The Art of Seduction Through Dance

Posted on January 22, 2014

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Ah, the art of dance seduction, also known as knowing the difference between sensual and flirtatious dance and sexual harassment, between Kizomba and grinding. By seduction what I mean is not how to take a girl home (or a guy home, if that’s more your thing) every night after dancing with them a couple of times, although that might and does happen. So, if you want instructions to do that you are wasting your time on this blog because: firstly I am not some dance god with all the answers, and secondly this is not my intention so I won’t tell you even if I knew all the answers. All I want to do is share my stories, experiences and thoughts with whomever that has too much time on their hands.

Also, for this article when I say guy I mean lead, and by girl I mean the follower. I don’t judge, but since these are my thoughts based on my experiences, I am only qualified to present the heterosexual version, only from a man’s point of view. I assume they might be similar in other versions as well, but don’t quote me on that.

So when I say seduction, I mean having an understanding and appreciation of the sensuality of dance and the primal naturally programmed in feelings that they stem from, and embracing them to make the girl feel like a diamond, and have the guy feel like a rock star. Then both parties separate with great feelings towards each other, which may vary from “wow, I love dancing with that person, must dance with them again tonight” to “I wanna have your babies, now!” Now for a variety of psychological, biological and societal reasons you don’t always get those primal feelings/urges; when dancing with a sibling for an instance (if you do, you probably should get that checked). But at least sub consciously, such  feelings will be there when dancing with someone of the gender that you are attracted to, in the age, race, hair colour or any other demographic group that you are typically attracted to and that you might think is remotely attractive. Quite unsurprisingly, being humans we tend to give priority to members of this group when choosing a dance partner beyond our immediate friend group anyway. Deny it all you want, but if you think about all the strangers you had danced with after a few dances at any social, you will most likely go “doh!”

The point is that when there is an attraction and physical chemistry, people enjoy experiences with each other. Physical chemistry can be converted to dance chemistry and vice versa. In my opinion there are three main areas that one needs to work on to get this result. These are respect, musicality and etiquette.  For each, there is a right way to do it and a very wrong way to do it.

Respect

We enjoy doing something if we feel comfortable and respected, not so much if we feel used or violated. Well same for everybody.  We all like to be respected, and respect must be earned. Having said that, some aspects of respect we are entitled to, such the right to not be groped without consent. Some people like being touched and enjoy it within certain contexts even with strangers. However, many don’t and it’s up to them to decide, not someone else. If you know someone and you know they enjoy extreme physical contact, and have told you so, then go ahead. I know several ladies like this, and I love dancing close, super sexy Zouk and Bachata so I happily oblige. But if I don’t have this consent and request from the lady, I give her the space she needs to feel comfortable. In fact I find that the more comfortable she is the more she will let you into her space and the easier a very sensual dance becomes.

Doing it right:

Start with a reasonable amount of space (in open hold or close hold with the right arm closer to her shoulder blades rather than her waist). Then come closer if necessary as you get a feel for what she’s comfortable with. I find I can tell pretty easily if a woman wants more or less space between us.  Generally she will press on the guy’s shoulder with the bottom of her palm for more space, or come into a close embrace and not give much tension till you come close, if that’s what she wants. Better yet, let her decide the position and she will stand as close as she likes, or ask her if she prefers to dance closer or further apart. Personally I’ve never had a woman think I was weird or got offended.  Also, note that it’s easier to lead in Salsa with more space and lead Zouk, Kizomba and Bachata with less space (or no space at all).

Once I start dancing I pay attention to the feeling I get from the lady and try to strike a balance between comfort and dace requirements. Complement her, make her smile, either through the dance itself, or if you don’t feel that confident get a little cheeky. Some times in Salsa I let go of the girl, turn around and pretend to look for her in my pockets, in my hands, etc. I do this to the music as a shine, and then turn around on a hit in the music, and look very happy to see her. 20% of the time she thinks I’m an idiot and laughs at me. But 80% of the time I swear she laughs with me. After all this is entertainment. I’ve tried making jokes, but not being a good multi-tasker, conversations always throw me off beat.

