Have you ever gone to an event, and seen that girl?
She’s hot. She’s dressed sexy. Her make-up is all done up. To top it all off, she gets asked to dance by all the desirable leads… all night long. There’s only one issue: She can’t dance.
Instead of dancing, what she’s doing is flirting with all those leads and using her looks to get dances. She can’t dance; she just looks sexy. She doesn’t even bother to take classes!
If only leads weren’t so shallow in their dance choices, they’d be dancing with a real dancer instead.
Snap out of it.
Most people I know who attend events go there to have a fun time and dance. That includes the Hot Girl Who Can’t Dance.
She’s Not Malicious
I doubt there’s many girls (if any) who go to a dance event thinking “let me use my sexy body and flirting skills to trap all the advanced leads around me.”
I’m pretty sure she wanted to look good if she’s dressed up, and she might be hoping a winning personality can make up for the fact that she’s not a pro dancer. But, at the end of the day, she’s at the event for the same reason as everyone else: to dance.
I can guarantee you there’s one thing she’s definitely not trying to do. She’s not out to make your night miserable, or take all your good dances. If she knew what people were saying about her, she’d probably also be very hurt.
It’s Not Just Her
Even if she is out to dance with the advanced lead all night long, does it really matter? It’s not exactly like her partners are complaining. If they didn’t like what was going on, wouldn’t they leave after the 3rd dance?
When we see two dancers who are getting along really well, it’s because they like hanging around each other. If those leads didn’t want to dance with her, they wouldn’t. Maybe she’s a lovely person. Maybe she actually is quite talented and easy to dance with. Or, maybe they are having a great ‘connection’.
She Probably Didn’t Ask For It
Many leads instigate the behavior that the Hot Girl gets chewed out for. For example, there are plenty of guys who single out a new, attractive young girl. It’s very possible that she was standing there minding her own business – until that super-desirable advanced lead asked her for a dance.
You know what she may be thinking? She may be feeling super flattered that an advanced lead is paying attention to a beginner girl at her first event. She may think that she has some sort of ‘talent’ that the guy sees in her. But, once again, she’s not out to ‘steal’ all the ‘good leads’.
Her only ‘crime’ is dancing with someone we wanted. That’s our problem, not hers.
Compounded Problems: Talent
When a girl shows up who really ‘looks good’ on the floor despite ‘not knowing how to dance’ that style, it compounds the backlash. When a hot girl is ‘talented’ but perceived as ‘not working hard enough’ or ‘being too flirtatious’, she tends to get judged harshly.
This is jealousy. We can (and should) rise above those feelings. While they are natural, it’s also important to not let it get the better of us. You’d be surprised how much some of those new, ‘talented’ girls look up to the more experienced dancers in the scene – regardless of level.
If you give respect out, you are very likely to receive respect in return.
Reworking the Judgement
Most of the time, the judging that we do of the Hot Girl Who Can’t Dance stems from jealousy. After all, it can feel very unfair that someone who put in less work gets dances with better leads. It feels like a perfect dance world means that hard work = dance desirability.
But, it’s not a perfect world. We’re dealing with people. In many ways, personal chemistry has more to do with desired dance partners than skill level.
We need to recognize that dance desirability isn’t always directly related to hard work. It’s affected by our personalities, background, physical abilities, and sometimes also our appearance. The ‘Hot Girl Who Can’t Dance’ isn’t exempt from this. She simply has other traits which attract a different partner.
This means that for every guy that enjoys partnering the Hot Girl Who Can’t Dance, there are those who enjoy partnering the Connection-Over-Looks Dancer or the Super-Nice Dancer.
Instead of focusing on the partners the Hot Girl gets, we should adjust our lens to focus on the dances we can get. How do we work on our own dance desirability? What are our goals?
No matter what, the answer is never found on talking badly about that Hot Girl Who Just Wants to Dance.
I don’t think this is just a matter about hot, inexperienced girls either. In general, I don’t think people should be judged for their lack of experience. If someone wants to dance, we should welcome them with open arms! This is not some elite circle – dancing belongs to everybody regardless of their skill level. Some are better than others and some are indeed total newbies but everybody has to begin somewhere and the fact that they show up to a dancing place means they have the spark and that spark should be nurtured. With positive experience, people will get a desire to learn and thus get better and thus both provide and receive even more enjoyable dance experiences in the future.
Someone does a lot of figures but leads them poorly and comes out as trying too hard, but that’s all the person knows. Some dancers are clumsy and some dancers have poor floorcraft. As long as they keep dancing though, they’ll get better. As long as they keep getting good experiences and they’ll be inspired to dance and practice even more, eventually overcoming their weaknesses and becoming rounded, incredible partners.
