Ballroom Dance > Dance Snobbery

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Just curious if you have any funny examples of dance snobbery, and also wondering how you define it.

    (I've become quite a good dancer now, and I want to make sure I never become one of the snob elite! :twisted: )
  2. tj

    tj New Member

    Been dancing a number of years now, and moved to a new city last summer with a much larger dance scene. Here's my funny story:

    Asked a gal for a dance, she looked me up and down, and said, "Do you know HOW?"

    I grinned, danced with her, and at the end of the song, whispered into her ear, "Did I pass?"

    I'm one of her favorite dancers now. But jeez, what a snob! :wink:
  3. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    reverse snobbery

    I love going to dances where no one knows me. Invariably someone comes up and asks if I know how to foxtrot, and then preceeds to teach me basic patterns, and act like they are doing me a favor. Once I even got a backhanded compliment of "That wasn't too bad, keep taking lessons, some day you could be good."
    jerseydancer, flightco and ajiboyet like this.
  5. Hank

    Hank Member

    I have heard "Do you know how?" countless times when asking women to dance. All sorts of smart alec replies come to mind, such as "No, this is just part of fraternity hazing," or "No, but if you won't dance with me, I'll have to give your dad back his $5."

    I used to be really insulted by her question, and I would never ask her to dance again. But, I've received rude treatment so many times, that it doesn't bother me so much anymore.
  6. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: reverse snobbery


    You're a little :twisted: and I think that's 8) and :lol: !
  7. tj

    tj New Member

    Ditto, although I gotta admit that I've gotten a little tired of the "Wow, where'd *you* come from" reaction.

    Hey, I understand what they're going thru. When 99% of the guys that you don't know, are guys who are just learning, I can understand how experienced dancers can get that attitude. But pre-judging everyone you don't know makes you miss out on some pretty good experiences, too.
  8. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    BTW, Larinda--I don't think your Incognita act would get me, cute as it is. I generally watch people I don't know before I ask them to dance--and even if I don't, I can tell within two steps. So I'll be like, "You know what you're doing, don't you?" Or "So where do you teach?"

    My experience has been it's the people who come on like gangbusters with "Oh, I've done x, y, z, and such-and-such, and so-and-so, who really don't know what they're doing.... :wink:
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Re: reverse snobbery

    It is not like I do it on purpose. :twisted: I just really giggle when it happens. :wink:

    And it doesn't really happen to me from the advanced you said, you can tell. But it usually comes from dancers that aren't really paying attention and need to do a bit of practicing for themselves before they go around preaching to others.
  10. tj

    tj New Member

    On a related note, nowadays, I know within 3 seconds of getting that "look of doubt", that I'm in trouble when asking a stranger (in my local scene) to dance.
  11. redhead

    redhead New Member

    I don't know if it's related, but... I was chatting with a guy I haven't seen for a while, and to cut the conversation off, I said something like "it was nice to see you, we should go out salsa sometime" (I should mention he's not any better of a dancer than me). His response: "Yeah, I'm going to go out with my friend next Wednesday, but if she cancels on me, I'll give you a call". Geez, what a moron!
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Why is he a moron? Perhaps he already has planned to go salsa dancing on Wednesday with someone else, and so if the other person can't make it he wwould still like to go with someone, so he will try and see if he can go out with you. That's what I read into that...I'm not there so probably missing something.

    I don't ask people whom I ask to dance if they know how to dance. There are a lot of dances where I'm just a rank beginner. I don't pretend to be any different, but just as I don't ask people if they know how to I don't tell them how much I know, or how much I think I know. And if I ask a stranger I'll never refuse a dance with her if she says she doesn't know how or doesn't know much. If I want a certain level of dance skill I'll make sure that I choose someone whom I know is at that skill level beforehand, even if it means hanging out watching people dance first.

    I personally wouldn't equate snobbery with talking with each other about how much one knows etc to decide whether to dance with a person. However, I say let the dance do the talking. I have asked people if they know a certain dance when I notice that we are dancing one dancing and they keep on lapsing into a different dance as part of my goal of achieving a better dance experience for me and my partner.