In closer dances, where musicality is that much more important than steps and moves, be sensual but respectful. Embrace her, not too tight, have your right leg aligned between her feet so she can use your knee as support for low-down moves, and so that you won’t step on her (remember many dance shoes are open toed).  Keep your right hand on her lower back, as long as she’s okay with it, but never move it south of the border. Lead her with gentle yet firm pressure from your entire forearm, from palm to elbow, not just the palm. To sway her hips, put pressure on the side of her hips with your lower palms. It’s a little cheeky and she might feel you are about to close your palms in and grab her ass, but don’t do that, and she will actually trust you and enjoy the feeling.

To do ‘booty rolls’ (half body rolls where she lifts, rolls and then tuck in her derriere) lead as above or with right hand flat and your, thumb index and middle finger on her lower back. Put pressure then release it in a curved motion without actually going south of the border to create the same sensation as before. Be firm and clear but don’t man handle. And please smile, ask her politely to dance instead of just holding out your hand and say thank you afterwards, even if the dance was a nightmare. You literally brought it on yourself by asking her so don’t complain and never leave a lady hanging on the dance floor. If you do chances are you’re not a very good dancer.

Doing it wrong:

You can let yourself loose, exploit the fact that a female is finally within touching distance, and grope her as if you are already at the stage of having sex, and pretend it’s your style or you’re doing it because it’s a sexy dance. Then you can try telling her you two have a great connection and chemistry and that she should give you her number, but chances are she won’t, as just because you say it is, it doesn’t make it so. Never done this myself but had it happen to someone close: not cool! She felt very uncomfortable, but like many women, didn’t make a fuss and get that guy thrown out. She’s an absolute gem, and people like that guy give all males a bad name. I am not qualified to go into details of how uncomfortable a woman would feel at what stage because I’m not a woman.  So I would appreciate any ladies that may read this and would like to leave a comment on it. I would just put it this way. Would you enjoy it if a random person that you don’t find remotely attractive come and grab your nutsack on the bus, and say it is okay because it’s a crowded bus, everyone is close and he needs something to hold on to? Then ask for your number because they think you’re into them?  If you want your dance partner to sway or roll her butt, the best places to lead it through are: lower back (just above the small), sides of her hips, or IF and only IF it is someone intimate and comfortable being physical with you, just below her butt, on the upper thigh.

Musicality

This is about not just focusing on the beat but the whole music including the overall melody and lyrics (at least the feel of it, not necessarily the meaning if you don’t understand the language). It is also about focusing on your partner as opposed to yourself. Selfish dancers might be entertaining, and may be fun to go for a spin with, but never really manage to truly satisfy their dance partners. So, fun: yes. Seduction: probably not the approach you want to take. This might not seem legit coming from a male, but the thing about social dancing regularly for a few years is that you make lots of female friends that you spend time with outside dance where you do talk about the philosophical stuff once in a while. So who is a Selfless dancer (doing it right) and who is a selfish dancer (doing it not so right)?

Doing it right:

If its Salsa, shines are cool, as long as the lady can do them too. Some followers either don’t know any shines or just dislikes them, in which case keep that shimmy to yourself. In my opinion, its also important to have a dance philosophy, based on how you interpret the music and what you want to do with it. There is a whole other article about that. Either way everybody interprets music differently and so it is good to think about how you feel and interpret the music and also what you want the follower to feel. Then use this philosophy as the foundation for your own personal style. Actually thinking about the feel of music and thinking about the partner helps you create a style that is more likely enjoyed by a follower.

