For most men, dancing is a flimsy art form, not very manly and definitely not the first choice of “extracurricular activity” or “hobby”. In my 3+ years of dancing, I’ve come across more guys who looked down on dancing and had highly biased views of “men on the dance floor” than those who considered dancing as much as one sport or another.
Men, in general, prefer to be involved in sports such as football and wrestling and forms of entertainment such as drinking and smoking and operate with a predetermined notion that dancing should be left to the opposite sex to compete. Only the few men who are willing to shed that misconception and test their limits on the dance floor are lucky enough to realize just how much skill, talent, and discipline it takes to be a great dancer.
Although I speak of “men” as a mix of all age groups and social statuses, I think it’s harder to get a younger guy to join a dance class and be on the dance floor than a more mature guy. I say this with a lot of conviction as most of the dance classes and social dances I have attended (in the US and Asia), consist of mostly older men and women (especially older men). This could be different in every country, state, and city and it also depends a lot on the dance style (eg standard dances vs latin dances etc.) but I don’t think I’m going too far off a tangent to take this as a general observation.
For all the women out there trying to get their friends/partners/significant others on the dance floor, here are a few more tricks you can try.
1. First of all tell your partner that no matter what they can or cannot do, how many tricks they have up their sleeves and how many achievements they have in their life, if they can’t dance they are not “complete”. Tell her that being able to confidently lead a lady onto the dance floor is one of the basics of “masculinity” and being “masculine” 🙂
2. My dance teacher always said “in a world where the battle of the sexes is becoming more obvious, dance is the only time when men lead and women are forced to follow.” He’ll try this line next time with his partner, maybe his boosted ego and opportunity to “lead” will get him off the couch and the TV and onto the dance floor.
3. Suggest some easy dance videos or instructional videos for your partner to watch. YouTube is also a great source for a variety of basic video clips for free. Not only will this put your mind at ease and build confidence, but it will also be a great tool and guide in determining what type of dance will be best suited for your styles and purposes.
4. Dance at home with your partner if they are too shy to dance in a class on their first try. Have him try out some dance moves at home when no one is looking! The boys would be surprised to discover the extent of his capabilities.
5. Encourage your male partner to try dancing (in a beginner group class or even at home and different types of dance) as a form of exercise and recreation if he’s not willing to put in the time and effort to dance seriously at first. Once you get the hang of it and learn to be less shy, you may be able to convince him to take a few lessons with you and maybe even take dancing to the next level.
For all the men who are reluctant to dance, they must first realize that looking elegant and graceful on the dance floor comes with a lot of practice, effort and discipline and that the dance floor is a space where you can take control, be in upload and show your audience everything you’re made of. It is a space, time and opportunity for all men to be more manly. Not less.
To all the women who are itching to get their men out on the dance floor, try the above and be patient. The men will finally catch on.