Social dancing: How inclusive is good enough?
When you dance a lot, you can not but notice that among the regulars there are a few, you never ask for a dance. Why? Is it a problem? Should you care? The Follows I don’t dance with fall in four groups.
The first, a small group, is the Follows I for some reason haven’t asked yet. Some are among the best dancers, I wait for the right moment. Others have been on the “to do” list for a long time but somehow the moment have not come yet for them either. This group is not a problem. I even like the idea that there are Follows standing in line!
The second, a very small group, is the Follows that have said no to me for no obvious good reason, and I haven’t yet dared to ask them again, fearful of getting another no. I need to socialize with those Follows, like some small talking, before I get the courage to ask again.
The third group is minuscule. In my case, two Follows at the moment: I know they will say no if I ask for a dance. I am in bad standing. They have somehow decided, that they are opposed to me, that they “don’t like me”, or just bad chemistry as one of them told me. Yes. I couldn’t believe it, I had to ask why!
I happen to no the main reasons for their animosity which I don’t share. One just walked out on me on the dance floor because I corrected her following. Until know I have only experienced one walk away! The other I once hurried to the dance floor without asking because I mistook her for a close friend in the darkness. The “bad chemistry” Follow. She has not yet forgiven me. Some mistakes are hard to make good. Time might cure these two hardcore cases.
The forth group is by far the biggest. They are they Follows that just look away when I approach them. I call them the “look aways”. This group is almost non existent in Cuban Salsa among the regulars but it is a problem in Bachata Sensual. It is like they don’t want me, that they are afraid that I ask them for a dance. Maybe is is just my imagination.
With some of them I have experienced the behavior very many times, and I hate it. They don’t even look away anymore but just ignore me as if I wasn’t there. Actually it is terrible, it gives me a couple of bad kicks every time I go social dancing. It kills a little bit of my soul deep inside. It is a viscous circle I haven’t manage to break. I have become a look away myself. The very split second I sense someone “looks away” on me or just ignore me, I do the same in order to come first. I was not even interested, don’t bother. Somehow the world must be better than that.
Now, I am talking about the regulars. No one expect instant eye contact with each and every newcomer. Since the “turn away” problem is very small in Salsa, it might have something to do with my level being much less in Bachata Sensual. Also, Bachata Sensual is a more intimate dance, the Follows have a natural right to say no to more Leads or to ignore them to discourage them from asking.
In theory, I couldn’t care less that a few regulars seem to avoid me. I dance almost each and every dance when I go social dancing. Also I really enjoy dancing with regulars that like me and with newcomers that want to dance with me. Why not just accept that you can’t please everybody? That there are some Follows you don’t dance with, that there are some types you must know socially before they will dance with you?
No that is not me. As a matter of principle I say hallo to everyone, I give every human being a friendly smile and even some small talking. At least I try to. I also want to dance with the whole world with one or two exceptions. Not every time I go social dancing, not every month but why not, let us say, once a year?