Skip to content

Are You a Charismatic Social Dancer?

A while ago I watched a YouTube video* about charisma and what personality traits are required for being charismatic. I felt like the information I learned works perfectly in social dance setting as well, which is why I wanted to take the definition of charisma and show you how this applies in the dance world. To find out if you are a charismatic dancer yourself, keep reading!

Three Components of Charisma

Charisma is a combination of three character traits – warmth, presence and confidence. Let’s explore each in the context of dance.

1. Confidence

As a charismatic dancer you will be confident in your dance skills, no matter your level. Even if you’re a beginner, you still do the basic steps with confidence. (Sidenote – this trait is probably present in every local Latin-American man on the dancefloor, even if they have never taken a single dance class in their life.) Most importantly, you will have confidence that people like you and want to dance with you, so you won’t hesitate to ask people to dance.

2. Presence

    A dancer who is present means they are giving 100% of their attention to their partner while dancing. If your partner looks stressed, you are able to notice it and make the dance easier and more comfortable. If they misinterpret your lead, you are able to quickly readjust. Your thoughts do not wander off to work or who you’d want to dance with next and you don’t look around the dance hall bored.

    You also adjust to your partner’s skill level – in addition to the dance moves you want to do, you also consider what is comfortable for them. Lacking presence looks like you focus on practicing dance moves or heavy styling instead of focusing on your partner and what their skill level enables to handle.

    3. Warmth

      Warmth means that you are being warm and friendly towards people. For example, during the dance you smile a lot, and before/after the dance you may ask your dance partner about how their day was or what they’re up to outside of dance. You remember people’s names and you’re curious about them as a person, not only as a dancer. You give hugs or handshakes to your dance friends when you see them at parties and you give a sincere compliment when you really enjoyed a dance with someone. The ways to show warmth and compassion are endless.

      These traits are hard, if not impossible to fake. Most people are able to read body language very well and even small inconsistencies will cause them to feel something isn’t right. If you’d like to become a more charismatic person, genuinely work on your confidence and warmth and truly be present with people.

      Identifying Missing Components

      Charismatic people have all of those three traits present in them. What would it look like if one or more of those components were missing?

      If you have the two other charisma components of warmth and presence, but no confidence, you will probably come off as a people-pleaser or a pushover, and not someone very respectable. Confidence almost gives you more power, and in many articles the third component of charisma is often described with this word instead. If you only have confidence but no warmth and presence, you may come off as arrogant and big-headed.

      If you have warmth and confidence, but no presence, then your dance partner might like you as a person but not really enjoy the dance and not feel very seen. They might get the impression that you’re just friendly to everybody and they don’t mean much to you. Charismatic people really make everyone they meet feel special and seen.

      If you have confidence and presence, but no warmth, you may come off as someone reserved and unapproachable. I have danced with some artists who may be confident and be present with me, but their lack of warmth made me feel like they just want this dance to be over.

      It’s also important to note that charismatic people treat everyone equally. If you only act in a “charismatic” way with your close friends or people you are romantically interested in, it wouldn’t really make you a charismatic person.


      The three components of charisma are warmth, presence and confidence. Charismatic people will display those traits in a social dance environment by being self-assured, friendly and attentive to everyone they meet and dance with. Do you think you have all three components of charisma? Which famous dance instructors have you met that are truly charismatic? Leave their names in the comments!

      Follow me on instagram @jettence and subscribe to get new blog posts to your inbox by scrolling down to the footer and entering your e-mail 🙂

      *I would love to refer you to the same video I watched but I failed to find it – I think the YouTuber has taken this video down. After further research I think she was probably referring to Olivia Fox Cabane’s book ”The Charisma Myth” and adding her own thoughts on top of it.

      2 thoughts on “Are You a Charismatic Social Dancer?”

      1. Hi, it’s a great article and an interesting perspective on the personality traits. However, I noticed that it seemed to be a bit leader-centric. What do you think, how would these components manifest for followers?

        1. Hi! Thanks for your comment! I’d say majority of this applies to followers as well. In the “presence” point I was more leader-centric, but followers also need to be 100% present, otherwise they will miss leading cues from the leader or misinterpret them. Lack of presence in followers would be overdoing styling, and similarly to leaders – having thoughts wander off and looking around the dancefloor. What else would you add?

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *