Wrapping up our theme on getting more dances and dance partners when social dancing, it’s time to take a look at what actually happens during the dance itself. If you score an awesome dance partner, you’ll want to get more dances from your new friend, right? Then here’s the secret: make sure they have as much fun as you do.
Surprisingly, this doesn’t have to mean you need to dance as well as they do, although of course that helps. Rather a sense of humour and fun, creativity, and courtesy will be the real point scorers for your partner - just like in a romantic relationship.
Only Refuse if You Must
Ladies, unless you’re being asked by Arm-Twisting Arnold or sincerely need to sit one out, NEVER tell a potential partner no. Guys hate being turned down, and frequent refusals will have you dancing alone faster than a rocket sled on rails. If you do turn someone down, back up your excuse by not dancing with someone else until the song changes.
Guys, there’s many reasons why she might not feel like dancing at the moment - most of which have nothing to do with you. If she refuses you a second time however, take the hint and don’t ask again for that evening.
Dance at Your Partner’s Level
Showoffs might look good to a casual bystander, but they are a real turn-off for their partners.
Leaders should start with basic steps and gradually work into more advanced patterns. This is a great way of establishing your partner’s comfort level. Followers, even if you know how to dance 5 turns in a row and arm-style like a pro, restrain yourself until you're sure you won’t overwhelm your partner by doing so. And no back-leading!
Entertain Your Partner
This is where the real chemistry of social dancing comes into play. Understand that for the duration of the song, you can smile, flirt, laugh, and be playful with your partner, even if your husband is standing a few feet away. Let your personality shine through the dance, and show your partner with your face how glad your are to be dancing with them.
I encounter this very rarely, but I guarantee it’s a perfect way to put your partner at ease and have them smiling with you, no matter how much of a beginner either of you are.
Make Light of Mistakes
Be willing to laugh at yourself if you make a misstep. You might say ‘okay if anyone asks, I meant to do that’, or just shrug and smile. Sometimes I like to smile and stick out my tongue as if to say ‘well, THAT could have gone better.’ Your partner can’t be annoyed with your foibles while they’re laughing along with you!
Be VERY careful about calling attention to your partner’s mistakes. Usually smiling to let them know it’s okay is the best course of action.