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Avoiding the Sleaze Factor in Close Partner Dancing

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  • Avoiding the Sleaze Factor in Close Partner Dancing

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    I asked about 75 students at a recent Partner Connection workshop, "How many of you have ever had a close, body-to-body dance and felt uncomfortable or yucky?" I then asked, "How many of you have ever had a close, body-to-body dance and felt comfortable?" The same people put up their hands.

    More and more, as a result of spending so much time on the subject, people (mostly girls) share with me their stories of Emotional Connection on the dance floor. By now I could fill a short book on "Emotional Connection Gone Bad". Quite often the word "sleazy" comes up and I have spent some time exploring the difference between a comfortable and connected close dance and an uncomfortable close dance.

    There are two components that seem to come up the most:

    The first is an issue of physical space. As a Zouk-Lambada dancer and instructor, I will dance body-to-body with almost anyone who wants to dance close with me. But it will always be an option, not mandatory. I will lead my partner to step up close to me but it is always her choice. In other words, I allow her to control the gap. The arm or arms that are holding her in my frame do not pull her in. She is not pinned there, she can move freely and still follow my lead through my body and frame. As the leader, if I'm feeling uncomfortable (and it happens!), I can easily change the frame or the moves so that we're not dancing close.

    The other is an issue of intent, or perceived intent. A lot of the time discomfort comes from perceiving that one's partner is flirting and the interest is not there to reciprocate. I'm the last person to say, "Don't flirt on the dance floor." It can be a lot of fun - if both dancers are into it. That said, I hear stories of guys trying to kiss girls on the dance floor; licking their necks; and all sorts of other things. For me the dance floor is where I dance. If I'm interested in someone from dancing I will pursue that away from the dance floor. There are a lot of gorgeous girls on the dance floor and there will always be a line of guys who are attracted to them. They can deal with that but it's unfair to expect them to deal with being molested by their dance partners. Besides, if your goal is to find a girlfriend, you'll get a lot further by simply dancing with a big cheeky smile on your face and making the dance FUN.

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    James “The Little Gringo” Quinn-Hawtin has been teaching and performing Rio-style Zouk-Lambada since January 2009. He is credited by his loyal students as being fun, clear, cheeky, patient, passionate and surprising, always sharing his latest learnings from his masters Aliison & Audrey (Perth), Kadu & Larissa (Brisbane), Alex de Carvalho & Daniela (Rio de Janeiro), Adilio Porto (Rio de Janeiro) and Pasty (Amsterdam). He is currently teaching at Latin Energy in Brisbane, Australia.

    http://www.littlegringozouk.com/

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