Re: At dance classes, whats with these young girls Posted by UraniumSyllabus 6/28/2010 7:45:00 PM
There's a lot of good info in this thread. I'm a little older but definitely not middle-aged. I got into this about two years ago to meet new people (and yeah, there was that male ulterior motive of meeting women). I'm always excited to see other amateur younger guys getting into this since it's rare where I live. I need competition.
Here's a few pointers based on experience:
1) You mentioned you do group classes. Take private lessons, even if it's only once every two weeks. Tell the instructor you want to focus on lead and not presentation. Write that bit on a piece of paper if you want, and look at it before every lesson to keep your goal on track.
2) As mentioned before, DO dance with the middle-aged women, and not only that, make friends with them. They are established (and thus regular figures at the studio), generally have no agenda, and hey, if you're lucky, you'll have a few in the group that were "one of the guys" when they were in their 20s. These women will rock a barstool better than most of your guy friends. Practice makes perfect.
3) I said middle-aged women "generally have no agenda." Physical appearances change and treatment of guys change, but the one thing that stays the same is the treatment of other women - I've seen 80-year-old women act catty towards each other like they were 19. Use the female pecking order to your advantage. Studio girls come and go (mostly go once they realize they might actually have to TRY), but your new friends will size up anyone who walks in that door within a quarter of a second. If they shoot her down, you shoot her down.
4) High school girls don't apply to these rules. They haven't become pretentious yet and are just happy to dance with younger single guys. Usually they're quick to learn to follow, too. And they're generally happy - I hate saying it's rare, but, such is life. Respect the age barrier and just enjoy the friendship. Do be careful of psychotic helicopter parents, though.
5) Stick around. I now train with independent instructors and am competition-focused, and no longer belong to a studio, but last Friday, I was invited out to a public ballroom night by one of the barstool-rocking women mentioned in #2. Right after showing up, she told me there were a few 20-something girls that I knew, who were sitting at the other end. I spent most of the evening at the cool kids' table. Oh, and there's the beautiful amateur (and pro!) partners who satisfy even the most shallow of men's checklists.