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What Girls Should Beware of in the Social Dance Scene

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I want the following to be a “big sister” advice for girls who just recently started social dancing and are learning zouk, bachata, kizomba, salsa or other latin dances. The dance world is 90% great and fun. However, there may be some individuals in the community who try to take advantage of new girls if they don’t have their wits about them. Speaking from personal experience, unfortunately. These are the three commonly occurring situations you should be careful about. 

1. Practicing at someone’s place

If there’s a guy who invites you to practice dance at his place, I would advise you to tread carefully. They might have something else in mind that has little to do with dancing. Ask them if you could rent a room in the dance studio together instead. If they truly want to practice, they will be happy to do so and split the cost.

After you have built trust and you know he is a person with no ulterior motives, then maybe you can practice at each other’s places. Maybe. A dance studio room with lots of space, mirrors and good floor is a much better place for practicing anyway.

2. Getting special attention from professionals

When someone well-known who’s been in the scene for longer, like a teacher, organiser or DJ, shows romantic interest in you, it might feel really special and like you are “the chosen one”. They might compliment you on your dance skills and dance with you often. 

Unfortunately there is a power imbalance present and it’s a common pattern for some professionals to use their “higher” position to impress new girls and then take advantage of them. Yes, there may be a 1% chance that you found the love of your life, but just be very careful and assess the person’s character beyond their status.

3. Dancing in a sensual way

Dance styles like brazilian zouk and bachata can seem very sensual and there might be a pressure to dance it in a sensual way. If you and your dance partner both enjoy dancing like that, then it’s consensual and all is good. But here’s a reminder that you absolutely do not have to do that. There are plenty of moves in every dance style that are not sensual at all and it’s possible to dance all night without doing a single sensual move.

Never in any circumstances is it OK to be touched inappropriately. If you feel uncomfortable during the dance, pull away slightly. If they don’t notice and you continue to feel uncomfortable, excuse yourself and stop the dance. There’s a general rule in the dance community that if you’re romantically interested in someone, make your move away from the dancefloor and keep dancing a safe zone.

Like I said, the social dance community is very welcoming and full of friendly people most of the time, but like in any community there are people to be wary of. When someone has been making you uncomfortable, make sure to talk it through with a person you trust and if someone is truly being a creep let your other female friends know. 

Do you know of any other situations in social dance in which us girls should be wary of? Share it in the comments – awareness is key and it’s important to know we’re not the only one going through something like that!


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