Oh, well. I think the subject should really be about the men and their ‘pin-ball machine’ sexual response when the hot young chick enters the room. I sure have seen many older (much older) ‘gents’ who ALWAYS seek out the young, inexperienced girl ostensibly to “teach them’ the ‘right way’ to dance. Sure, they want to get close to them, touch them, boost their own egos,and so on. Someone once said to me that everyone has a different agenda for going out dancing. Could be for socializing; for the music, to drink, just observe, to hook up. You never know. I’ve seen lots guys who are ‘regulars’ and can’t dance, either. I do hope that SOME of the time, it sparks some interest in actually LEARNING how to dance and thereby having a much fuller experience of the dance scene.
Gale ,I agree 110%!!
Absolutely everything in this article is totally on point. It does not enhance our dancing, our experience, or our “dance desirability” to judge others who are sharing the floor with us on any given night.
We can recognize that ageism and sizeism (and sadly many other “-isms”) are real things in our society and are sometimes at work when people select dance partners. Dancers who are older or bigger often get asked to dance less often and turned down more often than their younger, slimmer peers. That sucks. It’s demoralizing, shallow, and enough to make some people who would otherwise be fantastic dance community members stop attending events and classes.
The smartest thing in this article is how Laura never denies that. She’s arguing that negativity directed toward the people who are beneficiaries of these prejudices is not at all productive. There will always be some people who will not want to dance with you because of whatever shallow reason they have– but you can’t control that. In the end, there are many positive things you can do to enhance your fun and make yourself a more “desirable” dance partner. Focusing your energy and attention on personal growth, and on the fact that there are people there any given night who are happy to dance with you, will have much better results.
What if the more experience girls actually dressed up and looked and smelled better, then maybe all the experienced leads would want to dance with them. It’s simple WCS has become to laxed, sometimes if you just played the part ladies, you just might get the same attention.
Why is it the guys never complain, it’s always the ladies complaining! Sometime you ladies need to play the part.
Salsa, Bachata, Kizumba, and Now Zouk, all have ladies who dress way better then WCS ladies, maybe you ladies should take a page of this playbook, and see what happens!
Uhhm – which dance scene are you part of? I know plenty of Leads who complain about girls flocking to the advanced level lead and feeling ignored. Maybe you would have to be friends with other Leads to know that. Also, the male component of most dance scenes are usually the least accommodating to the Follow’s eye and nose when it comes to dress and scent. If you believe this, then you should drive the point by arriving yourself dressed well and playing the part – its a very positive and uplifting attitude to bring to the dance, so I hope you do. All though you do hide your identity so none of us will know that you are in fact doing it. If you do that, then I will applaud you. Also, Follows wouldn’t dress in WCS as they do in Salsa and other dances obviously – so your comment is unfair in that aspect. WCS lends itself better to pants, leggings and shorts which is a challenge for Follows at times.
I think guys don’t tend to complain as long as there is more ladies than guys. When there is not, they have a similar situation, though usually it’s not the youngest hottest guys getting all the dances but the most advanced or famous leaders.
I call you on this. I have observed more than once that more experienced/advanced leads were left standing when follows try to teach the inexperienced but very handsome young beginner lead. There is no difference, girls are just as interested in in hot guys as guys in hot girls, although if you want to I won’t stop you from fooling yourself that girls are into it for ‘the dance’.
The reason I get to dance quite a lot is that I put all my effort into improving myself as a social dancing lead. I cannot compete with the younger more handsome guys in looks. When I was a beginner, I only got to dance in class, and took a LOT of classes. It took a while before I got to dance socially more than an occasional dance in a whole evening.
Dancing, as any other social arena, isn’t fair and it isn’t as nice as we want it to be, sadly. You can only work with what you have been given, so do it. Complaining over your own situation when you have the power to improve it is stupid.
Interesting, X. I think you are the first lead I’ve heard who has ever felt that young, handsome men get more attention than advanced or famous leads! Most men that I’ve heard complaining are about the pro’s and advanced dancers getting lineups of women, while the ‘average’ social dancer is ignored.
I do not claim that this is the case all the time, but yes, I have observed it more than once.
All things else being equal, I believe most of us will dance with the more experienced/advanced lead/follow. But if someone is more famous, good looking, sexy, etc that changes the playing field. And I just say that men and women aren’t all that different.
Sure, you might be in a ‘I just want to have good dances’-mood and don’t care about anything else. But I think all of us have a hard time ignoring all other factors, no matter our gender or preferences.