    But, where do the beginners learn? Especially as learning in a class is a completely different experience from dancing socially. Personally I don't take offense at a lot. If a person asks I'll tell them. And I've had that both from follows who ask me to dance and from follows who ask me to dance. Because I choose not to ask people shouldn't preclude them from asking me. If they don't ask and then don't put 100% into their dancing, then I will have a worse experience then if they ask and choose not to dance. Then I can dance with someone who does put their heart and soul into the dance and have a ball. For instance, I asked someone for a dance last Tuesday night. She said that she wasn't feeling well so I said that's fine, but then she said no, she wanted to try out dancing. I gave her an out and told her at any time if she didn't want to dance she could tell me so, even in the middle of the dance and I would be happy to stop. And I was very gentle with no crazy moves. She ended up dancing a lot more that night. I have a great experience on the dance floor, almost every night. And there are some experienced more advanced dancers whom I just see sitting more then half the night. As long as they don't prevent me from dancing on the dance floor they can do as they please.

    So far I've not seen a single instance described here that I would take offense to or call snobbery. If a person has an inferiority complex or an ego and wants to talk about his dance skills let him. If aperson whom I ask to dance has a doubting look on her face I immediately give them an out as I'm not interested in someone who does not want to dance with me.

    What bothers me is the dancing on the dance floor. If a person has no regard for their partner or me and people go flying about. Hogging space when the place is crowded. Not following the LOD at a ballroom dance and disrupting the dance. If a person does not care about what their partner likes and just does what suits them. (Like one black guy who did 7 dips with his follow having a terrified expression on her face!! Like the Chinese guy who so often does his crazy jumping with everyone, and the follows come back to me shaken. :evil: ) Standing and talking on the danec floor, stopping to tie their shoelaces in the middle rather then going to an edge or corner to be out of the way. Those, in my opinion are dance snobs.
  13. tj

    tj New Member

    Since you don't ask the other person what they do or don't know, wouldn't you find being interviewed rude/snobbish?

    Lol! So if a gal were to give you "attitude" after you ask her to dance, how would you respond?

    It's why lots of beginners drop out.

    So let me ask you this... if the local transexual (about 6'4") asked you to dance, would you?

    Plus, good luck getting better (popular) follows to ask you. If they already know you or if you're higher up on the pecking order, sure it may happen, but not the beginner leads.

    Ok, how about this - I have friends who have admitted to me that, while she likes dancing with me that she won't dance with certain beginner guys that I'm friends with.

    I've got another friend who had a beginner come up to him and start chatting him up about his dancing, and he got up and excused himself w/o continuing the conversation. Got the beginner guy quite upset.

    You know, you can sugarcoat the dance scene as much as you like by turning a blind eye to the snobbery that exists, but if you do, then you're in denial. Sure, there are plenty of cases where it's just a misunderstanding, and just because people hang out together doesn't necessarily make them clique-ish, etc., etc., ad nauseum, but it does happen.

    It's not the PC thing to say, but I see it a lot. A couple of guys that I'm friendly with, complain to me about certain girls that like dancing with me will turn them down. Similarly, some of these girls complain to me about some guys being too rough or being off time or merely being boring to dance with.

    I'm not here to make anyone change, but I will call things as I see them. And I see quite a few people that I get along with individually, unable to get along with each other for all sorts of reasons, snobbery included.
  14. redhead

    redhead New Member

    Yep. I can't describe his tone :lol: It's more like - sit around and wait, I'm too cool to make plans with you, but in case someone cancels on me... C'mon, Sagitta, you're a gentleman; besides, I sooooo didn't sound like I'm dying to go out with him... I thought it was only me, but quite a few girls here think he's sure he's Gods gift to any salsera... :eek:
    No offense
  15. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Actually I was asked by this lady at one of our dances if I wanted to dance when a salsa was playing and what do I do? I ask her if she knows salsa and she says yes; then I shake my head and grin and express my embarassment at asking a silly question since it was her who was asking me for the dance. :oops:
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Odd, but not rude, depending on how it is asked. Do you want a person not to ask and then dance like a stick or cold fish because you are not up to their standard? I don't. A person who wants to dance with people of a certain level, does not bother to find that out, then reacts inappropriately while dancing is a snob. One who makes sure that she dances only with those whom she can behave appropriately on the dance floor isn't.

