Re: ballroom dancing Posted by Telemark 4/14/2012 1:53:00 AM
This is really off topic, but given that this discussion has been about tango, I thought that I'd mention that the 'walk of shame' (returning to your seat, having been refused a dance) would never happen when dancing Argentine Tango organised in the traditional way.
There, the cabeceo is used: making eye contact across the room, acknowledged with a little nod or gesture, so that the agreement to dance has been reached before the man goes over to the woman to escort her to the floor. If eye contact is not made, or if having met someone's glance, you then deliberately look away, you have turned down that would-be partner, but no one else will have seen, and no embarrassment results.
It's a very civilised way to arrange things, and is gender-neutral, in that a woman can be actively seeking eye contact with a man, just as easily as the other way around.
Here in the UK, social dancing in Ballroom & Latin American styles has become unsocial dancing, unfortunately. I've lost count of the number of people that tell me that their parents met at a dance - but these days, if you don't go with a partner, you will rarely get to dance all night, and partner rotation is almost unknown. It is the main reason why I rarely bother to dance in those styles, any more. When I'm at a Milonga, I can dance with twenty partners, if I stay long enough. From what I gather (but have no experience of it), things are different in the 'States, at least at studio 'parties'?