But, since leads seem to be the limiting factor in many dance communities, it is not hard to imagine why this seems one sided. Where I dance, sometimes leads outnumber the follows quite a lot. Yesterday I left my usual social since there were 10-15 leads standing around the dancefloor waiting for the 20 or so couples to finish their dance. If I had endured an hour or so most of them would have left and the balance would be more equal.
Well I am sorry but WHAT YOU SAY IS A PROBLEM.
I was asking myself the same question for years. Should I dress up to dance, should I look sexier to get invited, should I pretend to be someone else. The answer is NO.
Because I am there to dance. I personnaly don’t care if my partner is good looking and well dressed, I just want to spend a good moment. I don’t mind about the girl who feels she HAS to be pretty to get dancing partners. But leaders selecting on looks are a problem (and honnestly if that’s the way they select people, I don’t want to dance with them).
I can tell you that ugly people, fat people, old people, they deserve to dance as well. Dancing is not reserved for good looking people.
I don’t disagree. Yet if someone is fat and does smell horreoundous after a couple of dances, however good she can follow I would rather spend a hard time teaching or slowing down steps with a learner, and generally all new comers appear to be hot girls. Also some old regular lady dancers go to a dance scene like in pijamas without any proper care and so compalcent that any known good lead already knows that person and expects she would have their way, but that is not nice. It is almost as I don’t care attitude, dance goes with how you look and how approachable are you at the event.
For real, WCS has become way to lax, it would be great if you ladies packed a dress or two, and got dolled up. I think it helps your cause, your all beautiful ladies, but sometimes we (men) would love to see you dressed up, like the hot chick! Then you will be the hot chick! I have many sexy WCS female friends, but the dude above has a point!
Dan, that is not the answer for Follows either. The fact that your not a female is part of the issue with your view. Every female knows that dressing a certain way will bring certain types of attention, many males react to our “dolling up” in uninvited ways – this will effect our experience dancing. We don’t want that either. Not every Follow is on the dance floor for those purposes – – some of us just want to Swing -and then there is just the matter of personal taste. AND, WCS doesn’t look great or feel comfortable to Follows in a dress – it doesn’t lend itself well to dresses. That said, I do think that we all would be better received by potential dance partners if we came to the dance floor looking prepared for the scene.
Well this judgement about dancing with such girls is also catch-22 for leaders 😀 Or at least this article reminded it to me.
Because when some girl is new in the community and she is not getting enough dances I heard lots of complains of a type: “Why are all the leaders dancing only with girls they know? They are such *******. Why cant they dance with everybody?”
But once this girl gets better, gets better dancing skills, gets to know more leaders and have some of the favourits I encountered the opinions (from same girls) of a type: “Why is he danging with some random girl that he does not even know instead of me? Am I not good enough?” 😀
So you know, when your favourite leader is dancing with some girl (hot or ugly – does not matter) who can not dance, just remember that some time ago you were thsi girl too. And without such leaders you would not be able to start dancing at all.
The issue is not the followers , its the men who respond to women in a sexist manner. We should all just work on being better dancers.BTW good dancers know how to lead and follow!
… Since when others are discussing what a woman should wear??? Let her dress up if she wants and dance in shorts if that feels better. Girls learn to counter your own jealousy, and guys PLEASE don’t bring us back to the 1920s.
I have noticed that some regular ladies at the start look good and well presented in all aspects, but once they become regulars, they just appear in a club like someone who just got out of a kitchen or has been cleaning their appartment, not effort to look good and with clothes that do not fit a dance scene. How they can expect that any guy would rather turn their eyes towards a girls who may appear to be hot but is just better looking because of their attention to look good.
The answer is that there are leads who prefer a woman who is dressed-down but a strong technical dancer to a dressed-up girl who hasn’t learned properly yet. This is compounded by the fact that, in some places, dressing up makes you a target for men who are *not* there to dance (if the dance is taking place in a club atmosphere).
So, you may prefer dancing with a ‘hot girl’ as opposed to an experienced girl. But, this doesn’t hold true. It doesn’t mean the hot girl did anything wrong – but it also doesn’t mean that the experienced, dressed-down girl is making a mistake either.
Unfortunately “nice attractive” girls do not need to learn to dance. They prey exclusively on their looks. In general most good dancers are not attractive men or women. In every country I have visited for dancing or lived in, people in dance venues are far from being beauty models.
I think that’s a very unfair statement to make. There are extremely attractive people who dance well, and people who are not gifted with model looks who dance well.
No one needs to learn to dance. Dance is something people should learn for fun, in a way that fulfills them. Far be it for us to judge how much effort someone puts into learning.