So, many of you dancers will relate when I tell you about that one certain dancer who just gives you the serious heeby-jeebies.
For follows, perhaps that one creepy lead lets his hand trail or linger just a little too long for your liking. Or perhaps he just places his hand a smidge below where you’re comfortable. No matter what the circumstances, you want to get far away from this guy who seems interested in more than just dancing. A list of serious deal breakers in the creepy dancer department for your reading pleasure.
1. Wandering Hands: Unless you have a legitimate disease that forces your hands to move up and down a stranger’s body, please don’t attempt such moves with a stranger. Ever. Or with partners you usually dance with for that matter, it’s just really awkward. Don’t attempt to just place your hand lower than necessary on the lower back area either, I see you, Mister. How would you treat your mama or sisters? Unless you’re in a committed relationship and both parties agree such a motion is conducive to excellent dancing, avoid manhandling your partner at all costs. Otherwise, you might just get a slap in the face. Surprise!
2. Wandering Eyes: The only thing possibly contender to the happy red-handed dancer is the one who can’t control his gaze to save his life. Do NOT give us the once-over from top to bottom, that is both degrading and ridiculously disrespectful. Eyes front soldier. Nothing below the collar bones, and that’s being generous. Honestly, do you think a fellow dancer will respect you more if they see you eyeing your partner? Not likely.
3. Forceful Leading: This is by far one of the least attractive and subtly creepy aspects of swing and blues dance. In close embrace or Balboa, partners get pretty close. Usually, a good lead knows when to let an uncomfortable follow have her much-needed space. However, there are those select few who don’t get the message and end up dragging their partner around on the floor in what can only be described as a harassing bear hug. You can tell this is happening when the follow either has a pained look on her face accompanied by a thin-lipped grimace or a frozen, fearful smile planted across her lips. In both instances, the follow feels trapped and, quite frankly, a little scared. No one should feel unsafe on the dance floor, especially by their lead.
4. Strange Compliments or Conversation: This isn’t just a nice comment about a pretty dress or a nice hair day, this is a full-on, aggressive assault of epic proportions. It gets creepy when the guy gets a little too quirky and robust with his compliments. For example, a nice comment might be, “I love that dress! It’s so chic on you.” whereas a creepy comment might be, “Ooooh, red is your cooooolor. Mmmmhmmmm *lip smack*. ” Now, keep in mind, different strokes for different folks, especially if you’re good friends and the tone suggests a complete joke. However, if this is someone you don’t really know, and they’re objectifying you via point-blank catcalling, that can be really strange and make for an uneasy dance.
5. Overly Touchy: This is a pet peeve of mine. Now, partner dancing requires a decent amount of hand holding and back support. However, a choice few tend to toe the line on one too many fingers in the wrong place at the wrong time. Follows, have you ever had a lead grip your waist or your back with just a little too much squeeze? Not only that, he keeps squeezing periodically? It makes you feel a bit squeamish, doesn’t it? Well, at least in my case it does. I feel like they’re vying for more control than I’m willing to give. I’ve also had leads in the past who grip way too close to areas I’d rather them not get close to, if you get my drift. Emphasis on lovely lady qualities, hint hint, nudge nudge. Guys–keep it classy now. Don’t touch what her mama gave her unless she expressly allows you to. Otherwise, hands OFF.
Best tip? Just keep it classy.
Anything else to a creepy lead? & what exactly makes a creepy follow? Let me know in the comments!
❤ & Lindy,