How do I dance with guys?
July 31, 2012 3:44 PM   Subscribe

I know how to dance with people who are just friends. Can you explain to me how to dance with someone when I don't want to be just friends?

I'm a woman in my late twenties who really likes dancing at parties, clubs, concerts, etc. Most of the time I've gone out though, I've been with friends and I haven't been interested in encouraging anyone--either random guys on the dance floor or the guy friends I came with--to get any closer than a platonic two feet away. So my style of dancing is pretty light and goofy and happy, and I'm pretty good at keeping things at that friendly-but-not-too-friendly level with any guy who tries to get a little closer or more intense.

Lately though I've been wondering about how to dance with someone in a more sexual way. So can you explain to me how to encourage--rather than discourage--a guy on the dance floor to get a little closer? And more importantly: what do I do with him if he actually does get closer than two feet away? For example, if a guy I already know comes up behind me and puts his hands lightly on my shoulders while I'm dancing, is that an invitation to back up against him and/or turn around? And then what? Lord I feel dumb for not knowing these things. Thanks for your help.
posted by colfax to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, for face-to-face dancing, eye contact would say a lot about how you feel, I would think.
posted by Danf at 3:52 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

What sort of things do you do in order to keep guys at a distance? Know some of the things that you currently do might help, since some of these are probably things that you should not do when a guy you are interested in approaches.

In terms of your question about a guy putting his hands on your shoulders, I guess you could just backup on him, but I'd suggest that you might want to turn around and actually see who it is that you're dancing with.

As for how to dance, that's a trick question and it really relies a lot on your personality and just how sexual you want to be with your dancing. Some people practically dry hump each other on the dance floor, but I suspect that's not what you're into, based on the way that you've worded your question. Regardless of exactly what you do with the rest of your body, eye contact, like Danf suggests, will be key in expressing your intentions.
posted by asnider at 3:54 PM on July 31, 2012

You could always make like you're casting a fishing rod, hooking the guy, and reeling him in closer.

Worked at the Middle School Dances 15 years ago, sort of.
posted by carsonb at 3:58 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

well, one thing i can tell you is that if you touch a guy with your hands while you're dancing with him, in any way, the lights in his brain are going to start coming on. also smiling while looking in a guy's eyes is an unmissable signal. don't overthink it, let your instinct tell you what to do.
posted by facetious at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

facetious nailed it with any kind of touch. Also, the same signals that work when not dancing: facing them directly with an 'open' body language, touching your neck and/or hair, direct eye contact, increasing physical proximity, etc. And, just like with non-dancing situations, if you start small and build up, the guy will get the signal. If all else fails, playfully grab him and pull him in closer.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:54 PM on July 31, 2012

One trick is to try to tell him something. Oh it is so loud! You have to get really close and whisper in his ear! You put your hand on him while you're talking! And then just kinda...stay there for as long as possible.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:29 PM on July 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

Dance closer to him, and mirror his movements in such a way that your bodies brush against each other as you sway together from side to side. Rest your forearms lightly on his shoulders, look into his eyes and smile. Thus works the same for either slow or fast dancing. When he moves you move. Just like that.
posted by milk white peacock at 7:39 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

get a girlfriend who knows how to dance w men she likes to show you at home.

this worked for me. I can dance. but I'm an old school style sort of pop lock style.

I needed to learn to booty dance.

it feels kinda weird at first but you'll get it if you can dance pretty well.
it's about moving at the same groove with another person, kinda like sex.
which is perhaps what you want when you dance like that with someone ;-).

good luck! have fun!

(also, just cause you're shaking your ass w some dude if his hands go anywhere you don't want them, move them. if he persists, his loss, and you walk away. I've had to do this and never had an issue w some dude following me or anything.)

oh and find a couple club songs to practice to at home so you can get the right rhythm. and then you'll feel more confident when you're out. I literally out heels I would wear out dancing and practiced at home because I was doing such different movements i didn't want to make an ass if myself. the mirror helped me see I wasnt looking quite as absurd it felt and then it started to feel more comfortable.
posted by sio42 at 8:32 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

if a guy I already know comes up behind me and puts his hands lightly on my shoulders while I'm dancing, is that an invitation to back up against him and/or turn around?

Yes, physical contact is the most straightforward signal to send; it's also what you should to get someone closer to you. Touch them/put your arm around them and he will not be confused about what you want.
posted by spaltavian at 6:08 AM on August 1, 2012

Thank you all for the answers! As usual, Metafilter helps me feel like less of an idiot than usual.
posted by colfax at 6:44 AM on August 4, 2012

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