I’ve had a few conversations with women in the Kizomba scene about whether they invite men to dance when at socials. There are lots of women who are more than happy to invite men, and sometimes women to dance. When I first started dancing, I refused point blank to invite men to dance. Inviting men to dance would mean leaving my safe corner, walking across the room and approaching a stranger, and then communicating with him. I was like ‘uh-uh, Roxy doesn’t communicate. I’m an introvert. I don’t want to speak to people’.
This meant that every time I went to a new social, I found it absolutely rubbish the first few times of attending, because all the regulars were dancing with all the other regulars and I wasn’t getting a look in. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, her first question was ‘Have you asked anyone to dance?’ Cue sheepish looks. I eventually got over my self-consciousness enough to invite a man to dance, and let me tell you, I was so proud of myself when I had finished that I went back and told my friends ‘Guess what I did?’ like a proud 5 year old.
Fast forward a few months, and if I’m being completely honest, I still have times when I’m tentative about inviting men to dance. But then there are other times where I decided I’m going to dance till I’m dehydrated, and I will happily invite whoever catches my eye. Because of their dancing abilities. Not because of anything else. I promise. My point is, I completely understand that it can be a bit intimidating approaching people on the dancefloor sometimes. That being said, I have heard a few reasons that I’ve not quite been on board with.
‘I’m a lady, I don’t invite men to dance’
If you think you shouldn’t have to ask a man to dance simply because you’re a lady, well that’s your personal choice. But I would put it to you that if you go to a social, and no one asks you to dance, and you don’t ask anyone to dance either, you become at least partially responsible if you go home feeling you’ve had a rubbish night
‘I don’t like the way men give me the up and down when I invite them to dance.’
Show me a man that will tell you that he’s never been given the up and down look from a woman who he’s invited to dance and I will show you a liar. Doesn’t matter how good looking he is, how nice he smells, how fantastic his lead is, how smooth his footwork is, he has been given stank face from someone. And you don’t see those men refusing to ask women to dance as a result do you? Exactly.
‘When I ask men to dance, they act precious and give me rubbish dances. I’d rather just stand’
Ok ladies, raise a hand if you have ever been invited to dance by someone who you don’t really want to say to, but you did anyway, cos you know, etiquette. Now raise your other hand if you have toned down or even switched off your ginga (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about) and then given the ‘thank you’ with the shoulder squeeze the second you heard the DJ mix in the next song in order to extricate yourself from the man you are dancing with. Nobody? Just me? Really?? My point is this, not everyone is going to want to dance with you, and it could be for any amount of reasons. But that’s a fact that is not gender specific. It’s just how life goes.
I have invited men to dance and they have given me 1.35 songs worth of dance and then they have said thank you, invited the person next to me, and danced the remainder of the evening. I have invited men to dance, and received some of the best dances of that night. I have invited men to dance, got to chatting on the dancefloor and made some friendships. And the very, best thing about it now is I know that if I ever see them at a social, I know I’m guaranteed a dance.
So I say, if you have never done so (or are not in the habit of doing so), invite a man to dance today. Or you know, whenever you’re next at a social, which if you’re a hard-core kizombeira, probably means today. You might be pleasantly surprised.