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Courage to dance with other women than my wife
Posted by CajunRon
9/18/2016  10:21:00 PM
My wife and I are into social ballroom dancing and I would classify us as "average to a little above average". I love dancing with her. I am so comfortable with her because when we mess up we just joke, laugh and go on...and she knows the "signals" I give. But I can't muster the courage to dance with other women. I've tried a few times but not knowing what steps they know, I end up just dancing the basic step over and over again. And almost always, they seem to want to engage in conversation while dancing. I have a real hard time concentrating on dancing, coming up with the next move and leading that move while trying to engage in conversation so I feel like I flub both the dance and the conversation.

Any advice?
Re: Courage to dance with other women than my wife
Posted by nloftofan1
9/19/2016  9:05:00 AM
When you always dance with the same partner, you learn to compensate for each other's mistakes. So there is a really good reason to dance with other partners (aside from the social aspect): it will improve your dancing. When you ask another lady to dance, have three dance figures in mind. If your new partner is struggling with the basic step, don't move beyond it. But otherwise, try one of the others. If she has trouble following, no big deal. The dance police are probably not there. And maybe you can see what she's having trouble with, and modify your lead. (But remember, you aren't there to teach.) Telling you not to panic, not to tighten up is likely to have the opposite effect. But if you mess something up, the sun will rise tomorrow.
Re: Courage to dance with other women than my wife
Posted by ladydance
9/19/2016  10:27:00 AM
Dancing with other women is the best way to learn how to lead. As a follower, I would prefer a simple routine of basics. Like the other poster said, pick 3 steps and create a mini-routine. If you mess up just laugh, stop and start again. I totally get not being able to talk and dance at the same time. Personally, I can't chat while dancing. Do you have a friend you can dance with? We take private lessons with another couple. My husband always tries out new stuff on the other woman to see if he has a clear lead. She is a good friend so there is no awkwardness if he screws up. Good posture and good frame is more important than a bunch of steps. Start with the dances you feel most comfortable with and go from there.
Re: Courage to dance with other women than my wife
Posted by dwhenry
9/26/2016  8:20:00 PM
Being a single man, I dance almost exclusively with other men's wives. And, yes, I still find it intimidating approaching the table where the two of them are seated and asking her to dance. But realize that the other man expects that you will dance with his wife.

One thing I have found that helps to "grease the skids", so to speak, is to take part in the free dance lessons that sometimes precedes a dance. And make a conscious effort to NOT partner with your wife during the lesson. Everyone is very casual during the lesson and, in most instances, you can find yourself having danced with numerous partners. Be cordial, get their names and just have fun. Then when the actual evening of dancing gets underway, you will find it easy to seek out these same women and to ask them, by name, for a dance.

As for the conversational tendencies of many women while dancing, I, like you, am not powered solely by muscle memory and must therefore stay somewhat focused on what I am doing. The women seem to understand and will eventually stop talking altogether, equating less talk to a more enjoyable dance. I do hope someday to be able to carry on a conversation while dancing. I'm just not there, yet.

Good luck to you!!
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