Invariably, when I go out to dance these days, I am always asked a lot of questions by the men I dance with, usually while dancing.
Most Tango men know better than to talk when dancing. Most Tango men save conversation for in-between dances or when having a rest. I am saying most, because there are some that don’t – I have heard you and I have seen you. I am talking to you, and to all you dancers of other styles that insist on trying to get my life’s story in the first minute of being on the dance floor.
Here are my top 5 questions that I am usually asked:
1) How long have you been dancing? – What do you mean? Sometimes I have only just arrived or it could be about 10 minutes or more. It usually depends on the time you came to ask me to dance. Really! That question is irrelevant, especially where I am dancing Modern Jive at the moment, or even Salsa. In most cases, it is longer than you have, so what is your point? If you are unsure about my dancing skills, maybe you should watch me dance before asking me and make up your own mind.
2) Do you have a dance partner? – Is that a euphemism for ‘do you have a boyfriend/partner?’ If so, then it really isn’t any of your business. I dance pretty much with anyone that asks me at Modern Jive. I don’t when I go to a milonga. I go alone, and I leave alone.
3) I love your accent, where is it from? – London. I’ve lived there for over 20 years. (smile sweetly) Ha! (No, really I’m from New Jersey, but if I say that I get totally bombarded.)
4) What other dances do you do? – My goodness! Can’t you just focus on the one we are doing?
5) I haven’t seen you here before, is this your first time? – Uh, actually no!
Guys! The dance hall is not a singles bar, even if it may have a bar. A lot of single people go dancing. Some just like a bit of company and some may be looking for a life partner, but basically, the dance hall is a place to dance and that is why most of the people are there. If you ask a lot of questions because you don’t know what else to do or are being polite, well here is your permission to stop asking. Just dance, as that is why you are there. If you want to chat, save it for after or when resting. I can’t concentrate on the music or what you are trying to ask me to do if you are asking me a lot of questions that I really don’t want to answer and are really none of your business. If I want you to know more about me, I’ll ask the questions.
A lot of couples go dancing where I go on Wednesdays and especially on the Saturday events. They also tend to sit together in groups. The men look scared when ladies they don’t know ask them to dance and their women give the evil eye. Puhleese! Trust me, we are not interested in your men for anything other than dancing. I know, that’s a bit shallow, but it’s true. If I sit alone or near the door, it is because a) the music is not so loud near the door, b) I can get a good look at the dance floor, c) the men know where I am if they want to ask me and d) none of you in couples has ever asked me to sit with them, let alone tried to have a conversation with me (unless I danced with one of your men and then I got the 3rd degree on the dance floor).
I have done my own little survey of the women I have managed to talk to and the consensus is that it is OK to ask the other person their name after thanking them for a dance. Other than that, just shut up and dance.
So, ladies, what are your opinions on this and what interesting questions (or not as the case may be) have you been asked?
Oh, and not to seem sexist, I am sure there are women who do the same, so if there are any men that can contribute, please do.