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Miss Manners: Never strand woman on dance floor

By Judith Martin


http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/columns/missmanners/story/908797.html


Dear Miss Manners: What’s the correct way for a man to choose or change dance partners without making others feel bad?
I’ve been going to a social dance club. I normally show up without a date, as do several other men and women. I’m there just for an evening’s diversion.
I don’t want anyone to feel left out. How do I ask one woman to dance without making the woman next to her feel like lesser goods? Is there a polite way to stop dancing with a current partner so I can ask a woman who’s been left sitting?
Gentle Reader: A gentleman should never leave a lady stranded on or near a dance floor—a rule that has led to desperate signals in the attempt to palm off a dance partner with whom he does not wish to continue.
So if no one leaps over to take her off his hands, he finishes the dance, thanks the lady and escorts her back to join others on the sidelines, where he found her. Similarly, he does not whisk a lady to the dance floor if she is with only one other lady, who would then be stranded (which is why ladies should not stand around in pairs). But if he must, he should say to the remaining lady, “And may I engage you for the next dance?”
 

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He definitely could have written that! :D
 

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I read that in my paper and immediately thought of Bob!
 

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Well, I'm sure Miss Manners would have edited it for column length. =)
 

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Bob doesn't need Miss Manners. He knows everything already.
 

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I think Miss M gave appropriate advice for some dances -- but, since the etiquette differs between other groups and other dances, IMO he'd have done better by asking a few women at that dance.

At the seniors' dances I go to, there are more women than men (maybe 60/40). In order to give all a chance to dance, about 4-5X (during the 2.5 hrs of actual dancing) the band plays a "chair dance". For this, a chair is placed at both ends of the hall and all the women who want to dance line up at the chairs.

We males go to the head of the line and dance with that partner to the other end of the hall where our partner goes to the end of that line and then we pick up the woman at the head of that line and dance with her to the other end. Over
&
over
&
over -- the set they play is usually 4-5X as long as the usual dance (about 3.5 minutes long). That's kind of nice because even if the next lady in line is a Mack truck with its brakes on, you know it won't last forever.

For reasons I don't know, only about 70-80% of the people attending ever dance, they just sit and watch and chat among their fellow watchers. Perhaps they like the music? or the potluck supper from 7:15-7:45? or something else?

Some of the couples there are really coupled so they tend dance with only their partner for most dances -- except the chair dances. It's usually frowned on to not participate in those.

Even when Milly is there, above and beyond the chair dances (in which I may dance with 10-12 different partners), I try to dance with 6-8 other women at least once during the evening.

 

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Oh for Gods Sake Bob. Why must you go into so much freaking detail on every subject. I swear you have a severe case of OCD!

Laugh a little. Maybe one of your girlfriends will boink you a little more.
 
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