Struggling to get dances? It’s a familiar situation that everyone has experienced from time to time. But it seems to affect some dancers more than others. And boy, do they like to grumble about it. To anyone who’ll listen. Over and over. Endlessly.
But hey, have you noticed that some people are dancing all night long, with lots of partners? So it must be possible, right? Instead of complaining, perhaps there are some people you should listen to. Some suggestions:
Your Tango teacher
People like to dance with good dancers, and they prefer not to dance with dancers who aren’t so good. Simples. If you’re not getting asked to dance then could it just possibly be because you’re not nice to dance with? How do you get better if nobody will dance with you? Well, ahem, that’s what lessons are for; accept it and invest more in your learning.
How many lessons have you been to in the last month? Have you had any private coaching? Do you use practicas to actively work on improving your dancing? No? And you wonder why people don’t want to dance with you? If it’s still not working then try a different teacher. There are plenty out there.
You do know about the Mirada & Cabeceo, don’t you? Perhaps some people are trying to ask you to dance and you just haven’t seen them?
Personal hygiene issues will put dancers right off dancing with you again; sweaty clothes, body odours, clammy hands, or bad breath. Yes, it’s a fact for followers just as much as leaders. There are some lovely followers out there that I’m reluctant to dance with because I don’t want my clothes to reek of their body odour for the rest of the evening, thanks very much. Other dancers strangely don’t seem to have heard of toothpaste, floss, or mouthwash. It’s a close embrace dance, folks; please have some consideration for your partners.
Still not getting dances? How are you engaging with the room, and the other dancers? Are you friendly, chatty, pleasant, upbeat and receptive to approaches? Or looking like a serial killer planning their next attack? Please don’t just slump in a corner and scowl. You can do that at home, for free.
What about the Organiser?
The event organiser has brought together the venue, the advertising, the DJ, the refreshments, the decorations, and taken a big risk on putting on the event. A lot depends on them, but guaranteed dances is something they can’t organise; it’s something you’ve got to take ownership of for yourself. So please don’t whinge to the organiser if you haven’t danced much at their milonga; there’s nothing they can do about it, and it’s not their fault really, is it?
Note: Some organisers try to address the problem by balancing the numbers of leaders and followers. It might help, but do you really want someone to dance with you just because there isn’t anyone else for them to ask? I didn’t think so. Unbalanced numbers are not the main cause of your problem, and balancing the numbers will just mask it temporarily.