Question by User rawr4me
I have come across the idea multiple times that there tends to be a shortage of leaders so new male learners are always quite welcome. However, my experience from starting salsa 6 months ago has been the opposite. I’ve gone to beginner, improver and intermediate classes, three different schools, social dancing, workshops, other Latin styles, and it just seems to be that with the Latin dance scene in my city, there is a surplus of men probably at least 80% of the time. The only case where there is clearly a shortage of guys is in the competitions, where female competitors severely outnumber male competitors (via Ladies’ shine teams.)
What has your experience been like?
I’ll second this. I’m in SF and there’s always hoards more leaders at any social dancing event. If you don’t grab a follower within five seconds of a song ending, you have to sit out that next song and try again when the subsequent one starts.
Move to NYC. Surplus of women here. They legit grab me on the floor. I have to fight my way to my friends.
In class, there is a shortage of leads. At socials and clubs, there is a shortage of follows.
Sausage fest in San Francisco (space 550). I can tell some guys there can’t dance at all and hoping for a hook up, what a waste of space.
Especially in the bachata room
It depends on where you are.
It would be interesting to understand how come in many so called western countries there tends to be more men than women in several partner dance things. Have men realized than dancing can be a great way to meet women, and that can be much more interesting that having some bro call you gay? Or you know, men realizing that dancing can be a lot of fun for its own sake. Or are creepy dudes gathering at dance situations and driving away women? Or perhaps women just don’t have the time to go dancing. Or perhaps they (also) used to go dance to meet the opposite sex, but now they don’t need to. And when did this change begin?
Go to eastern Europe and there will be a lot more women than men. Macho culture is strong in preventing all kinds of fun.
I’ve thought about this a lot too. I’m in USA and there’s usually more leads than follows at clubs. Waaay more leads just standing around, waiting. I think it’s rare for a lady to go to a salsa club alone, she’ll go with her bf. The Latino men can be very aggressive and it can be uncomfortable.
I also wonder if some of it is immigration patterns? Do more single Latino guys move to USA? I don’t know.
I’ve had to really put up my boundaries and balance going to salsa clubs as a solo female here in Los Angeles. Just in taking breaks, saying No, taking space. Once a lady gets that down, it’s usually ok. The men are still aggressive though, they invade boundaries often. Physical and emotional boundaries. It’s tough.
My experiences in Vancouver are that there’s usually more leads at socials but it’s fairly balanced. Very rarely there will be times where there is a severe shortage of follows and you gotta do that thing where you position yourself to ask someone right after their dance before 5 other men ask her.
I am in Dallas now and only been to 2 socials but there are wayyyy more leads than follows, genuinely stunned me. big groups of guys just standing around.
This isn’t even a regional thing, it can boil down to schedule sometimes. The school i go to changes its schedule up every 6 weeks. I’m in the fortunate situation that I have most evenings free (I work 9-6, only Monday is later meetings and even then not always and my partner is also who I attend classes with), and even in that school, I’ve attended classes where there’s 5 or more extra leads and 5 or more extra follows. There was one occasion where a high level Bachata glass was 12 follows and one lead. They ended up doing styling and footwork instead.
Philadelphia here, many more good leads than good follows. Socials mostly have more leads.