“I’m not getting asked to dance,” she said. And I could see why. She was a skilled dancer and a beautiful woman with the warmest soul. But no one noticed because she sat buried in the corner of the room looking royally annoyed.
I do a lot of partner dancing. The conversation above a happened at a tango event. But what I’ve written below applies to life in general. A lot of people aren’t getting invited to “dance” in life either. Perhaps they are struggling to meet people, get noticed or aren’t being engaged in new activities they try.
You know, all that fun stuff that makes life worth living.
Here’s how to fix it.
I use dancing to illustrate each principle, then I talk about how it applies to life.
#1: Stand up
If you REALLY want to dance, don’t sit down. It gives the impression that you are resting and taking a break. Stand up and position yourself at the edge of the dance floor.
This applies to every area of life. Stand up if you want people to see that you are open to being engaged. It also helps you stand out and get noticed among the masses. Which is always the very first step.
#2: Start moving
Whether you are standing by the dance floor or sitting down, moving your body and your feet to the music shows that you are feeling the song and want to dance to it. The fastest way for me to get asked is to go onto the edge of the floor and begin dancing by myself or practicing a movement.
If life, moving is action. If you want people to see that you are serious and ready to participate, move around. People notice things that are in motion, so if you really want to get noticed, you gotta move. Walk around the room, move to the background music, or change your location.
#3. Be less social
This isn’t the time to get into deep conversations. If I am chatting with someone, I keep my eyes on the dance floor, and actively convey that my interest is not in the conversation, but on the possibility of dancing. I show this by smiling at people who walk by and being interested in what’s happening on the floor.
In life, people tend not to interrupt or disturb people who appear to be in deep conversation. If you are open to being engaged by others, sometimes the best thing is to make yourself super easy to approach by being alone.
#4. Be more social
Find someone you want to dance with and strike up a conversation with them. Comment on how much you love the band or DJ tonight. Ask if they like the wine they are drinking. Or simply go up and say, “I don’t believe we have met, I’m Heidi….”. Making a new friend this way will almost always lead to them asking you dance — either then or later.
In life, find the people who are actively engaged in what interests you and begin building those relationships. People are oftentimes very helpful to those who show a high interest in things they are passionate about. A simple compliment can go a long way and may start things off nicely.
#5. Check your attitude
You have to look receptive, so drop the crossed arms. Confidence is great thing, but don’t strut around and watch the floor with an attitude that suggests you are too good to dance with anyone there. Some people appear to be always judging what’s happening on the floor. Don’t be that person. It suggests you will do the same when you dance with them.
Lastly, be gracious regardless of who asks you to dance. People will notice how you respond when asked to dance — and will watch your attitude while you are dancing with other dancers.
Life is the same way. Stay kind, gracious and well-mannered. People will be drawn to you when you exude those characteristics.
#6. Drop your ego
You aren’t entitled to being asked to dance just because you showed up. Your 10,000 hours of lessons and practicing doesn’t guarantee you a thing.
If you want to dance, sometimes you just have to ask. If I never asked guys to dance, I would sit down all night too. Make a guy’s night and approach him. Men love this far more than we ladies realize.
If general, if you want something, you have to ask for it. Don’t waste time waiting for an invitation that never comes. People may assume you just enjoy watching. If you don’t, you have to use your words to convey that you want to play too.
#7. Make it easy
Don’t play hard to get. Don’t make it difficult or awkward for the someone to ask you to dance. Ensure you have plenty of moments when you are alone so the person doesn’t have to awkwardly interrupt a conversation.
Smile at them. Make eye contact. Even if you have to fake it, appear to be enjoying your night. No one wants to take on the challenge of flipping an attitude from “pissed off bench warmer” to happy dancer.
This applies in every part of life. If you want people to engage with you, they must feel that you are someone worth engaging with. People like to engage with happy, fun, friendly people. Pretend if you must.
#8. Be the first to say hello
When you walk into a room or pass people, take the initiative to be the first to say hello. Greeting people shows them that you are friendly and receptive. Upon arrival, I do my best to walk the room greeting everyone I know in the room. At that point, I oftentimes say, “Save me a dance later” — which basically fills up my dance card right away.
Lastly, some nights I’m simply feeling more demure or shy, especially if I am feeling intimidated by the skill level of the room. In that case, I ask friends, the DJ, host or promoter who they recommend I dance with. Most people are more than happy to make an introduction or point out a warm, friendly lead who will put me at ease.
This works in every environment. Find the host, organizer or helper and ask if they would be willing to make some introductions for you, or to point out someone they think you should meet. This immediately puts you into the game.
It’s all about that vibe
At the end of the day, getting asked to dance is about exuding good vibes.
It’s the same way off the dance floor — in every part of life.
Change your vibe and it will change your whole experience, whether you are dancing, wanting to meet new people or trying a new activity. ❤
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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