You will have set boundaries and a level of sensuality that you have designed to be enjoyable yet comfortable. Then make sure to implement it well and ensure that the follower knows that she is safe, comfortable, and till the end of the song at least, the most valuable thing in the world and THE woman in your life. Personal experience has shown that women who I am able to make flow to the music, and move in synch with it, tends to feel satisfied and also have a good disposition towards me (for future collaborations) so this defines my philosophy. Everybody’s philosophy is different but its something worth thinking about. This way you are less likely to bomb a million dollar chance to dance with somebody who you’ve dreamt about dancing for years.

Doing it wrong:

Consider the girl as a mere accessory, or forget outright that she’s there and there to have fun. You got the moves, you’re good looking, you’ve been dancing for a while and even have some hard won salsa medals. A girl should just fall on your arms and beg to be taken home right? Approach her with that attitude and she will appreciate your honesty. Good luck on getting anything else let alone a second dance.

Etiquette

This last one is a no brainer. No one is obliged to dance with another at a social, but if you’re someone’s partner, and he/she seems to be unpopular that night, or their favourite song comes on, its always a good idea to dance with them even if you really wanted to dance with another, just because you love him/her and want to make them feel special every day. However, there is no such obligation to others and thus a dance must be requested in a gentlemanly manner, so to speak, and rejection taken in a positive stride. But the biggest thing is dance frequency, and I learnt this the hard way.

Doing it right:

If a woman rejects you about twice on one night, and you’re pretty convinced it’s not because she was too tired, don’t feel bad, and don’t hate her for it either. However it’s likely that for whatever reason she’s not interested, so don’t ask her again. It’s safe and there are plenty of others. People notice others a lot more at Latin dance socials than people realize and misunderstandings about your character are common, as woman tend to be especially weary of potential creeps. Don’t let a miss understanding caused by a silly assumption ruin your night or your reputation. Its unfortunate and not your fault, but when dealing with humans it is what it is.

Another mistake to avoid is hogging on to partners. Especially if you love dancing with someone, and clearly they love it too, let them go after 2 or maximum 3 dances and sure enough they will long till the next opportunity to dance with you and will come back to you after a few dances time.  Maybe at the very end of the social and she has already got to dance with everyone she wanted to dance with, she might find you and want to spend the last 15-20 minutes just with you. I’ve had this and its definitely a marker for a great night. This has nothing to do with whether she goes home with you or not, but just the feeling that you and your skills are appreciated and that you managed to make someone’s night generally helps to make your night too.

Doing it wrong:

Before I had the above experience, I once danced with the same girl for more than an hour. I lived dancing with her and she loved dancing with me. She did give me her number in the end, but later told me she thought I was extremely creepy, which was not my intention at all. We were dancing Bachata and that particular DJ can mix songs so well, it seems like one never ending song. I enjoyed the experience so much that I completely forgot about time. Luckily this was the third night we had danced and she knew I wasn’t what I looked like.  Do this and you are doing it wrong. Also, if you consistently ask a woman for a dance for the third or fourth time after she had already rejected you two songs ago without saying ”catch me later” or words to that effect, then you are again doing it wrong.

It is tragic but people sometimes make assumptions without any detailed research and then spread rumours. Sometimes they have real experiences and spread fact. Obviously if you are a creepy predator then you deserve it, but if your only just a clueless noob just entering the latin scene then you should avoid being labelled. The best way to avoid this in the scene is to build a good positive brand for yourself and be viewed positively by others in the scene. Then you can work on the other two areas, and you are set to make a lady fee like she’s in heaven. From then it is fate.

Obviously people might not agree with me, that is okay, this is just my thoughts on my experiences and based on how I interpreted those experiences. I have met a couple of women I dated through dance (and personality matches, common passions and interests and everything else mattered then as well, so I am not some love guru), but the vast majority of woman I danced with still dance with me and I have built lasting friendships with them. In every case a good dance experience then led to a more general friendship, with a few cases going even further. So, just my thoughts.

Feel free to comment especially if you are a lady in the Salsa/Bachata/Zouk scene, and especialy about how to make you feel comfortable. 🙂

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