(On the Dance Floor)

In all the years I’ve danced and taught, I don’t think I’ve seen a single dance interaction that couldn’t have been improved by recognizing why they dance in the first place. Yes, there’s the stereotype that men just want sex and girls just wanna have fun. But to understand what women really want (and men too), we need to look beneath these surface wants.

Women Really Want to be Beautiful

Okay, before you face-palm and turn off your browser, let me explain. This is NOT about simply putting on a cinderella gown and waltzing with Prince Charming. What women really want is to feel comfortable in their own skin. It’s easy to forget how confident, sexy, elegant, and classy they can be, and even the most self-assured woman needs a reminder from time to time.

Therefore leaders, show off your partner – but only their good side.

Dance at her level, but keep it interesting. The perfect dance for the lady is when she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, but she does know she’s going to look good doing it! Don’t upstage her, but dance your best moves facing the onlookers.

Women Really Want to Connect

Partner dancing is unique, in that it allows us to make connections with total strangers in the time it takes to offer and hand and say: ‘shall we?’ This is especially liberating for women, who risk being labelled ‘easy’, ‘loose’, or worse if they simply approach strangers on the street. What women really want is the freedom to share a part of themselves, in a safe place, without fear of misunderstanding.

This means the average woman does not go to a Latin club or ballroom to ‘pick up’, no matter how good they look out there.

So play it cool men, and just dance for the dance. Have fun, flirt, wink, whatever. But unless she initiates it (or makes it really obvious), don’t pursue her off the dance floor.

Women Really Want to be Themselves

Like with guys, girls have their own secret code of conduct, which all are expected to follow, or risk becoming ‘the weird girl’. This is stifling, because deep down inside, most women really want to say ‘to hell with this!’ and set fire to social convention.

What women really want is to express their individuality, to say: ‘this is who I really am, and I’m proud of it.’

Dancing is the perfect opportunity to do just that, so be prepared to change your carefully-laid-out plans, if she chooses to interpret a lead differently. Resist the temptation to strong-arm her into doing what you want, and you’ve just gained a long-term dance partner.

Next, we look at our supposedly-simple fellas, and how to give even your hubby a reason to dance.