Question by User dalnorflying
I’m a new dancer and sometimes they take advantage of me and I don’t know what to say or do. How do I show them that I’m not as naive as I seem and that I know exactly what they are doing?
When you say “too close” what do you mean? Bachata can be pretty damned close without it meaning the guy is taking advantage and needs to be scolded. Or are you talking about inappropriate touching?
If it’s just physical closeness, just say you’re not comfortable with how close the dance is. If the guy is being inappropriate, do exactly what you’d do anywhere else.
What works in normal social situations doesn’t work well on the dance floor, considering that stiffening up might just be an indicator that you are a new dancer and not yet comfortable with your body movement.
If you are uncomfortable, you can take use your hands to push the lead away, or remove his hands. I’ve had this done to me dancing salsa just while putting my hands on a girl’s waist to lead a turn through a cross a body lead. There’s no ill will intended on my part, but unless she moves my hands or says something to me to let me know she doesn’t like it then there’s no way for me to know.
You could just lightly push them. If they resist just walk off the dance floor. I’ve done that before
The easiest way to signal you want more distance is to apply pressure away, naturally this can be done in closed position by pushing on the leader’s shoulder. However, I know from many of my follower friends that this does not always work, so if that is the case say something, or feel free to just say thank you and head off the dance floor.
Bachata is such a close dance if you do it right, I personally don’t feel comfortable dancing it outside of a classroom environment, or with someone I don’t know personally. I’m married, so I mostly dance with my husband but I can see how (just like with most dancing), women dance because dancing is fun, and guys dance mostly to try and end up in the bedroom with a chick. That’s why most of the partner dancing “inappropriateness” happens.
Then again, while practicing certain moves in class, I’ve definitely accidentally grazed a guy’s package with my knee, thigh, butt, what-have-you because of the closeness of the dance. This could be misinterpreted as inappropriate behavior on my part.
I guess what I’m saying is, you could be misinterpreting the closeness or touching as him trying to take advantage of you, when he could be completely innocent of this and is just trying to dance bachata accurately. For this reason, the best way to handle the situation with words to show that you don’t consent to this behavior. “Don’t touch that area” “keep your hand on my waist” etc…
I had a guy try to kiss me on the dance floor during a bachata song so I just said “What are you doing? I’m just here to dance” and he apologized and we kept dancing. It doesn’t have to turn into a big dramatic deal. Just openly communicate is all.