dance and she starts by saying "oh am not a good dancer" (when I saw her and she looks good), and then starts apologising every 10sec after every move I make then I feel I need to boost her confidence so I might keep on saying "well done" regularly. Confidence is important as it helps the posture and hence the dance.

    Now it could be that the guy number 1 is an arrogant fool (in which case don't dance with him again either) or that he likes you or that he is a nice guy. Personally, I remember taking BR private lessons with my partner and the teacher gave her a really difficult move to do. When she succeeded in doing it I told my partner "well done". She was like "yea men, whatever". The teacher was female and she turned to my partner and said something like "you are lucky, you should be happy with that because most guys even if you dance great they will still tell you that you are crap"!
  15. AngularMomentum

    AngularMomentum Changui

    Thank you all for your answers, I really appreciate them! When thinking about I did put myself a submissive positions ("I need to be nice to good dancers, otherwise they won't dance with a beginner"). Yeah screw that, there is a good pool of people who dance with me and it's always fun with them, so why the heck am I trying to impress a bunch of people I do not click with to say the least. It was not an obvious place to look for a problem to me since I am pursuing a career in a heavily male dominated field and never had issues handling guys (including arrogant types). I will be more mindful about it just like I am at work.

    I am not sure how two people concluded that I am probably hot, but I'll take that ;-) And probably cut back on the red lipstick
    Live2dance likes this.
  16. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    In most cases these "teachers" are trying to impress the follow.
    Why are they doing so? Because they are interested in her being impressed.
    Where does this interest come from? As you probably are not the great dancer yes, probably because they have a physical interest.

    Unless your dancing got a special charm, this in most cases means simple physical attraction.
    Physical attraction means, the girl is hot enough, to awaken that.

    Well, you can cut back on the lipstick, or you can learn how to induce car accidents.
    (= You can evade and decrease your physical attraction. Or you can take control over the situation and play with the men's attention.)
    If you like yourself made up a bit hotter you just need to learn to handle a bit unwanted attention. In return you will get also the wanted attention - even more, if you know how to handle those too!

    (Did I ever say, that I am totally into the super confident Vamps - as long as they aren't ********.)
    SnowDancer and Smejmoon like this.
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    "We" must have stated that 100 times .
  18. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    We are salsa doctors, we diagnose and prescribe on internet.
    Peason, vit and Marisha like this.
  19. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Ever heard this one:
    Guys love salsa because they are in control.
    Girls love salsa because they are never wrong.

    It is the guys to lead the girl and if she isn't getting it then it is the guy's fault. Not her fault for doing something wrong.

    Also look on youtube for a video on How Not to be Dipped. Although it is talking about dipping a girl it still relates to what you are saying. Dance is a conversation and you don't have to do everything the guy wants you to.

    I have a friend who was dancing with a guy who stopped in the song several times in open position for her to do a shine while he just stood there. The move itself is okay, but he did it 5 times in one song. To the point where she said, "Can you do something else?" With a smile on her face to not come off too mean. Some times you have to say stuff like that to a guy that isn't paying attention.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  20. G809

    G809 Changui

    Strange that you don't see the irony in this post. FYI, the obnoxious and patronizing behavior of men can't be justified by the appearance or perceived behavior of the woman on the receiving end.

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