So You Want to Know How to Get Him to Dance? At Too Left Feet We Hear That All the Time!
How hard can it be? All the really tough guys dance: Schwartzenegger, Willis, Trevolta, John Wayne, Bullwinkle, Lurch, Herman Munster, Gomez Adams, Snoopy and even the Mighty Chuck Norris. (Don't believe me? Check YouTube!)
I hereby disavow all responsibility for any use you make of this information. I am not a psychologist or counselor. This page is offered only as a semi-humorous, yet, semi-serious response to a question I'm asked constantly. Mostly, this is a collection of the answers I've heard offered by other dancers.
Maybe some of these ideas will help:
- I've never met a man who can dance, but doesn't like to dance. I've never met a man who wanted to learn to dance, but couldn't. I've never seen a man learn anything until he wanted to. The real trick is to make him want to dance, and try to learn.
- Memorize the most common excuses for not dancing, and be prepared with the proper responses. Send me any really good excuses that are not already on my list.
- You could always try hounding him relentlessly until he gives in out of shear desperation. I took my first dance lesson to prove to my wife (of the time) that noone could possibly teach me to dance. Although it worked, I don't actually recommend my ex-wife's strategy, except as a last resort.
- You could try bribing him with sexual favors (it always works on me). Don't try the reverse, though: that's how my ex-wife tried to make me stop dancing, and it can have severe repercussions.
- Buy him a Gift Certificate for lessons. Guys absolutely hate the idea that money's been wasted on something crazy, especially if it's kind-of their fault.
- Make use of Dancing with the Stars footage. Show him a video of Stacy Keibler. Tell him you want to go dancing so you can buy a dress like Stacy's (any of 'em, it doesn't matter). If blondes aren't his thing, maybe Kelly Monaco or Edyta Sliwinsky will do the trick. Or maybe he has a secret thing for Marie Osmond?
- Downplay the whole thing. Tell him he doesn't need to learn much, or dance very often. Ask him to just learn a little bit, nothing fancy, just enough so that the two of you can pretend to dance at the next high school reunion. No big deal. Just a couple of dances. Tell him it will only take an hour.
- If he has a daughter, beg him to take her for a couple of lessons and be her partner. Tell him how important it will be for her social development. Give her $20 to play along. For some guys, the same idea works with his mother, or sister, or a neice.
- Take him someplace where real people are doing real social dancing. Pick a place where nobody's putting on a show, where everybody is just having a good time. Let him see other men "just like him" dancing: too short, too tall, overweight, ugly, stumbling, beer-drinking, football-loving, normal, average guys.
- Tell him he can get a free lesson from me, in private, with noone else around. Tell him you won't even be there until he decides he knows what he's doing and is ready to show you.
- Read some of the articles you'll find on WWW.DanceLovers.com. Get him to read this one.
- OK. If all else fails, have him read the Men Only page, but don't read this page yourself!