    Ask them if they want to dance with me or not. If they don't I would rather not. If they do and act stupid on the dance floor I'm capable of dancing to the edge of the dance floor, and then saying thanks for the dance, but you don't seem to really want to dance with me, so I don't want to put you out. I've done it once, and I will do it again. I don't want people to be polite with me and then act as if I am inferior and spoil my dance experience. That is snobbery at it's worst.

    Too true. That's why as a leader I dance with all skill levels. I lead by example, and preach to all those who don't do, whom I know. If necessary I will tell off those whom I know, in a nice way. Slowly, very slowly changing the local scene is my mission.

    As a leader or follow? I've never danced with a transexual yet, but then I only started really dancing Fall of last year. I have danced with lesbians, once or twice with gay why not? I will/have dance/d with fat people, and thin people, old and young, a lady with noticable scarring and a lady with one stub and one complete hand whom few danced with. I truly believe in doing my best to treating everyone with respect and acting like a gentleman. I'm not sure I'm totally bias free. I will dance with my friends a little more then others, but I do ask a lot of different people. Others have commented on it.

    I don't turn a blind eye, but what one person may call snobbery another might not. I'm simply saying what I consider snobbery. You should call what you consider dance snobbery, and being PC has nothing to do with it for me.

    I too have friends who say that they won't dance with my beginner friends. I wouldn't them want to if they are going to have a negative attitude about the whole thing and it show up in their dancing. Those people need an attitude readjustment first and I'm not afraid to tell them so. That's why they are friends -- you can tell them things they may not accept from strangers!! I've been turned off a lot of times by those superior dancers with the wrong attitudes. And coming up and talking to someone and abruptly leaving just like that is rude. A beginner follow did that to me once on the dance floor while we were dancing. She just said someone I know is leaving and just ran off. I was dancing with her as a favor too as she asked. She got such a dressing down for me that she was mortified. Especially as others noticed. Perhaps I carried it a little too far, and I did apologize later and explained she just had to ask and I would say sure, but one never just says I'm off in the middle of a dance and runs off unless it is a true emergency.

    And there are experienced follows who will dance if asked and from feedback I know that I'm getting better. I'm not saying I am this great dancer but I'm happy with where I am and how my attitude is getting me the dances that I want.

    My cent pile!! :wink: :) Can't afford dollars as I would be bankrupt at this rate.
  17. tj

    tj New Member

    Agreed. My main point is that there are the occasional snobs out there. Thus, the subject.

    I like this. And I also think doing little things to help each other out is good, too. One of my friends goes out of his way to be nice to me, so I will reciprocate when the opportunity arises.

    Like you, I'm open to dancing with a lot of different people. Much more than most of my friends, in fact. It doesn't mean that I'll dance with beginners all night, but I'm more open to dancing with people that I don't know than a lot of my fellow dancers.

    I agree with you. Again my main point is that snobbery does exist, while at the same time, I know a lot of people who try to deny it.

    You got that right, but most people seem to be set in their ways, and it's unlikely that their opinion of someone else will change all that easily.

    Nice. Good for you to let her know what's acceptable behavior and what's not. Isn't there a thread somewhere on the forums where someone said their partner actually answered their cellphone in the middle of a dance?

    You've got that right!

    I don't expect to be accepted by everyone or to get along with everyone. That's why I tend to spend most of the time with those who I already get along with well. But I try to give everyone a chance, too.
  18. msc

    msc New Member


    Generally speaking, in my experience it takes all of about 1 second to figure out how good the follow is. If you can feel the body behind the hand, that's usually a very good follow. Actually, a lot of the time you can just look at the way they hold their body tone and get a pretty good sense. But I guess different leads have different perspectives.
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi msc! Long time, no hear from. Hope all's well. :) 8)
  20. msc

    msc New Member

    Thanks Jenn. I''ll PM you so as not to take this thread way off track :)

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